New destination Access Guides for Windsor and Eton, developed thanks to a partnership between the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead and AccessAble, have been launched today.
VisitWindsor, the official tourism arm of the council, has worked with AccessAble, the UK’s leading provider of detailed disabled access information, to produce the guides which help residents and visitors with access requirements to plan their journeys to and around both towns.
The guides, which were launched at an event at the Learning Centre, Windsor Castle, feature local businesses and tourist attractions and make it easier for disabled people and carers to access services and facilities and have a good experience while they are visiting a business or destination.
The guides include hotels, restaurants, shops, theatres and train stations and AccessAble’s surveying team collected information, figures, and photographs, with the guides covering everything from parking facilities and hearing loops, to walking distances and accessible toilets. The team considered mobility, sensory, learning difficulty and mental health requirements and, while the main focus is on assisting disabled people and carers, the guides are also relevant for older people and those with anxiety.
The free Access Guides are available via the Visit Windsor website at www.windsor.gov.uk, at www.AccessAble.co.uk and on the AccessAble App. Hard copies will also be available shortly in Windsor, Eton Wick, Ascot and Maidenhead libraries.
Councillor Samantha Rayner, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for business, corporate and residents’ services, culture and heritage and Windsor, said: “The guides will enable disabled people and carers to make informed choices before travelling and to plan their journeys to our fantastic Royal Borough, giving those with accessibility needs more confidence when planning their day out or longer stay in the historic heart of our borough. The local businesses and attractions already take disabled access and inclusivity seriously, and this partnership project means this information is all in one place and is part of the Royal Borough’s commitment to greater diversity, inclusion and accessibility.
“These guides contain information relevant to people with a wide range of requirements, from mobility to sensory, learning difficulty to mental health, and describe access step-by-step as you journey into and throughout a venue – a unique and valuable resource.
“My thanks to the VisitWindsor team and AccessAble for all their work on this initiative, which will of great benefit to many, makes visiting these key tourist destinations a more inclusive experience and means more people can fully enjoy what the towns have to offer.”
David Livermore, Director of Business Development at AccessAble, said: “We were delighted to work in partnership with VisitWindsor to create Access Guides to venues in Windsor and Eton, the first to consider town centre access needs of visitors to these leading tourism destinations, as well as residents. The AccessAble website and App will enhance the experience for everyone, giving people access to crucial detail on the go. We hope that other organisations will look to follow VisitWindsor’s example and partner with us in our mission to enable disabled people to have greater freedom in exploring visitor destinations.”
The guides have been developed with input from the Disability and Inclusion Forum. Vice-chair Lisa Hughes said: “The Windsor & Eton Access Guides are brilliant. They give visitors and residents comprehensive, factual information to help us understand whether and how a venue can meet our individual access needs. They will benefit local businesses and attractions as more people will have the confidence to visit and spend money in our borough.”
Additionally, AccessAble has provided Disability Essentials online training, to equip 250 people to engage with disabled people confidently and using appropriate skills. This was offered to local businesses that did not currently provide their own in-house training.