Q-bookthink accessEasy for you, easy for visitors                                          t                              ...
Contents    Foreword	                                   5       Case study – Bosworth Battlefield, Leicestershire	        ...
.                                                                                    Foreword                             ...
Most people, if they stop and        What we want to do is to              Why should you bother?    think about it, know ...
.            About think access                                                           Many visitors we spoke to simply...
.             What is the benefit to my business?                                                                         ...
So what are you waiting for?                                                                                              ...
It’s not just about                          Improving access can                    VisitBritain’s recent research       ...
.Everyone is an individual                Look after their needs and you                 Disability Discrimination Act (DD...
In brief: the DDA                      This does not mean that small           Useful informationand your business        ...
.             The Visitor Journey         Repeat business greatly improves profit. Anticipate what your                   ...
For some parts of the Visitor Journey            and to their overall enjoyment.your customers are invisible to you.      ...
.            Stimulation, planning and                                                                                    ...
• Appreciate lighter meal options     “We use a variety of methods.        Encourage visitors to phone                 Go ...
Improve your information                                                           “We investigated translating our menus ...
“We offer information in different       Is your information 	                  Check information                        F...
Use plain English                           Make your website                      Where to go for help                   ...
The WAI guidelines can be daunting       • Avoid long sentences in italics.           “People should write a list of what ...
• www.hoegrangeholidays.co.uk/                                      In the East Midlands all businesses    • Lift features...
Get a rating                             Assurance Service (VAQAS), which        Benefits of having a                     ...
Get to know your local area             • www.tourismtrade.org.uk/                                                        ...
.            Ease of booking                                                  Like every customer, disabled           “The...
• Do a quick price comparison with                                          “Telephone conversations are          “We enco...
Confirm and build                       excitement                                 “We like to find out what visitors are ...
.             Travel to the destination                                                Help with information              ...
• Real time traffic information e.g.                                       Make the arrival easy                     Askin...
East Midlands Airport – Nottingham,     A Senior Railcard costs £24 and           Rail station accessibility maps         ...
.            The destination experience                                         Make a good first                         ...
“If staff know you                                        Deliver a positive welcome               • Be prepared to write ...
• Make sure all staff are aware of                                         Deliver a friendly service             Some are...
Provide a consistent level               • Ask staff to research local                                                    ...
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Think access-q-book-4

  1. 1. Q-bookthink accessEasy for you, easy for visitors t t ouris ns o a ttracti
  2. 2. Contents Foreword 5 Case study – Bosworth Battlefield, Leicestershire 76 About think access 8 Case study – Elms Farm Cottages, Lincolnshire 80 What is the benefit to my business? 10 Case study – Natureland, Skegness 84 Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 17 Case study – Hoe Grange Holidays, Derbyshire 88 The Visitor Journey 20 Where to go for more help 92 Stimulation, planning and anticipation 24 Advice from the experts 96 Ease of booking 42 Travel to the destination 48 The destination experience 54 Going home 68 Recollection of the experience 72 NEXT PAGE
  3. 3. . Foreword Hi, I’m Peter White, I’m the BBC’s disability Q-books affairs correspondent, but for the purposes Q-books (Quality Books) are practical online guides to help of this I belong totally to East Midlands Tourism. small tourism businesses improve their quality and profitability. The idea is that we want people to be more relaxed about Q-books are produced by East Midlands Tourism. They are the subject of disability and to see people who are disabled packed with insights about the tourism market, practical ideas far more as simply members of the community. and tips from successful businesses. I think the idea has perhaps got blind person on the Underground Current titles: around that this is a bit scary – every day. They’ve had no think family that disability is a subject that experience; they’ve had no think access you have to be rather wary of. training. They simply perhaps It shouldn’t be like that and you know how to do it or are Q-books are available in ebook, pdf and large print, text- don’t have to be a professional comfortable to have a go at it. only formats at www.q-bookeastmidlandstourism.co.uk. to be comfortable with disabled It’s about confidence. It’s about Alternative formats are available on request. people. You don’t have to go on seeing disability as part of a course. People help me as a  the community. NEXT PAGE Q-books
  4. 4. Most people, if they stop and What we want to do is to Why should you bother? think about it, know plenty of encourage people to think in a Because there’s an ageing We want you simply to disabled people. Most people more relaxed way about people population. The baby boomers provide a relaxing experience for have got a gran who is a bit who come through your doors, are getting older. They still your guests. We want considering hard of hearing. perhaps to your guest house or to want a good time. They’ve disability to become just a normal your attraction, and see them far got money to spend and you part of what you do. Most people know a child who’s more as just any other member ignore them at your peril. having a few reading difficulties. of the community. We know people who walk with So we want you to think a stick. Disability tends to mean In exactly the same way ramps access. That’s what the the extremes of disability, which are helpful, braille is helpful but Q-book is for. The idea is are important and shouldn’t be these are often expensive, high- to dip in and out of it, not ignored, but that is perhaps a bit end solutions. What disabled necessarily to read the whole of a stereotype. Four per cent of people want is to be welcomed, thing at a session, but to use people with disabilities have a to be treated like the rest of the it as a resource. And we also wheelchair. Far more people are community and not greeted with want you to help us. If you’ve partially sighted than blind. Far a rulebook, a guided tour, special got suggestions, tell us more people have a hearing loss, treatment. What they want is a about them. than are deaf. relaxed feel to the whole thing. NEXT PAGE Foreword
  5. 5. . About think access Many visitors we spoke to simply would make their holidays and short want to be asked what they want breaks more enjoyable. whenever staff are not sure what Some businesses think What do we mean when we talk visitors might need. We know you have little time and improving access is difficult about access? We asked visitors 101 things to do. That’s why we’ve and expensive. It needn’t be. to tell us what they expect from Visitors also want to be recognised as designed this booklet to be easy to an accessible tourism business. individuals. You can’t treat all visitors use. You can jump straight to the Think access has been written We received lots of ideas. the same. Visitors each have different top tips pages for quick reference. to help every accommodation motivations and priorities. They need You can read it in bite-size chunks, and attraction business in Put simply: access is how easy services delivering in different ways. section by section as time allows. the East Midlands improve you make it for visitors to One size never fits all. Or you can work through the booklet their accessibility for a wider experience and enjoy your product. and study it with your staff. range of visitors. There are many ideas about how Access covers every aspect of you can improve your access No one running a business can ever This includes not just disabled your product, from how easy it is to – too many for one booklet. You can say they have finished making all visitors but also families and older find information before a visit to the achieve many of the changes we access adjustments. Achieving the people. In fact, it includes all warmth of welcome from your staff. suggest at little or no cost. Often the best access for your visitors is a visitors. We want every visitor to smaller changes have the biggest continuous process. feel welcome, to be able to access impact. You will also be able to read your service easily and enjoy their case studies of successful tourism Do please let us know how you time in the East Midlands. s ng is r mi e w M businesses in the East Midlands and progress. We will be updating think er ha , og y R il m watch videos of visitors telling us what access as we receive your ideas. he a m B ir r s L T F M NEXT PAGE About think access
  6. 6. . What is the benefit to my business? Facts you can’t ignore • The ‘new’ old are young people • Consumer spending among UK East Midlands Tourism is We need to respond to the who happen to have got older. citizens aged 50-69 currently runs committed to improving the Act because accessibility and Professor Richard Scase at £300bn a year. Mintel quality of every visitor’s the quality of every visitor’s experience. experience are inseparable. As • Forecasts show that the East • The spending power of disabled Midlands will have the greatest people in the UK is estimated to be an industry we need to think increase in England in the number worth £80 billion. www.dwp.gov.uk We recognise that improving about every aspect of every of pensioners – a growth of 63.4% access for visitors is a significant visitor’s holiday or short break. between 2003 and 2028. • From 2004 to 2005 the number of and integral part of this. The It is no good providing accessible overseas visitors to Britain aged www.intelligenceeastmidlands.org.uk Disability Discrimination Act accommodation if there are no 55+ increased by 32%. More than (DDA) has made the tourism accessible attractions or there is • The over 50s buy 40% more five million visitors from abroad industry consider all access a lack of accessible transport. holidays than the under 30s. Over are over 55 – one in six of the total issues. However the DDA should 50s take an average of five or six number of 30 million. This growing not be the only reason for breaks a year. trend looks likely to continue. making changes. Professor Richard Scase VisitBritain L oo k o u t • Impairments and disability continued... f or ke y point s increase substantially after the age of 40. on t he se pos t- it not e s. NEXT PAGE 10 What is the benefit to my business? 11
  7. 7. So what are you waiting for? “Accessibility is absolutely Facts you can’t ignore As an industry we need to reach crucial to the tourism industry out to the many visitors who need because it is the future of the a little extra help. In the East• There are 54 million Americans • One in five of the UK population Midlands, some tourism providers very business. There are more with disabilities. Their total has a physical or sensory and more older people and with offer excellent accessible facilities. spending power is $220 billion. impairment. age comes less ability. Older If the rest of us give more thought Robert Rudney, A Disability Market www.dptac.gov.uk people will bring business to Survey 2003 to visitors’ access needs and the those in the industry who are needs of families and the ageing• People are living longer and staying • years old take holidays and short T he majority of children under six population, our region would be ready and willing active until much later in life. to provide accessible breaks with grandparents – an much more able to respond to the Forecasts estimate that by 2025 services.” ideal business opportunity for changing tourism markets. more than a third of the off-peak seasons. Keith Richards, ABTA UK population will be over 55. www.q-bookeastmidlands VisitBritain tourism.co.uk• The singles market is the fastest growing sector particularly women who are more likely to be in the 45-74 age group. Professor Richard Scase NEXT PAGE12 What is the benefit to my business? 13
  8. 8. It’s not just about Improving access can VisitBritain’s recent research Not all disabilities are obviouswheelchair users  sometimes be achieved shows that when disabled people The most common disability isDo you answer yes to these questions? at little or no cost at all. start to plan a holiday or short backache! Not necessarily obvious• Do you worry about how much As you progress through think break, priorities include: to you when visitors check in at you might have to spend to adapt access you will pick up tips and • Good customer service your BB or buy their ticket at your your premises? solutions that other businesses • Detailed information about attraction. Consider these other• Do you think only of ramps when have successfully implemented. the whole location invisible disabilities: accessibility is discussed? • On-site car parking • Asthma• Do you think it better to do nothing You will hear visitors talk about the • Heart condition than do something and get it wrong? simple things that can make all the Proof that accessibility is not • Allergies• Do you believe it is too difficult to difference to how much they enjoy all about ramps and lifts. • Dyslexia achieve accessibility for your visitors? their visit. • Diabetes • Learning disabilitiesLet us change your perceptions. • Partial sightMore people are hard of hearing • Deafnessthan deaf. More people are partially • Hearing problemssighted than blind. Nine out often people will have a temporary Re me mbe r,disability at some point in their lives. im prov e d A guest with diabetes, for example, simplyAccess matters to all of us. a c c e ss be ne f needs to know what time meals are available. a ll v isit ors it s NEXT PAGE14 What is the benefit to my business? 15
  9. 9. .Everyone is an individual Look after their needs and you Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)We are all individuals with will win their loyalty. They are veryindividual needs. Disabled people loyal to businesses that considershould never be classified and their needs. Disabled people aretreated as a single group. fed up of visiting places that do Work with the Disability It is important that as an attraction not help them. VisitBritain’s recent Discrimination Act (DDA) or accommodation provider youYou may well have a relative or research shows that when a tourism and not because of it. identify and change anythingfriend with poor eyesight or business meets a disabled person’s which prevents disabled peoplehearing or walking problems who requirements, visitors choose to The DDA was not written to put from using your business. This iswould never consider themselves return again and again. people out of business. It provides good business sense.disabled. For the majority of tourism the ideal opportunity for you to businesses, this is the person you develop your business by making Use our Visitor Journey need to be trying to reach. sure your service is accessible to This check list will help you as many visitors as possible. improve your visitors’ satisfaction and work towards meeting the Many tourism businesses worry requirements of the DDA. Think o f t he that complying with the DDA will DDA guidelines cost a lot of money. a s a busine ss opport unit y NEXT PAGE16 What is the benefit to my business? 17
  10. 10. In brief: the DDA This does not mean that small Useful informationand your business businesses can ignore this For more information visit www.equalityhumanrights.com•Don’t ignore what this legislation. But the law does not legislation asks of you expect businesses to have to Downloadable pdf guides about the DDA:• The DDA will help you take respond to unreasonable requests. • What do guest accommodation owners need a fresh look at the needs of to know about the law and disability all your guests Examples of reasonable • Theme parks and attractions and the DDA 1995 • Think of complying with the adjustments DDA as a business opportunity • Using large print for registration www.equalityhumanrights.com/ – something to add value to and visitor information en/publicationsandresources/ your business and improve • Providing a MP3, CD or cassette Disability/Pages/Services.aspx your visitors’ experience and player for an audio menu satisfaction levels • Providing phones with large buttonsWhat do reasonable • Providing portable vibrating alarms adjustments mean? for guests who can’t hear anThe DDA expects tourism audible fire alarmbusinesses to make reasonable • Providing an alternative low desk adjustments to meet the requirements for wheelchair users if you do notof disabled people. A major hotel have a low reception deskchain and large visitor attractions • Installing lever taps on bathsmay need to respond differently to and washbasins that are easya business run by a sole operator. for all to use NEXT PAGE18 Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 19
  11. 11. . The Visitor Journey Repeat business greatly improves profit. Anticipate what your Stimulation, Recollection visitors want and respond effectively and they are more likely to of The planning and enjoy their visit and recommend you to their friends and family. experience anticipation The Visitor Journey is a simple tool Use this tool and your business that helps you to take a visitor’s can positively influence a visitor’s view of what visitors want at every whole experience, not just the time The Visitor stage of a holiday or short break. There are six stages of the Visitor they spend in your accommodation or at your attraction. going Journey  © home Ease of Journey. The Journey starts when booking a visitor first decides to take a trip and ends when they return home and reminisce about their visit. The destination experience Travel to The destination NEXT PAGE 20 The Visitor Journey © 21
  12. 12. For some parts of the Visitor Journey and to their overall enjoyment.your customers are invisible to you. Applied successfully, the VisitorBut that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t Journey process will improve theconsider how they spend this quality of the service you offer. Ittime. Make your information easily will also increase the likelihood ofaccessible and visitors will be repeat bookings and favourablemore likely to find you and book recommendations. Families,with you. Help visitors with travel older and disabled visitors arearrangements and you can add particularly loyal to businessesvalue to the service you provide that meet their needs. All visitors feel different emotions “Wherever we can we have tried to make Natureland as at each stage of the Visitor Journey. The following pages describe in accessible as possible. We receive no funding so it is For visitors with specific needs, detail each stage of the Visitor important to maximise our opportunities by reaching out to emotions can be stronger. When they Journey. At each point there are the widest audience and encouraging more people to visit.” plan a trip, visitors are likely to feel ways that you can make access frustrated with a lack of information. easier for everyone and help your Richard Yeadon, Natureland, Lincolnshire business stand out from all the rest. When they arrive they might feel Go to the Case studies section anxious about what welcome they’ll to hear more from Richard receive and whether their needs will be met. You can help them to feel more reassured and relaxed at every stage. NEXT PAGE22 The Visitor Journey © 23
  13. 13. . Stimulation, planning and Understand your visitor anticipation “The first stage of trying to get the Know your visitors and you’ll be well on the way to knowing the information to book We don’t see visitors at this • Many visitors we spoke to the holiday is probably types of information they look for stage. But the information had difficulties finding what and what will inspire them to book the hardest.” you provide and the they needed with you. Build a profile of some of way you provide it will • Website descriptions were often your typical visitors. For example: determine whether or not incomplete and sometimes Elizabeth Bowe, East you win their business. didn’t match what visitors had Midlands’ resident Seniors read in leaflets or brochures • Couples aged 70+, living within Planning a holiday or short break • Recent audits reveal that a lack More than any other group, families a two-hour drive can be exciting. But it can also of appropriate information is the and disabled visitors can’t risk getting • Take short but frequent breaks be stressful, with visitors feeling biggest barrier to an accessible it wrong at this stage. They can’t take throughout the year frustrated with a lack of holiday or short break in the any chances. • Look for moderate activities detailed information East Midlands within easy access available. They need to check and sometimes • Able to manage a few steps double-check every detail. They but choose accommodation need to seek additional information that has step-free access and to give them reassurance that their uncluttered rooms expectations and needs will be met. • Friendly staff is a key priority, together with quiet areas for relaxing NEXT PAGE 24 Stimulation, planning and anticipation 25
  14. 14. • Appreciate lighter meal options “We use a variety of methods. Encourage visitors to phone Go to What is the benefit to• Use the internet to search, We use the internet and still rely if they have any unanswered my business? section for key facts but ring for personal contact on brochures because often you questions or specific requirements. about the disabled market. Visit the and reassurance get a discrepancy between the think family Q-book for insights on two and you have to double-check. Here’s the message on Hoe the family market.Tailor your information and As a disabled person Grange Holiday’s website:messages to the profile of your you can’t just take Identify your offertypical visitor. But remember that the chance.” “If you have any specific Unlike Hilton hotels or Alton Towerseveryone’s needs are different. Your requirements please contact us theme park, smaller businesses rarelywebsite and brochures should cover J ude Sefton, East to discuss your individual needs have well-known brand identities. Midlands’ visitormost of the information people will and we will do our best to fulfil You may well have a very limitedneed. Although it is impossible to them. Everyone is different, so marketing budget. However thatanticipate every eventuality. please don’t be afraid to ask us for shouldn’t stop you selling your product information or to provide something in a way that helps you stand out from new! We are here to help you make the competition. Maybe you have a the most of your stay.” reputation for good food, spacious Re me mbe r rooms or friendly staff. Make sure that what you are offering is written in a t o a sk v isit ors clear, easy-to-understand and exciting if t he y hav e way. Try summing up your business a ny spec ific in one sentence or asking existing visitors why they chose you. r eq uir e me nt s NEXT PAGE26 Stimulation, planning and anticipation and anticipation 27
  15. 15. Improve your information “We investigated translating our menus into braille. HoweverAll visitors want easy-to-understand because our menus change regularly, we needed a solutionand up-to-date information that is that could be produced more quickly and more cost-quick to find. Review your brochure effectively. Also, not all visually impaired people use braille.and website against the four As Instead, we now record our lunch and à la carte menus onto- information that is Accessible, a MP3 player, which can be used by everyone.”Available, Accurate, Appropriate. Can you provide information A lan Ritson, The Old Bakery Restaurant with Rooms in alternative formats? Braille is“A lot of the important for some blind people but Easy changes: • Make numbers clear (3, 5, 8 andinformation is not two out of three visually impaired • Use large text. 12 point is the 0 can easily be confused)focused enough. people can read clear or large print minimum recommended for • Avoid justifying text. Large gaps ‘Close to the beach’ (RNIB 2008). This can be produced general use. Large print should can be confusing.to me means you have to drop on a computer by changing font size be at least 14 point. Great for • Don’t use italics or CAPITALSonto the beach, but you might and typeface. Recording information the visually impaired as well as for large blocks of textfind it’s half a mile away. It’s about onto an audiocassette or MP3 will guests who have forgotten to • Use pictograms and symbolsterminology and awareness. How help visitors who don’t read braille bring their glasses! to help users navigate textdo you become aware that ‘close’ or large print. Email is also a cheap • Use clear typefaces such as • Use images showing a diverseto you is not ‘close’ to me?” and easy way to communicate with Arial or Univers range of visitors at your business a visually impaired person. • Use contrasting colours For more help, order a copy of Geoff Gaisford, East • Avoid using red text RNIB’s See it Right guidelines. Midlands’ resident NEXT PAGE28 Stimulation, planning and anticipation 29
  16. 16. “We offer information in different Is your information Check information For accommodation:languages as well as large print. up to date and consistent must-haves • Clear pictures and detailsThe braille guidebooks are also across different sources? Consider the key information of rooms and facilitieswell-used.” that your visitors will need. Price, • Floor plans and measurements location, facilities and nearby things (for an example, see Check your description on tourist to see and do are key factors when www.elmsfarmcottages.co.uk/G lynn Wilton, board websites. Is it up to date? visitors choose accommodation. accessibility.html)Crich Tramway Village, Derbyshire How are you described on Activities to suit all members of consumer review sites such as the group are also important for For attractions: www.tripadvisor.com? visitor attractions. Make sure these • Opening and closing times and key details are no more than one or recommended length of visit Provide your local tourist information two clicks from your homepage. • Must-see activities and events, centre with a list of your accessible updated regularly facilities and remember to update • Wet weather options them as things change. Other important details to include: • Clear email address and fax number, especially for those who have difficulties using telephones j • Address and travel information (see Travel to the destination section for more details) • An Access Statement (see page 35) • Assurance of quality through a recognised rating NEXT PAGE30 Stimulation, planning and anticipation 31
  17. 17. Use plain English Make your website Where to go for help • A guide to commissioning Using plain English is good practice. accessible • Web Content Accessibility accessible websites – PASIt also helps people with a learning If you have an accessible website, Guidelines (WCAG), Website 78 – available on www.disability and readers whose first more people will be able to read it. Accessibility Initiative (WAI) - equalityhumanrights.comlanguage is not English Your potential audience can include the definitive and internationally• Use short, easy-to-understand people with dyslexia or learning accepted guidelines • How to be a web-savvy sentences disabilities, readers whose first www.w3.org/WAI accommodation business,• Avoid words you would never use language is not English, people VisitBritain – includes a in speech e.g. use ‘near’ instead of new to the Internet and readers • See it Right, RNIB – a practical helpful chapter on making ‘in the vicinity of’; ‘use’ instead of with visual impairments. and achievable guide to most of sites accessible ‘utilise’ WCAG checkpoints www.enjoyenglanddirect.• Less is more. Particularly when www.rnib.org.uk/xpedio/groups/ com/SearchResult. writing for websites. Accessible sites are easier for public/documents/ublicWebsite/ aspx?KeyWords=savvy search engines to find and therefore public_seeitright.hcsp often have higher rankings. “Se e it Rig - a n e a syt” h guide to we bsit e a c c e ssibilit y! NEXT PAGE32 Stimulation, planning and anticipation 33
  18. 18. The WAI guidelines can be daunting • Avoid long sentences in italics. “People should write a list of what they have so that we canbut small changes can make a big They are hard to read on low see if it meets our needs.”difference. Here are some easy resolution screens. Access Consumer Research, VisitBritain 2007changes for your website: • Structure content in a logical order• Enable the user to switch to • Offer a choice of colours and “We have an Access Statement. It took me a couple of days a larger font size colour contrast to measure everything, but it gives visitors a good idea of• Have a good contrast between • Make sure your designers what we offer. It is also useful preparation for my National text and background are familiar with WAI’s web Accessible Scheme assessment.”• Use pictograms e.g. of a car, bus accessibility guidelines when Felicity Brown, Hoe Grange Holidays, Derbyshire to indicate transport you upgrade your website or information. This helps commission a new one readers with learning disabililties, dyslexia Check your reception service welcome them. Mystery shop your on your website and/or in print of the or who don’t have VisitBritain’s recent access research reception/information desk regularly. facilities and services you offer. Look English as their shows that when reception staff are Make sure all your staff are as aware at examples from other businesses. first language. not forthcoming about what facilities as you about the available facilities They vary in detail. Start by stating are available, visitors assume the and access information. some of the basics. staff have a poor attitude towards disabled people and would not Prepare an Access Statement Examples to look at: Producing an Access Statement • www.ellenhousebandbmatlock. doesn’t have to be difficult. It is co.uk/facilities.htm – a simple, simply a clear and honest description yet informative Statement NEXT PAGE34 Stimulation, planning and anticipation 35
  19. 19. • www.hoegrangeholidays.co.uk/ In the East Midlands all businesses • Lift features e.g. talking, braille, • Equipment hire e.g. hoist, accessibility.html – Hoe Grange are encouraged to provide an Access tactile, signage, emergency wheelchair Holidays, Derbyshire Statement. VisitBritain requires procedure • Availability of interconnecting• www.visitbritain.com/ businesses to produce a Statement • Braille, tactile signage rooms accessstatements – for as part of their star rating scheme. • Facilities provided in • Location of accessible more information and a accommodation e.g. teletext TVs, accommodation and other facilities comprehensive template Information you could put cordless kettles in your Access Statement • Accessibility of leisure facilities For more details of what to include, (National Accessible Scheme, • Alternative access to building view the template at www.visitbritain. “Even though I’ve seen VisitBritain) • Accessible information: menus, com/accessstatements and read information • Public transport provision brochures, information, website on the internet, I still • Parking facilities and drop off • Staff training have to call and ask points • Colour contrast of floor, walls, specific questions.” • Porterage service for luggage doorways and furniture or cars • Details of adapted accommodation Stella Musiyiwa, East • Steps to entrances • Policy of acceptance of service Midlands’ resident • Automatic or revolving doors dogs • Ground floor level throughout • Room service provision e.g. • Provisions made for changes 24 hours of level on ground floor • Waitress service provision • Numbers of storeys and lift • Well-lit corridors positions • Mobile phone network availability NEXT PAGE36 Stimulation, planning and anticipation 37
  20. 20. Get a rating Assurance Service (VAQAS), which Benefits of having a The NAS information pack is free ofA star rating from either VisitBritain includes over 800 attractions across NAS rating charge. At the very least, you shouldor the AA puts you immediately the country. • Provides independent reassurance complete their self-survey form, whichahead of other businesses offering that your facilities have been will help identify any barriers andsimilar facilities and service. You The National Accessible Scheme assessed to a national standard highlight any improvements you cancan use the star rating logos in (NAS), operated by VisitBritain and • Gives confidence to promote your make. These improvements are oftenyour marketing materials and take Tourism for All UK, awards ratings facilities to people with disabilities inexpensive. www.tourismtrade.org.advantage of marketing opportunities to accommodation establishments • Offers marketing opportunities, uk/quality/assessmentstandards/only available to assessed based on the level of access. including a listing in Easy Access nationalaccessibleschemeaccommodation. VisitBritain also It has three separate standards Britain – The guide to accessibleruns the Visitor Attraction Quality each with varying levels for visitors places to stay. Visitors can also Update online information with hearing, mobility and visual search for NAS accessible Every year Destination Management impairments. Currently, only 2% accommodation on tourist Partnerships contact businesses to of star rated accommodation in board websites. collect information for visitor websites. England has a NAS rating. Over time, this will start to include information on accessibility. This is part of a wider European project Apply f or a called OSSATE (One Stop Shop sta r ra t in for Accessible Tourism in Europe) g - an online mechanism to provide a sa p! additional information to visitors about tourism businesses. NEXT PAGE38 Stimulation, planning and anticipation 39
  21. 21. Get to know your local area • www.tourismtrade.org.uk/ “Get a copy of the NationalThink about other businesses that Images/National%20Accessible Accessible Scheme booklet.visitors will come into contact with. %20Scheme%20Benefits%20% It is an excellent guide toThe cafe round the corner, the local 20Advice_tcm12-11482.pdf – the measurements and takingtaxi firm, nearby attractions. How benefits of joining the National those firstcan you work together to improve Accessible Scheme steps to beingthe experience for those with • RNIB transcription services more accessible.”specific needs? T 01733 37 53 70 F 01733 37 53 79For example, find out how E busdev@rnib.org.uk Carol Emerson, Elms Farm Cottages,accessible your local pub is. LincolnshireDo they have any steps at theentrance or inside, wider parkingspaces, space to move betweentables, large-print menus? Ge t a c op yUseful information and o f t hewebsites “N a t iona l• www.plainenglish.co.uk/ Ac c e ssible howto.pdf – a guide to writing in plain English Sc he me” bookle t NEXT PAGE40 Stimulation, planning and anticipation 41
  22. 22. . Ease of booking Like every customer, disabled “The proprietor was very friendly visitors must have accurate answers and helpful. When I asked about Booking can be an anxious Some visitors, particularly those to their specific questions. It’s the layout of the room and the time for visitors. Speed with disabilities, are anxious about important that you provide top- space to the side of the bed, she of booking is important the accuracy of information. They quality information. actually went to measure so that but many visitors also worry whether the experience will she could be very accurate in want accurate answers to live up to expectations. You can Make pricing clear her description.” specific questions. They build your visitors’ confidence by • Make sure prices are easy to find need reassurance that your providing a thoughtful service at on your website (within two or Experiential audit, Experience business is friendly and the booking stage. You can help three clicks) and consistent with Nottinghamshire 2008 welcoming to their needs. visitors start to look forward to your brochure their trip. • Be clear about what is included • Make sure that disabled guests and excluded don’t pay a premium rate to stay • If you vary prices by season or in an accessible room times of the week, be careful not • Consider flexible family tickets to confuse that allow for different numbers • Don’t charge for facilities and of adults and children, including services that could be considered grandparents and carers. In some as discrimination under the DDA. attractions, carers go free. For example, you can’t charge for a braille menu. NEXT PAGE 42 Ease of booking 43
  23. 23. • Do a quick price comparison with “Telephone conversations are “We encourage guests to fill Build a relationship your competitors. You don’t have hard as people don’t talk into out a booking form to capture Use the booking as a time to get to charge the same, but you do the mouthpiece well and their any specific requests before to know your visitors and ask need to show that you offer value pitch/tone is often hard to hear. they arrive. We have a large about any particular requirements for money. I usually start the phone call font version.” – vegetarian food, arriving early,• Review cancellation charges. and then have to get my wife to celebrating a special occasion etc. For example, are they flexible for finish it off.” Lynne Tipper, The If you handle the booking process disabled people who may need to Chatsworth, Lincolnshire well, your customers will feel you change arrangements at the last value them. If you don’t they will feel Access Consumer minute because of illness? Can Research, VisitBritain Don’t lose customers like an anonymous booking number. you be flexible for carers too? 2007 If you don’t have availability, consider: • Asking visitors if their dates are rovide different bookingP flexible “When reserving themethods Make sure you test your booking • Developing relationships with accommodation, I ask ourProvide as many different ways methods on a regular basis. How nearby star rated, accessible guests if they have any specificof booking as you can manage many clicks does it take to book accommodation you can needs. I give directions, ask if(phone, online, email, third party online? Any more than three and recommend they need a taxi and if they arewebsites). Your visitors will each visitors might move onto someone • Asking about what facilities and staying with us to celebrate ahave different preferences. else’s website. services they want, sending them special occasion. I also enquire a brochure and asking if you can how they heard about Browns.” keep their details on your database Joan Brown, Browns, Nottinghamshire NEXT PAGE44 Ease of booking 45
  24. 24. Confirm and build excitement “We like to find out what visitors are interested in and then I send All visitors need to feel confident them relevant brochures e.g. walking, golf, churches.” that their booking has been made and their details are correct. Carol Emerson, Elms Farm Cottages, Lincolnshire Disabled people in particular also need reassurance that any specific Go to the Case studies section requests have been registered to hear more from Carol and can be delivered. How do you currently do this? Your follow-up communication (in the format that the visitor has specified they prefer) could also include: • Directions and instructions on arrival (see Travel to the destination section) • Specific facilities or services you might offer e.g. shopping service for items they want when they arrive • nformation about the surrounding I area, nearby attractions and events - depending on the reason for their visit NEXT PAGE46 Ease of booking 47
  25. 25. . Travel to the destination Help with information • Full address and prominent Use your local knowledge to offer postcode for Sat Nav and online clear directions and advice on travel route planners As an accommodation or It’s particularly stressful for visitors options. This is especially important • Clear instructions for arrival by attraction business you might with disabilities. if you’re in an isolated location. Bear car, train, bus and taxi think that you don’t have any in mind that your guests may be • Distance and directions from influence over this stage. But Many disabled people have to plan arriving when it’s dark. nearest rail and bus stations you can help. their travel well in advance. Most • Links to rail and bus routes and public transport operators require at Your website should have a timetables Travelling can be stressful, least 24 hours notice for assistance. prominent Travel page. You might • Railcard information e.g. Disabled especially with children and/or Some travellers can find journeys also consider sending an email Person’s Railcard, Family Railcard a lot of luggage. tiring and may need to stop several with more tailored instructions. • Taxi numbers of companies with times for comfort breaks. Information to consider: accessible taxis plus estimated costs from key stations • Average driving times and mileage from key cities and towns • Convenient refreshment stops and things to see and do en route. Have you done your homework to find out how accessible these are too? NEXT PAGE 48 Travel to the destination 49
  26. 26. • Real time traffic information e.g. Make the arrival easy Asking for an approximate time of National Express East Coast www.keepmoving.co.uk, Let visitors know what to expect on arrival will help you to manage the next www.nationalexpresseastcoast. www.theaa.com/travelwatch/ arrival. For example: stage of the Visitor Journey. But be com/en/Onboard-Our-Trains1/ travel_news.jsp AA Roadwatch • Designated wider space(s) for aware that disabled people might have General-Information-Assisted-• Accessible public transport disabled, older and family visitors to stop more frequently en route so Travel/General-Information/ and station facilities (see • If you don’t have easily accessible may need more flexibility. Assisted Travel team 08457 225225 useful websites right), including parking, let visitors know where accessible taxis the nearest Blue Badge parking Accessible transport National Express is. Find your nearest spaces, information www.nationalexpress.com/why_ how much they cost or choose/disabled.cfm whether they are free at East Midlands Trains http://bluebadge.direct.gov.uk. www.eastmidlandstrains. • The length of route from the car to co.uk/EMTrains/Legal/ the entrance and type of path e.g. DPPPandAccessibility.htm gravel, tarmac Assisted travel bookings • Arrangements for visitors to drop off 08457 221 125 luggage early50 Travel to destination the destination GH NEXT PAGE 51
  27. 27. East Midlands Airport – Nottingham, A Senior Railcard costs £24 and Rail station accessibility maps www.nationalrail.co.uk/passenger_Leicester, Derby gives those aged 60 and over 1/3 Maps showing which stations have services/disabled_passengers/www.eastmidlandsairport.com/ off standard and first class rail fares access to platforms without using accessibility_maps.htmemaweb.nsf/Content/Access throughout Great Britain. steps and an idea of staffing levels.General enquiries for disabled people0871 919 9000 A Family Railcard costs £24 and gives 1/3 off adult fares and 60%Railcards off kid’s fares on travel throughoutA Disabled Person’s Railcard costs Great Britain.£18 and gives 1/3 off most standardand first class fares throughout These are the current prices for MarchGreat Britain. 2008. To check latest prices go to www.railcard.co.uk NEXT PAGE52 Travel to the destination 53
  28. 28. . The destination experience Make a good first impression • Are accessible car parking spaces easy to locate and within easy Easy changes: reach of the entrance? • Is your entrance clearly marked? • Are buildings and grounds in a After booking and travelling, Will visitors find everything • Are your star rating/National good state of repair? visitors are now half way they were guaranteed over the Accessible Scheme/VAQAS • Are paths free of weeds and through their Visitor Journey. phone, on your website and in logos prominent (subject to trip hazards? You now see them for the your brochure? planning permission)? • If you have steps to the entrance, first time. Their anticipation do you have handrails to help is high. Will your promises It is now time for you to deliver. “What I’d like staff to do is just guests who are unsteady on their live up to expectations? be more relaxed about my feet - from young toddlers to visitors First impressions are created arrival. The greeting, meeting with arthritis? even before visitors meet and the treating are what • Is the door easy to open and you at the reception desk or makes the trip the are doormats flush with the ticket booth. most successful floor surface? experience that • Can visitors call ahead for you could have.” assistance and are you or your staff always there to meet and greet? Peter White, BBC • Do you offer to bring in disability affairs luggage for guests? correspondent • Do you offer refreshments on arrival? • Is the experience all you have promised? NEXT PAGE 54 The destination experience 55
  29. 29. “If staff know you Deliver a positive welcome • Be prepared to write down • Make provisions for visitors in All visitors like to be acknowledged information for visitors with wheelchairs and those of us who are arriving, the little and welcomed. They might be a hearing impairment are not six foot tall by offering things make all the difference – to open a door feeling stressed after a difficult • Be ready to complete forms on a clipboard or a low counter or journey when they were stuck in behalf of guests table. Better still, let visitors check and to bring in some baggage. Because if I’ve got mother on traffic, held up by a late connection • Consider buying an induction loop. in when they are in their room. or simply exhausted with impatient A portable hearing loop system for one arm, handbag on the other, children or carrying bulky equipment. counters and desks costs around Review your information: I haven’t got any hands to bring in a suitcase as well.” A warm friendly smile, reassuring £130, www.rnid.org.uk/shop. • Reassure visitors about any information and easy check-in/ Can you join together with local special arrangements they made ticketing procedures will go a long businesses or associations and when they booked Sue Wilson, East Midlands’ resident way to make visitors feel relieved buy some equipment to share? • Provide information on key facilities and relaxed. and emergency procedures • Ask all visitors if they have any Review your arrival area: specific needs or anything you • Make sure the entrance and can help them with reception/ticket office are well lit • Provide a seat close to the Re me mbe r reception area/ticket office to be on ha nd • Consider fast-tracking for those who can’t stand in long queues to gre e t v isitor s! NEXT PAGE56 The destination experience 57
  30. 30. • Make sure all staff are aware of Deliver a friendly service Some areas to consider: • At the very least, encourage staff visitors with specific needs • Make sure staff are easily to read the Department for Work• Be careful not to overload visitors “You can have the most identifiable and Pension’s quick tips about with information at this stage. physically accessible building • Empower staff to respond to customers with disabilities You can provide extra information in the world, but if you don’t get situations. Customers often don’t www.dwp.gov.uk/employers/ in rooms or in your attraction’s the motivation and training of care who answers their question dda/customers_hints.asp leaflet. staff right and that awareness of as long as they get an answer. people’s needs whether they are • Give staff time to speak to visitors disabled or not, you haven’t got an and encourage staff to ask how accessible inclusive environment.” they can help • Undertake disability and inclusion awareness training. Peter White SRA consumer research highlights that you don’t need formal training to be able to give good customer service to disabled Research shows that where people. However courses such as there is a high level of awareness Welcome All can give staff more and customer service, disabled confidence and help them feel more visitors have the most positive relaxed. Contact your Destination holiday experiences. Management Partnership for more details. NEXT PAGE58 The destination experience 59
  31. 31. Provide a consistent level • Ask staff to research local During an access audit in “Have aof service transport, places to eat and the East Midlands recognition andDelivering a consistent level of attractions and find out which “I alerted the receptionist that I was awareness ofcustomer service, with good product are the most accessible/family- unable to climb stairs and would needs. Everyoneknowledge can be challenging, friendly/best value etc need assistance in the event of an who has a disability orespecially when you have seasonal • Arrange staff visits to nearby emergency. She replied: ‘We are not particular need doesn’t wearstaff and regular changes of shift. attractions and accommodation legally responsible to get you out, we a badge, so you have to beSome ideas: so they can talk about them are just obliged to point out the fire vigilant. Training is important.”• Make sure all staff are familiar knowledgeably notices/routes.’ I asked if they had with your facilities and information any refuge areas or an evacuation R onnie Clark, Holiday and any possible problem areas chair and was told that they had Inn Rugby/Northampton• Give all staff a copy of your “If a guest is late for a meal, nothing like that. Access Statement so they can staff will go to their room to see see at a glance the facilities and if they can assist.” I later spoke to the manager. He services you offer confirmed that they did have an Lynne Tipper, The Chatsworth, evacuation chair and that procedures Lincolnshire were in place to ensure I would be assisted to a place of safety. He said they were legally responsible to make sure I was safe.” NEXT PAGE60 The destination experience 61 61

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