Easy does itSimple, low-cost changes to benefit you and your visitors
TheEasy does it              Simple, low-cost changes to benefit you and your visitors                                    ...
Easy does it             Simple, low-cost changes to benefit you and your visitors                                        ...
Stress-free travel – simple changesEasy does it            Simple, low-cost changes to benefit you and your visitors      ...
Easy does it             Simple, low-cost changes to benefit you and your visitors      Stage four      They’re here – wha...
Easy does it              Simple, low-cost changes to benefit you and your visitors      Stage five                       ...
Where to get more help• Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG),         • The National Accessible Scheme (NAS),  Webs...
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Simple, low-cost changes to benefit you and your visitor

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Easy does it

  1. 1. Easy does itSimple, low-cost changes to benefit you and your visitors
  2. 2. TheEasy does it Simple, low-cost changes to benefit you and your visitors Remember not all disabilities are obvious e.g. asthma, diabetes and allergies – when you list some of the invisible disabilities it really gets you thinking…Accessibility …diabetics need to plan meal times carefully to control their blood sugarGuide I want a smile, a levels, asthmatics require hypo-allergenic bedding not feathers, people who are hard of hearing require vibrating alarms …these are all areas where it’s easy and inexpensive to respond. warm welcome and a vibrating alarm… If building your business plenty of disabled people – a gran who’s hard of It’s good business It’s a legal requirement matters, take 60 seconds to hearing, a child with reading difficulties, someone who walks with a stick, someone who wears • The over 50s buy 40% more holidays than the Embrace the spirit of the Disability read a section of the visitor glasses. Very few would actually call themselves under 30s, averaging five or six breaks per year Discrimination Act (DDA)* and don’t fight it. journey in this booklet. disabled though. So our understanding of Professor Richard Scase, 2005, Global Remix disability tends to leap to extremes and whilst they The DDA does not seek to put people out of Tourism businesses with improved accessibility are important and shouldn’t be ignored, it’s easy • There is correlation between ageing and business. It seeks to help all citizens to enjoy appeal to a wider range of visitors. It’s not just to stereotype. Only 8% of disabled people use a disability. Impairments and disability increase the same services that others take for granted. disabled visitors who benefit; it’s families, older wheelchair, so it’s not always about door widths, substantially after the age of 45. Treated positively, it provides an opportunity people, practically all your visitors in one way ramps and lifts. Far more people are partially www.employers-forum.co.uk for business development ensuring that your or another. sighted than blind. Far more people have a service is accessible to a wider audience. hearing impairment than are deaf. • Consumer spending among the UKs 50-69 There are enough ideas about access year-olds currently runs at £300bn a year Many tourism businesses worry that the DDA improvements to fill an encyclopedia. This leaflet We want the tourism industry to be more relaxed Mintel research quoted in the Guardian means vast expense, when the reality is that concentrates on suggestions that can be achieved about accessibility and to see people who are common sense is often the only requirement at little or no cost and it’s often these smaller disabled simply as members of the community. • The spending power of disabled people in the needed to break down existing barriers. changes that have the biggest impact. UK alone is estimated to be worth £80 billion Why should you bother? Because there’s an www.dwp.gov.uk The DDA expects tourism businesses to make Some businesses find disability a bit scary and are ageing population. The baby boomers are getting reasonable adjustments. This leaflet takes you daunted by what they think they have to do. But older. They still want a good time, they’ve got • More than five million over 55s visited Britain through the visitor journey and offers helpful most people, if they stop and think about it, know money to spend and you ignore them at your peril! from overseas, representing one in six of our tips for making reasonable adjustments 30 million inbound visitors. This upward trend is (see back cover for information about the DDA). set to continue. VisitBritain *Replaced by the Equality Act 2010, see www.visitengland.org/access • The UK market is ageing. It is estimated that by 2025 more than a third of the UK’s population will be over 55. People are living longer and staying active until much later in life. VisitBritain • The singles market is the fastest growth sector, particularly women, and they are more likely to be ‘older’ travellers, in the 45-74 age group Professor Richard Scase, 2005, Global Remix 02 03
  3. 3. Easy does it Simple, low-cost changes to benefit you and your visitors Stage one Making a decision to go on a trip is part one Attracting visitors in the first Clear information – simple changes Prepare an access statement of the six-stage visitor journey which lasts through • Use large text. 12 point is the minimum. Producing an access statement sounds like place – what to consider? to returning home and remembering the visit. Large print should be at least 14, but hard work, but it doesn’t have to be. It is a clear For some parts of the visitor journey your 16 is best. and honest description of the facilities and You don’t see visitors at this stage, but the customers are invisible to you, but that doesn’t • Use clear typefaces such as sans serif services you offer which is available on your information you provide and the way you provide it mean you shouldn’t consider how they spend this typefaces e.g. Arial, Univers or Verdana website and/or in hard copy. Look at examples determines whether or not you win their business. time. Make your information easily accessible and • Ensure contrast between text and from other businesses and you’ll find they vary visitors will be more likely to find it and book with background. Avoid using red text. in detail. You don’t have to gather every detail Improve your marketing information you. Help visitors with travel arrangements and • Avoid justifying text as large gaps can all at once. Get started with the basics and add All visitors want easy-to-understand and you add value to the service you provide and their be confusing to it (see back cover for details). up-to-date information that is quick to find. overall enjoyment. Using the visitor journey • Don’t use italics or capitals for large Review your brochure and website using the process improves the quality of the service you blocks of text Get to know your local area information in this section. offer, increasing the likelihood of repeat bookings • Use pictograms and symbols to help users Think about other businesses that visitors will and favourable recommendations. Families, older navigate text come into contact with. The local pub, the local Provide information in alternative formats and disabled visitors are particularly loyal to those • Use images with a diverse range of visitors taxi firm or nearby attractions. For example, Braille is essential for some blind people, but two businesses that meet their needs and they will • Structure content in a logical order find out how accessible your local pub is. Do out of three visually-impaired people can read tell others! • Use plain English and avoid long sentences they have any steps at the front or internally, clear or large print. RNIB 2008 • When you commission a new website or wider parking spaces, room to move between upgrade, make sure your designers are tables, large print menus? How many familiar with WAI’s web accessibility accessible cars does the taxi firm have? guidelines (see back cover for details) What are the opening hours of the town’s Shopmobility scheme? Check information held by third parties While you’re doing this research don’t forget to Is your information up-to-date and consistent promote your facilities to other local businesses across different sources? Check the description of to get referrals. your accessible facilities on tourist board websites. Provide your local tourist information centre with a list of your accessible facilities and remember to update them as things change. Other important details you can include on your website and in your brochure: • Clear email address and fax number, especially for those who have difficulty using a telephone • Address and travel information • An access statement (see above right) • Assurance of quality and accessibility through an official rating i.e. a star rating or National Accessible Scheme rating • Clear pictures and details of rooms and facilities • Floor plans and measurements 04 05
  4. 4. Stress-free travel – simple changesEasy does it Simple, low-cost changes to benefit you and your visitors • Full address and prominent postcode for Sat Nav and online route planners • Clear instructions of how to find you when travelling by car or taxi • Distance and directions from nearest rail and bus stations • Links to rail, coach and bus routes and timetables with relevant access information Stage two Stage three • Railcard information e.g. Disabled Making your booking/enquiry Provide different booking methods Taking the stress out of Person’s Railcard. Provide as many different ways of booking as you processes easier – travel – what to consider? • Accessible taxi company numbers, with can manage (phone, fax, text phone, online, email, estimated costs from key stations what to consider? third party websites). Every visitor will have their As an accommodation or attraction business you • Average driving times and mileage from own preference. key cities, towns and motorways might think you have no control over this stage. But you can help. Travelling can be stressful, • Convenient refreshment stops and things to Transparent pricing – simple changes Check your reception staff’s knowledge especially for those with children, for disabled see and do en route. Have you done your • Make sure prices are easy to locate on your of your product visitors and even for those with lots of luggage. homework to find out how accessible these website (within two or three clicks) and are Regularly mystery shop your reception/ are too? consistent with your brochure information/ticketing desk to ensure staff are as Many disabled people have to plan travel well in • Real time traffic information e.g. • Be clear about what is included and excluded aware as you are about the available facilities and advance. Most public transport operators require www.keepmoving.co.uk • Don’t charge extra for facilities and services how to use them. Provide ongoing training for a minimum of 24 hours notice for guaranteed • If you don’t have easily accessible parking, that could be considered as discrimination staff so they are prepared and professional when assistance. locate your nearest Blue Badge parking under the DDA. For example, you can’t meeting the needs of disabled visitors. and the cost (see back cover for details) charge for a braille menu or a premium rate to stay in an accessible room. Help with information Reassure and build excitement Make the arrival easy • Consider flexible family tickets that allow Use your local knowledge to give advice on travel All visitors need to feel confident that their Let visitors know what to expect on arrival. for different numbers of adults and children, options and clear directions. Your website could booking has been made and their details are For example: including grandparents and carers. In some have a prominent Travel page and you could also correct. Disabled people in particular need • Is parking on- or off-street? attractions and accommodation, carers go free. send an email with more tailored instructions. reassurance that any specific requests have been • Are accessible car parking spaces easy to • Review cancellation charges. Are they acknowledged and can be delivered. How do you locate and within easy reach of the flexible for disabled people who may need currently handle this? Your follow-up entrance, and have you reserved one? to change arrangements at the last minute communication could include: • The length of route from the car to the due to illness? Can you be flexible for • Directions and instructions for arrival entrance and type of path (e.g. gravel, carers too? • Specific facilities or services you might offer tarmac, level, slight incline) e.g. shopping service to buy in items for • Arrangements for visitors to drop off visitors’ arrival luggage early • Information about the surrounding area, nearby attractions and upcoming events, depending on the reason for their visit 06 07 03
  5. 5. Easy does it Simple, low-cost changes to benefit you and your visitors Stage four They’re here – what to consider? Review your information • Provide well-lit tables for those with visual Make access easy in your attraction • Remind and reassure visitors of any specific impairments • Provide good signage throughout. Consider This may be the first time you see them – it’s time arrangements they made at the time of booking • Have the ability to reserve particular tables large print, contrasting and tactile signs. to deliver on your promises! • Provide information on key facilities and • Use table blocks to increase height of tables • Make sure interpretation can be viewed by all emergency procedures • Provide a selection of seats with and without arms e.g. children and wheelchair users • Ask all visitors if they have any specific needs • Contrast colours e.g. avoid using white • Provide interpretation in different formats First impressions – simple changes or anything you can help them with crockery, white linen and clear glasses all • Consider large print and tactile interpretation • Is your entrance clearly marked? together on a table setting • Fast track those unable to stand in a queue • Are paths free of weeds and trip hazards? Provide a consistent level of service • Provide areas away from music or noise for for long periods of time • If you have steps to the entrance, do you • Make sure that all staff are equally familiar hearing-impaired guests • Install seating, especially on steep inclines, long have hand rails to help those unsteady on with your facilities, information and any routes or near to children’s play areas so that their feet (from young toddlers to those known barriers Make access easy in your accommodation parents or grandparents can supervise easily with arthritis)? • Give all staff a copy of your access statement • Provide room information in different formats • Is the door easy to open and are the door so they can see at a glance the facilities and • Consider flexibility of furniture when Send for a National Accessible Scheme pack from mats flush with the floor surface? services available. Better still, ask them to purchasing/updating. Zip and link beds offer VisitEngland. At the very least you should complete • Can visitors call ahead for assistance and help prepare it. more combinations for disabled the self assessment form, which will help identify is someone always on hand to meet, greet • Ask staff to research local transport, places to people/partners/carers. Freestanding furniture any barriers and highlight improvements you can and show around? eat and attractions and find out which are the also offers the flexibility to be removed if required. make. The pack also contains information on how most accessible • Use blocks to raise beds to apply for a rating (see back cover for details). • Arrange visits to nearby attractions/accommodation • Place coloured towels within a white bathroom Review the environment so they can talk about them knowledgeably to provide a visual contrast • Make sure the entrance and reception/ticket • Provide phones with large buttons office are well lit Remove any barriers • Provide portable vibrating alarms for visitors not • Provide seating close to the reception Not all improvements require major refurbishment able to hear an audible fire alarm area/ticket office or expense. • Have vibrating alarm clocks with flashing lights • Consider fast-tracking for those who can’t stand • Pictogram signs e.g. knife and fork and clock available (vibrating alarm clock around £17, for a period of time face showing meal times to help those with vibrating pillow alarm clock around £34 • Be prepared to write down information for learning disabilities, dyslexia and where English www.rnid.org.uk/shop/). Remember, you visitors with hearing impairments is not the first language can share resources with others locally. • Be ready to complete forms on behalf of guests • Written signs in a large, clear typeface • Have a magnifying glass/magnifying sheet handy • Consider buying an induction loop (around • Contrasting colours for door frames, skirting • Enable Teletext and subtitles on TVs £130 for a portable loop system for counters boards, door handles and edges of steps • Provide bowls of water for assistance dogs and desks www.rnid.org.uk/shop/). If you • Good lighting throughout, especially in eating • Make chair and floor throws available for are a small business, can you join together with areas and toilets service dogs to assist with housekeeping local businesses or associations and buy a few • Safety markings on large glazed areas • Provide quieter areas with no background noise pieces of equipment to share? for those with hearing impairments • In accommodation where you can’t lower the Improve access in eating areas • Have lever taps in bathrooms/kitchens reception desk/table, offer to check in guests in • Read menus aloud or consider downloading the bedroom for those who can’t use higher onto an audio player e.g. MP3, CD, tape Look at your rooms as a visitor does. Is there levels e.g. wheelchair users • Provide adequate space to move space to manoeuvre? Is it easy to draw curtains in between areas or to open a window? Can taps in bathrooms be • Have the flexibility to move tables around easily turned on and off? Is it obvious which is the hot tap? 08 09
  6. 6. Easy does it Simple, low-cost changes to benefit you and your visitors Stage five Stage six Time to go home – Secure feedback Sweet dreams, memories When you undertake research consider: When thanking visitors for their custom, ask • Including a range of people – families, older what to consider? and keeping in touch – for their feedback. This is the best opportunity and disabled people. Approach local access to learn more about your visitors and their what to consider? groups and organisations run by disabled people. If all has gone well your visitors will feel content thoughts on how accessible your • Using a range of mechanisms to allow the that they’ve had a great time and be sad to be Your customer is back at home. If all has gone well accommodation/attraction really is. They visit widest range of people to participate e.g. leaving. But for those who find travel difficult, they should be feeling content, happy and lots of places and may pass on some useful tips email, telephone, face-to-face the stress might be building. nostalgic as they reminisce to friends, colleagues picked up elsewhere. • Review evaluation forms – do you ask what and family. Regularly test any accessible equipment you’ve Offer flexible arrangements for check out could have made their visit more enjoyable? purchased and keep training topped up. • If visitors want to leave early, can you offer Keep reviewing • Consider more creative/quick ways of asking a morning alarm call, flexible breakfast From time to time, undertake more in-depth for feedback e.g. post-it notes, post cards Do one thing today - develop an action arrangements, pre-booked taxi? research with visitors to help inform future plans • Encourage staff to ask customers about their plan of simple changes • If later, can you consider a flexible check out and test out new ideas. Research doesn’t have to visit and to write down what they say Take one new idea from each stage of the journey time or offer a secure storage area for luggage? be expensive. Can you ask a local school or • Make a record of any visitor each month and if you have other people working preferences/specific requirements and ask college to undertake the research and analyse for you, involve them. Your action plan for this Help with the journey the results for you? to keep their details on record so that you month could look something like this… • Find out where they are going next - have can keep in touch timetables and travel information ready • Let visitors know about any changes you’ve • Remember that most public transport services Visitor journey Action When Who made as a result of their feedback. The need at least 24 hours notice to arrange Sunday Times in 2007 reported that 90% of assistance for disabled travellers businesses seek feedback, 50% act on it, yet Stage 1 Develop access statement • Be ready to advise on stop-off points only 5% tell customers what they’ve done – using VisitEngland Online Tool • Can you offer refreshments for the journey? tell them! Stage 2 Develop crib sheet with key measurements, facilities and services offered Stage 3 Add travel distances from transport hubs onto website Stage 4 Review policy for checking in guests who need additional help Stage 5 Understand more about advance booking of services for disabled passengers Stage 6 Approach local access groups to be involved in future research 10 11
  7. 7. Where to get more help• Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), • The National Accessible Scheme (NAS), Website Accessibility Initiative (WAI) - the operated by VisitEngland, awards ratings to definitive and internationally accepted guidelines accommodation establishments based on the www.w3.org/WAI level of access. The NAS information pack is free of charge.• See it Right, RNIB Guidance - a practical and www.visitengland.com/NAS achievable mixture of most of WCAG checkpoints www.rnib.org.uk • Access statement guidance and Online Tool www.visitengland.com/accessstatements• A guide to commissioning accessible websites - PAS 78 • Blue Badge parking www.equalityhumanrights.com www.bluebadge.direct.gov.uk• How to be a web-savvy accommodation business, • The Equality Act 2010 Includes a helpful chapter on making sites www.equalityhumanrights.com accessible www.visitengland.org • Information provider to help disabled and older people to travel www.tourismforall.org.ukPublished by VisitEngland The information in this publication is given1 Palace Street, London, SW1E 5HX in good faith and every effort has been madeT: 0207 578 1400 to ensure its accuracy. VisitEngland can acceptF: 0207 578 1405 no responsibility for any error orwww.visitengland.org misrepresentation. All liability for loss, disappointment, negligence or other damageVisitEngland incorporated under the caused by reliance on the information containedDevelopment of Tourism Act 1969 as the in this publication is hereby excluded.British Tourist Authority Printed in England© British Tourist Authority(trading as VisitEngland) 2008Photography creditsBritainonview.com/ SGS-COC-003257Daniel Bosworth: 11Martin Brent: 02, 11Rod Edwards: 02, 04, 06, 09, 11Pawel Libera: 09Tony Pleavin: 09Grant Pritchard: 02Visitlondonimages/britainonview: 11