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    Raising the profile of St Albans’s online accessibility guide

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    News release: 16 May 2017

    St Albans has made it to the top ten of UK cities visited on a national online accessibility guide aimed at helping people with disabilities plan trips.

    man in wheelchair at a reception desk

    Local businesses are now being invited to a briefing on Thursday 8 June to help them understand the benefits of being listed on the DisabledGo website.

    The online guide is used by people with health conditions or impairments and their carers, family and friends to check the accessibility of places.

    More than 600 of the City’s restaurants, parks, public buildings, venues, attractions and business premises have been surveyed and included in the guide.

    St Albans City and District Council pays for the surveys of the buildings which are organised and conducted by DisabledGo at no cost to the owner.

    The Council and DisabledGo are inviting local businesses to a free Lunch and Learn session to find out more about the national online access guide. The session is being held in the Council Chamber at the Civic Centre in St Peter’s Street, St Albans from 12 noon to 1.30pm.

    The Council is working to raise the profile of the online access guide among visitors to the District and local businesses. The Council’s visitor website www.enjoystalbans.com now includes logos and links to the DisabledGo online access guide next to every venue surveyed. This has helped boost the number of times users of DisabledGo access pages about St Albans and its facilities by 300%. St Albans now ranks in the top ten of cities on which information has been accessed by the website’s users.

    Cllr Brian Ellis, Portfolio Holder for Housing at St Albans City and District Council, said: “The guide provides people with detailed information about what to expect when they visit a place so they can plan according to their needs. Places that are listed in the guide are at an advantage when it comes to attracting those visitors that may have accessibility needs. The briefing will help local businesses understand how they can make the most of their listing in the DisabledGo guide by promoting it in their marketing.”

    Every venue or building included in the online access guide has been visited and assessed by someone trained to obtain all the facts. The guide includes detailed information requested by people with disabilities and does not rate places according to accessibility.

    By using the guide people can find out, for example, whether there are accessible parking bays, hearing loops, ramps, tactile lift buttons and places to sit.

    Speaking about the day, DisabledGo’s Executive Director, Anna Nelson, said: “It is great to welcome everyone to our Lunch & Learn event. We really encourage people who are interested to come along and find out more about what we do and how we work. It’s also, a great opportunity for local business to see how small adjustments in their accessibility, can make a huge difference to customers. We will be running similar sessions in future so would encourage anyone interested in getting in touch.”

    If you want to attend the Lunch and Learn session, please call DisabledGo on 01438 842710 or email events@disabledgo.com.

    Councillor contact:
    Cllr Brian Ellis, Portfolio Holder for Housing at St Albans City and District Council
    Tel: 01582 767621

    Contact for the media:
    Amanda Wilkinson,
    Senior Communications Officer
    St Albans City and District Council
    Tel: 01727 819317
    E-mail: amanda.wilkinson@stalbans.gov.uk
    www.stalbans.gov.uk
    Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/StAlbansCouncil

    Notes:

    DisabledGo’s online access guide is used by people with health conditions or impairments and their carers, family and friends to help plan visits to public places. It lists all kinds of places, including restaurants, shops, leisure centres, parks, offices, theatres, libraries, museums, supermarkets and hotels. More information is available at: http://www.disabledgo.com