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  • 1. Q-bookthink accessEasy for you, easy for visitors t t ouris ns o a ttracti
  • 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. . 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 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. 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. . 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. . 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. 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 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. 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 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• 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. 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 B&B 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. .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. In brief: the DDA This does not mean that small Useful informationand your business businesses can ignore this For more information visit•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 – 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. . 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. 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. . 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. • 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. 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 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. “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 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: 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. 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 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 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. 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 – a simple, simply a clear and honest description yet informative Statement NEXT PAGE34 Stimulation, planning and anticipation 35
  • 19. •  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•  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. 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. 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. Get to know your local area •  “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 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• 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. . 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. • 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. 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. . 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. • Real time traffic information e.g.  Make the arrival easy Asking for an approximate time of National Express East Coast, Let visitors know what to expect on arrival will help you to manage the next www.nationalexpresseastcoast. 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 how much they cost or choose/disabled.cfm whether they are free at East Midlands Trains www.eastmidlandstrains. • The length of route from the car to 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. East Midlands Airport – Nottingham, A Senior Railcard costs £24 and Rail station accessibility maps, Derby gives those aged 60 and over 1/3 Maps showing which stations have services/disabled_passengers/ 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 NEXT PAGE52 Travel to the destination 53
  • 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. “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, • 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. • 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 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. 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
  • 32. Improve your access • Contrasting colours for door frames,  Make access easy in your • Magnifying glass Not all improvements require major skirting boards, door handles and accommodation • Teletext and subtitles on TVs refurbishment or expense. Some edges of steps Easy changes: • Bowls of water for assistance dogs easy changes: •  Good lighting everywhere, • Room information in  • Quieter areas with no background • Pictogram signs (knife and fork,  especially in eating areas and toilets different formats noise for guests with hearing clock face etc) to help guests who •  Safety markings on large glazed • Blocks to raise tables and beds  impairments don’t understand much English or areas • Coloured towels in a white  who have learning disabilities or •  Ability to turn down/turn off bathroom “The bedroom of the hotel I’m dyslexia background music • Phones with large buttons  staying in has some of the best• Written signs in a large, clear  • Alarm clocks with flashing lights  facilities I’ve seen in a long typeface Longer-term improvements that help • Portable vibrating alarms for  time. The accommodation has many visitors include good level visitors who can’t hear audible fire enhanced the whole stay and I access throughout, accessible toilets alarms. A vibrating alarm clock haven’t had to worry about how and baby-changing facilities that Dad costs around £17, a vibrating I’m going to cope. Knowing that can also use. pillow alarm clock around £34 means I can get on and enjoy my stay and not have Consider joining together with niggles and doubts.” local businesses and associations to buy some equipment to share. J  ude Sefton, East Midlands’ visitor NEXT PAGE62 The destination experience 63
  • 33. Look at your rooms as a visitor Make access easy at Are your audio and guided tours particularly good for those withdoes. Is there space to manoeuvre? your attraction accessible to people with hearing visual impairments.”Is it easy to draw curtains? Can Easy changes: impairments? Do you have ataps in bathrooms be easily turned • Good signage everywhere member of staff who is interested Go to the case studieson and off? Is it obvious which • Interpretation at heights that are in being trained in British Sign section to hear more from Richard.tap is hot or cold? Lever taps are suitable for children and visitors in Language? particularly good for some wheelchairs Muncaster Castle in Cumbria disabled people. • Interpretation in different formats. arranges ‘Drive Thru’ evenings for Consider large print and tactile visitors with restricted mobility, when signs. Go to www.actiondeafness. the illuminated gardens and castle • Fast-tracking for those unable to for further information. can be enjoyed from the comfort of stand for long periods of time Alternatively, make sure written a car. This has allowed the Castle • Seating, especially near to  transcripts are available. to create additional income and children’s play areas so that helped them to win the Cumbria parents and grandparents can At Natureland in Lincolnshire, Large Visitor Attraction of the Year supervise easily Director Richard Yeadon says Award in 2006. everyone benefits from their Tourism for Everyone, Department for accessible approach. “The low Work and Pensions. level viewing is great for children and wheelchair users. We have talking information panels that everyone can use, but they are NEXT PAGE64 The destination experience 65
  • 34. Improve access in • Light your tables well to help  “As we have a lot of older • “At Poachers Hideaway we pride eating areas guests with visual impairments ourselves on exceeding visitor guests, we have a waitress-• If your menus are not available •  Allow guests to reserve particular served restaurant. It’s easier expectations. We provide meals in braille, make sure staff read tables for people who have travelled long for them than trying to balance out the menus. Or consider •  Supply colour-contrasted table a plate with walking sticks or a distances, give guided walks to downloading onto a MP3, CD or settings e.g. white crockery on a those who are new to the area cassette player. dark table frame.” and use organic produce from our•  Allow enough space for guests to •  Offer quiet areas away from noise own garden.” Andrew Tuxworth, move easily between areas and other visitors L  ynne Tipper, Poachers Hideaway, Lincolnshire.•  Be flexible with positioning tables The Chatsworth, •“Families need flexibility. We had Lincolnshire one family group who booked both cabins, so we re-arranged Exceed expectations furniture to provide a larger lounge You should always aim to provide a area in one cabin and the dining higher level of quality service than area in the other.” Felicity Brown, expected. What others are doing: Hoe Grange Holidays, Derbyshire. • “Working in partnership with the  Wheelyboat Trust has allowed Go to the Case studies us to introduce a boat, specially section to hear more from Felicity. adapted for wheelchair users.” Ben Young, Carsington Water, Derbyshire. NEXT PAGE66 The destination experience 67
  • 35. . Going home Offer flexible arrangements for check out •Be ready to advise on stop-off points • If visitors want to leave early, • Can you offer refreshments for the can you offer a morning alarm, journey? It’s time for visitors to leave. breakfast option, pre-booked taxi? “You want to come home If all has gone well they will and for your children to say •If later, can you consider a flexible Secure feedback be feeling content that they’ve check out time or offer a secure Thank visitors for coming and ask had a great time and sad to be ‘thanks mum, thanks dad storage area for luggage? for their feedback. This is the best leaving. But for those who I really enjoyed that’. Not opportunity to learn more about your find travel difficult, the stress be disappointed because they Help with the journey visitors and how accessible your haven’t been might be building. able to join in.” • Have timetables and travel accommodation/attraction really is. information ready • Review evaluation forms – do you Concentrate on the following •Remember that most public ask what could have made their four areas of quality service to Sharon Bateman, East transport services need at least visit more enjoyable? make sure your visitors have a Midlands’ resident 24 hours notice to arrange for • Consider more creative ways of smooth and stress-free check out. assistance for disabled travellers asking for feedback – post-it notes, scrapbooks for children • Encourage staff to ask customers about their visit and to write down what they say , ing ms, ms a m m llia h ha N o W illia W i t in g Mr N o t NEXT PAGE tt s Mr 68 Going home 69
  • 36. “When our guests depart, we want them to have• Make a record of any visitor • Let visitors know about any memories of an excellent breakfast, to feel special and preferences/specific requirements changes you’ve made as a result leave with a smile, wanting to return.” and ask to keep their details on of their feedback. The Sunday record so that you can keep in touch Times in 2007 reported that 90% of businesses seek feedback, Joan Browns, Browns, Nottinghamshire 50% act on it, yet only 5% tell “We encourage customers what they’ve done. guests to put comments in the Leave a lasting impression guest book about How do you deliver a memorable the facilities they like and goodbye? Some ideas: places they have been to so • Make a point of thanking that we and other guests learn customers for their visit from each other.” • Consider producing small items with your contact details Felicity Brown, Hoe prominently displayed for visitors Grange Holidays, to take away Derbyshire • Make visitors aware that they can  book with you for your next trip and tell them about any incentives/ discounts for repeat bookings and referrals NEXT PAGE70 Going home 71
  • 37. . Recollection of the experience • Keep in touch throughout the year. Let visitors know of any “If you do find improvements you’ve made, staff somewhere that Your customer is now back at Past customers are your best news, events and special offers. makes them welcome, they home. If all has gone well they source of future business. Repeat Sending a card at Christmas or might go a couple of weekends should be feeling content, visits and recommendations are New Year can create a lasting or even three weekends a year.” happy and nostalgic as they valuable. Customers with specific impression and puts you in talk to friends, colleagues and requirements are especially loyal people’s minds for the year ahead. family about their trip. to businesses that offered good Sue Wilson, East experiences. Midlands’ resident “Simply engage visitors. Ask them whether Keeping in touch, reviewing your there’s anything you product and planning for the could have done better, future will help guarantee your Keep in touch anything you did particularly guests return. • Make a point of contacting well. It may be the only customers a few days after their opportunity you’ve got to get visit. Thank them for coming. Ask feedback. Once they’ve gone, them for feedback if you have they might be gone forever.” not already done so and remind them of any future incentives. This need be no more than a postcard Keith Richards, ABTA of the area or your business. NEXT PAGE 72 Recollection of the experience 73
  • 38. • Remember to make your • Include a range of people – “We bring in people an action plan and a timetable of communications accessible. families, older and disabled people improvements that you can make who don’t usually visit See Stimulation, planning • Approach local access groups us and get them to when you have the time and money. and anticipation section for and organisations run by disabled test our facilities. For information on accessible people Ease of access for all visitors should example, some visitors struggled guidance. • Use a range of mechanisms to with a steep track, so we raised be a major consideration when you allow the widest range of people to plan renovations, update facilities, the track and changed the angleKeep under review participate - email, telephone, face- buy new items or look for new to make it easier.”From time to time, undertake more to-face premises. Keep customers informedin-depth research with visitors. This with information about any planscan help you decide on future plans Research doesn’t have to be Ben Young, Carsington for changes on your website andand test out new ideas. When you expensive. Can you ask a local Water, Derbyshire Access Statement.undertake research make sure you: school or college to undertake the research and analyse results Plan for the future for you? Think access has focused on the “You can’t stand still. You’ve small low cost or no cost changes got to keep looking for ways to Regularly test any equipment such that can make a big difference improve. But if you can’t do it all as hearing/induction loops, vibrating to the majority of visitors. But it at once, do it gradually.” alarms. Take time out each day to is also important to plan ahead look at your business as a visitor and consider larger changes that L  ynne Tipper, does. If you see something that can help even more visitors enjoy The Chatsworth, Lincolnshire needs changing, tens or hundreds your business. You don’t have to of visitors will also have seen it. do everything at once. Start with NEXT PAGE74 Recollection of the experience 75
  • 39. . Case study Marketing manager, Lydia Wilson How did you make the talks about their approach to attraction accessible? Bosworth Battlefield Bosworth Battlefield is a improving the quality of the First, we undertook a mystery Leicestershire VisitBritain Quality Assured visitor experience. shopping exercise. We involved a Visitor Attraction. range of people including families, Lydia Wilson, Marketing Manager What does accessibility older visitors and ethnic groups, It is the site of the 1485 battle mean? and not just those who had visited that ended the War of the Roses. For some, it is a tick-box exercise before. They made mystery shopper Bosworth Battlefield is near to to say you have particular facilities phone calls and visits to find out Market Bosworth and is owned and services in place. My job is to where the gaps were. and managed by Leicestershire get more bums on seats and for County Council. The attraction was each visitor to spend more money What did you change? awarded a lottery grant in 2004 and while they are here. In order to do Businesses tend to see pound signs the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage that, we need to offer something when access is mentioned. But little Centre and Country Park now for all visitors and look at how we changes often have the biggest includes the Tithe Barn Restaurant, can make their experiences better. impact. For example, in the shop our indoor space for conferences, We look at what customers need books were lined up to show their meetings and education visits rather than what their disability is. spines as we thought it made and new exhibition space. it easier to see titles and to fit more in. However, people told us that it was E DAY TWO KINGS · ON b at t l e f i e l d h e r i tag e c e n t r e NEXT PAGE and country park 76 Case study 77
  • 40. difficult to pull out the books by the What markets are you How do you continue tospine. We’ve now changed the layout targeting? develop the attraction?and have introduced test copies of We are actively targeting the We have an access action plan.our best sellers (like the lipsticks in grey pound and looking at There are lots of changes I wouldBoots!) so that visitors can easily see multi-generational experiences. like to make but need more moneywhat they are buying. On some of Grandparents are looking after more to do so. But that doesn’t mean What are your top tipsthe books where we’ve changed from children and the market is growing. that I take them off the action plan, to other business in thespine to cover-facing displays, sales We now have a grandparent ticket as they are still important. For East Midlands?have increased by 200%. and have introduced activities that example, we really need an adult • Stop thinking about access as grandparents will feel comfortable changing facility. access. Think about how youWe tested out buggies and wheel- with. For example, we don’t want can maximise your sales bychairs in our restaurant and then Grandads to feel awkward if they We also continue to test and review encouraging the widest rangedecided to turn tables around to create can’t run around. our product through a focus group of of people to visit, and you’ll getmore space. It hasn’t reduced the users that I set up. They look at, for everyone on board.number of covers we can cater for and Do you work with your local example, copy for our leaflets and • Get yourself a focus also means that our staff and visitors tourist information centre? the design of interpretation boards. You don’t have to pay consultants.can get around more easily. Staff To make sure staff have a high In return we invite them to events Go out there and do it yourself.also offer to carry trays to tables. awareness of the attraction, we and send them free tickets. It hardly produced a fact file for them. We costs us anything and the input they have regular familiarisation trips have is invaluable. View more tourism case studies at and phone the tourist information centre to let staff know about case_tourism.asp upcoming developments and events. NEXT PAGE78 Case study 79
  • 41. . Case study The cottages have been awarded Do visitors choose your mobility, visual and hearing ratings cottages because they are ELMS FARM COTTAGES Gold winners of the 2007 with the National Accessible accessible? Lincolnshire Self Catering Holiday, East Scheme (NAS). Carol describes Yes, a lot of people do. But they also Midlands Tourism Enjoy England the business as “caring and family- choose us because of the overall Carol Emerson, Owner and manager Excellence Awards. run, providing luxury and accessible quality of the cottages. accommodation for all”. Carol and husband John run Elms What was the thinking Farm Cottages. There are eight luxury What do you think makes a behind your development? VisitBritain-rated 4 and 5 star self- tourism business accessible? We did quite a bit of research and catering cottages at Hubberts Bridge, Having something to suit everyone’s found there was a lack of accessible near Boston. The cottages have been needs. For example, our cottages accommodation in our area. converted from derelict farm buildings are on one level and every We felt there was an unrivalled and developed with accessibility doorway is wider. It’s not just opportunity, particularly in light of in mind. There is level access about making your business more the final provisions of the Disability throughout and four cottages have wet accessible to wheelchair users. It’s Discrimination Act, which were due rooms, height-adjustable washbasins, also families or perhaps someone to come into force a few months shower seats and showerheads. that has just had a hip or knee after we were planning to open. operation. Everyone benefits from accessible accommodation. NEXT PAGE 80 Case study 81
  • 42. It was difficult to find information, How has the marketbut we consulted a number of responded?local disability groups to find out The number of less mobile or disabledexactly what we needed to provide. guests has increased year-on-year,We worked hard not to make it all but it is a slow market to attract. Whilelook too clinical. Even the building they are wary of where they go for theinspector had not seen adjustable first time, once they’ve stayed and arewashbasins before! reassured by our facilities they tend to come back regularly. They are a veryWhy join the National loyal market.Accessible Scheme (NAS)?We knew that we wanted to be star How do you give reassurancerated, so it seemed a natural step to to disabled people bookingjoin the NAS. I think some disabled for the first time? Does being accessible through. We make a guest’s staypeople are aware of the NAS. They We have developed an accessibility encourage guests to return? as comfortable as possible, so theysee the wheelchair symbol on our page on our website. This includes The easy access makes us different want to come back again and and then look at more an Access Statement, floor plans from other accommodation in, including our images, Access and detailed measurements so the area. But ultimately it is theStatement and floor plans. But I do guests can check the position of impression we make on visitors that View more tourism case studies atthink there is a need to get more almost anything in the cottages from makes the difference. We are all out to consumers about the height of the bed to the opening enthusiastic about what we are doing case_tourism.aspthe scheme. width of patio doors. here and that enthusiasm shows NEXT PAGE82 Case study 83
  • 43. . Case study our paying visitors to help keep us open. Wherever we can we have Natureland The Good Britain Guide 2004, tried to make the attraction as Skegness Lincolnshire Family Attraction accessible as possible so that we of the Year. can appeal to the widest range of Richard Yeadon, Director visitors. This helps maximise our Natureland Seal Sanctuary is a opportunities to encourage more VisitBritain Quality Assured Visitor people to visit. Attraction based in Skegness. Richard Yeadon’s father opened the attraction How many visitors in 1965. The one-acre site now has a What makes an attraction have a disability? range of animals and attracts around accessible? This is very hard for us to assess. 120,000 visitors a year. It focuses Everybody should be able to enjoy We have a broad range of visitors. on conservation, education and a visitor attraction, whatever their Disabled people are not just those entertainment. It offers a wide range age or disability. The facilities and who are wheelchair users, so of visitors the opportunity to get environment must therefore be their disabilities are not always closer to nature as part of a day out accessible for them. obvious to us. or longer break in Skegness. Why is it important that Is being easily accessible Natureland is accessible? good for business? It is very important to us. We receive Yes it has helped to improve our no external funding, so we rely on profitability. People choose us NEXT PAGE 84 Case study 85
  • 44. because of the easy access we safety and accessibility. For example, What has been your latest What role do your staff playoffer. While disabled people benefit with some of the animals, we have change to Natureland? in making Natureland moreothers gain as well. We get a lot of to make sure the height of the wall is We have just built a new restaurant, accessible?school parties and older visitors, sufficient to keep them in and to be which we are very proud of. This is Our staff are very important inmany of whom come back for safe for our visitors, but low enough of huge benefit to the visitors, but making sure our visitors enjoy areturn visits. for some visitors such as children and has also meant they stay with us good experience with us. Some wheelchair users to easily see in. longer and spend more money. The team members have attended theHow have you made There is only one area that is not restaurant is fully accessible. It was Welcome All course and all staff areNatureland accessible easily accessible and we have clear tempting to pack in more tables, but encouraged to help visitors whereverfor everyone to enjoy? signs explaining this to visitors. we haven’t done so as it could have possible. It is very important thatSome of our infrastructure dates Information is important. We have made access difficult, particularly for visitors have someone to talk to andback to 1965, so as we work through audio guides, clear labels and use those with pushchairs, wheelchairs are made to feel special every timea programme of refurbishment we pictorial images. and larger groups. they in access requirements. Where do you get advice?Some improvements have been Lincolnshire Tourism, as well as View more tourism case studies ateasier than others. Changing steps building inspectors and health and a slope has not been a problem. safety officers. Being VAQAS rated case_tourism.aspHowever, we found big structural was helpful too as we received somechanges, such as installing our first valuable advice from the assessor.accessible toilet, to be expensive. Wealso have to strike a balance between NEXT PAGE86 Case study 87
  • 45. . Case study One cabin has been designed to accommodation is growing and be fully accessible and has been disabled people have considerable Hoe grange holidays Silver winners of the awarded mobility, visual and hearing spending power. It was a market we Derbyshire 2007 Self Catering Holiday, ratings with the National Accessible could not ignore. It proved to be an East Midlands Tourism Enjoy Scheme (NAS). excellent move as our Hipley cabin is Felicity Brown, Owner England Excellence Awards. always booked months in advance. Why start a self-catering Hoe Grange is a traditional family- business? Where did you get advice run dairy farm on the edge of the As a traditional dairy farm we about making your business Peak District National Park. David recognised that we needed accessible? and Felicity Brown focus on providing to diversify and bring in extra Both the architect and the builder a ‘home from home’ experience income We felt that self-catering were really helpful, as were the and first welcomed guests in would fit in well and help sustain National Accessible Scheme 2006. They have two newly-built the farm business. standards. We also looked at nearby VisitBritain-rated 4 star log cabins. businesses that already offered easy Both cabins are built to a high Why did you decide to make access. We expected them to view specification for comfort and luxury the business accessible? us as competition and be reluctant with a traditional log-fired Swedish We had to do a lot of market to work with us, but everyone was hot tub in the garden. research to get a grant and that is really helpful. We now have a when we discovered just how big the network of contacts and help each market is. Demand for accessible other out and refer bookings. NEXT PAGE 88 Case study 89
  • 46. What do you think makes a alarm clocks with flashing lights/ Is easy access good fortourism business accessible? vibrating modes, a door chime your business?Two things mainly: the first is the available on request and all televisions Yes, definitely. People activelyattitude of the people running have subtitle facilities. While we do choose us because of ourit. They need to be warm and not normally allow pets in the cabins, accessible facilities. With 24% of ourfriendly and make sure guests have assistance dogs are welcome. guests being disabled and repeateverything they need for their stay. visitors, our expectations have beenThe second is to make sure you Who benefits from your exceeded. I don’t think our businessare offering the right facilities for easy access approach? would be doing so well if we hadyour guests. shower with grab rails and all taps A range of people benefit. Older not addressed accessibility. We are lever operated. A shower stool people for example find the fixtures actually wish we had made bothWhat do you offer and bath boards are available on and extra space helpful. The wet- cabins accessible.guests who have easy request and hire of a mobile hoist room is ideal for kids and thereaccess needs? can be arranged. is no worry about water going We are thinking of expanding withWe offer everyone a friendly everywhere. We are also very one or two more cabins and yes,welcome as well as the peace Doorframes, skirting boards, flexible about moving furniture they will definitely be accessible. Itand quiet of the countryside. The door handles and handrails are in around. We had one family book just makes good business sense.Hipley cabin has been designed contrasting colours to help guests both cottages for Christmas, so we allow easy access for everyone with visual impairments. There is also moved the lounge and dining roomwith ramps, level thresholds and a good level of lighting throughout, furniture so that in one cabin they View more tourism case studies atadequate space to manoeuvre. including external lights. For guests had a lounge area and the dining is also a spacious wet-room with hearing impairments, we have area in the other. case_tourism.asp NEXT PAGE90 Case study 91
  • 47. Where to go for more helpUseful guides Case studies, practical advice and Tourism business advice a better business checklist to help How to… guides, VisitBritainProducing accessible information small and medium-sized businesses • Run a quality bed and breakfast See it Right, RNIB www.rnib. with the DDA • Run quality self-catering accommodationdocuments/PublicWebsite/ • Market your accommodation public_seeitright.hcsp National Accessible Scheme (NAS) business effectively Free information pack and • Be a web-savvy accommodation Disability Discrimination Act self survey forms businessDownloadable guides from the and Human Rights quality/assessmentstandards/ Order copies from your DestinationCommission including: nationalaccessiblescheme Management Partnership (see next• What do guest accommodation  page for contact details). owners need to know about the Access Statements law and disability Further information and a template• Theme parks and attractions and  from VisitBritain www.visitbritain. the DDA 1995 com/accessstatements• Organising accessible events NEXT PAGE92 Where to go for more help 93
  • 48. Useful organisations Its role is to oversee delivery of Leicester Shire Promotions Visitor Journey guidance emda’s tourism strategy as well as 0116 225 4015 LiveTourism is a tourismAccess officers contribute to national priorities. consultancy specialising in qualityMany local authorities have an and accessibility. LiveTourismaccess officer and often give Lincolnshire Tourism works with tourism businesses,basic advice on access issues. 01522 561 673 destinations, local authorities,Contact your local council for Destination Management tourism organisations and transportmore information. Partnerships (DMPs) operators to help them deliver The East Midlands has five DMPs Northamptonshire Enterprise Limited quality visitor experiences.Local access groups that are responsible for promoting 01604 609539 LiveTourism 01628 624948Groups of disabled people who the region’s destinations and are www.explorenorthamptonshire. to improve access in their the first point of contact for visitors co.ukcommunities. They can often help and the tourism industry.with advice and provide information Your ideasabout how other businesses have Visit Peak District and Derbyshire We would also like to hear about your good ideas. Think access will besolved access problems. 01332 594542 periodically updated to reflect new research and best practice. Please send your ideas of good practice through to Midlands Tourism (EMT)EMT is the East Midlands Experience Nottinghamshire If you would also like to receive Q-book updates and furtherDevelopment Agency’s (emda) 0115 962 8322 information and advice from East Midlands Tourism, please sayregional tourism development body. so in your email. NEXT PAGE94 Where to go for more help 95
  • 49. Advice from the expertsVisitBritain are aware of your facilities and RNIB British Polio Fellowship services, know how to operateJeremy Brinkworth, General equipment and attend disability Susan Thomas, Leisure and Tess Mitchell, Ron ScudamoreManager Quality awareness training. Wellbeing Manager Holiday Programme Manager• Gather information and start • Make sure staff have the skills • Review all areas of your business writing an access action plan. Tourism for All UK and awareness to deliver an to check there is level access Begin by requesting the National enjoyable experience to visitors where reasonable, and that it is Accessible Scheme pack and Brian Seaman, Head of Consultancy with a sight loss clutter-free to enable all visitors to completing a self-survey. • Check your information is  • Review your information so that move around comfortably• Don’t panic! Simple, low-cost accurate. Include details, images people can find out about what • Check your processes for changes will enable you to and an Access Statement on you offer. Our See It Right pack check-in and ticketing. Do you cater to a larger market. websites and literature. offers guidelines on how to make have a lower area for those in Accessibility is not only about •Encourage staff to ask disabled your information accessible. wheelchairs to use? wheelchair users. Writing an visitors what they want • Take a look at your business • Consider training for staff and Access Statement is an easy way • Make sure seasonal and part- as a visitor would, checking for encourage them to give a friendly, to evaluate your provision. time staff are as familiar with your hazards and obstacles. Think warm welcome and to use• Don’t forget to advertise your services and facilities as your about clear signage, obvious appropriate language facilities and services. Consumer permanent staff markings, colour contrasting • Make sure staff are on hand to research has shown a lack of • At attractions, check that any and clear adjustable lighting. give assistance information about facilities for concessions for disabled • Check signage is clear, located disabled people. people and their companions at key points and visible to all• Your staff are key. Ensure all are advertised staff have a positive attitude, NEXT PAGE96 Advice from the experts 97
  • 50. Think access has been produced by LiveTourismon behalf of East Midlands Tourism Thank you to the businesses and organisations that haveDesign by Bell Design participated in developing think access:Editing by Alison Rice ABTAAlternative formats Bosworth Battlefield, LeicestershireQ-books are available in ebook, pdf Browns, Nottinghamshireand large print text-only formats at Carsington Water, Crich Tramway Village, DerbyshireAlternative formats are available on request. The Chatsworth, Lincolnshire Clumber Park Caravan Club Site, NottinghamshireImportant note Elms Farm Cottages, LincolnshireWhile we have taken every care compiling this Hoe Grange Holidays, Derbyshirebooklet, East Midlands Tourism shall not be Holiday Inn Rugby/Northampton,liable for any inaccuracies contained herein. Northamptonshire Leicestershire Centre for Integrated LivingPhotography credits Lucy Morgan, emdaAlamy: 21,72 Natureland Seal Sanctuary, LincolnshireBosworth Battlefield: 76,79 Nottingham Tourism 11,21,26,30,32,36,37,38,41, Oundle Cottage Breaks, Northamptonshire46,47,48,51,53,54,57,58,59,60,61,64,66,68,93 Poachers Hideaway, LincolnshireEast Midlands Tourism: 19,33,74,93 RNIBElms Farm Cottages: 80,83 Jude Sefton MBE, Access UnlimitedGetty images: 15,21,24,28,42,62 Top Lodge Caravan Club Site, NorthamptonshireHoe Grange Holidays: 88,90 Tourism for All UKistockphoto: 23,34,50 VisitBritainNatureland: 84,85,86 Peter White, BBC Disability Affairs Correspondent Sue Wilson© East Midlands Tourism 2008