92% of disabled people do not feel very confident in visiting new places when thinking about disabled access, new research claims.
Around 700 disabled people have described situations they have faced when experiencing disabled access at different places. The findings, revealed in the new Access Survey by the charity Euan’s Guide and Disabled Access Day, show that 83% of disabled people have been affected by poor accessibility, and 92% do not feel very confident in visiting new places when thinking about disabled access.
In the UK, confidence was lowest among disabled people in Wales, but 95% of disabled people UK-wide admit to searching for disabled access information about a place before visiting. It was found that 85% opt to check the venue’s website first, but if disabled access is not mentioned 47% of disabled people assume it is inaccessible and choose to go elsewhere.
The survey also highlighted the factors which can make certain places difficult to access for many disabled people. 69% of disabled people said a venue’s layout, such as narrow corridors, restricted access for them, while 61% told Euan’s Guide that they have been unable to get into a venue due to a lack of ramp, or heavy doors for example. Meanwhile, 53% said that poor accessible toilet provision created difficulties.
It was found that 86% of disabled people, their families and friends will make a return visit to a venue that has good accessibility, and 83% will tell others about it. It is more common in Scotland for disabled people to share their experiences of disabled access with others than elsewhere in the UK.
The Access Survey also investigates how different types of places compare based on the experiences of disabled people. Compared to 2016, access in museums has improved, but opinions were most divided about public transport, hotels and music venues. This demonstrates the inconsistency in disabled access between places, making it difficult for disabled people to know what to expect when visiting somewhere for the first time.
Euan MacDonald, co-founder of Euan’s Guide, said: “Euan’s Guide is all about sharing, and it was fantastic to have over seven-hundred disabled people, their families, friends and carers join in by sharing their thoughts and experiences in The Access Survey 2017. The opinions expressed in this survey will help to raise awareness and improve understanding of accessibility, and I am hopeful that future surveys will show positive trends and improvements among venues and the confidence that disabled people have in visiting them.”