After writing about various days out and ways of keeping ourselves entertained, I kept thinking of other great places to visit.
For myself, as a person who is blind, I have often been surprised at what accessibility adaptations some of these places have made.
Accessing churches and cathedrals with a disability
I remember visiting Canterbury Cathedral, where I was presented with a map that was in the shape of the cathedral, along with braille identifying the different areas of the building. I don’t read braille, but the shape of the map gave me some insight into the building that I was visiting, and my wife could show me on the map where we were standing. For people who can read braille, it would be an even more useful asset.
Unfortunately, churches and cathedrals are not very accessible for wheelchair users, as there are lots of steps, which cannot be altered. This being said, a lot of places have tried to at least make some areas accessible.
Seeing the lack of accessible churches and cathedrals demonstrates how people with disabilities were not thought about back in history, so it’s refreshing to see that times are changing.
Accessibility problems when visiting zoos and safari parks with assistance dogs
I’ve had a mixed experience at zoos and safari parks with accessibility. Some of them allow assistance dogs in zoos, whereas others do not.
Some zoos and safari parks only supply kennels for assistance dogs. The problem with this is, that Guide Dogs advice is not to leave them in a kennel, as they are used to being out and about and not left alone. Also, there is no one actually at these facilities to look after them. In these cases, where it is not advised to take a dog, I arrange for a dog sitter to pop in, during the morning and afternoon, to keep the dog company.
I suppose there is an obvious reason for this policy, but the problem is some allow assistance dogs to visit and others don’t. We just have to hope that their website is accessible, and the important information can easily be found before setting off for the day.
A good experience for wheelchair users and those with visual impairments on distillery and factory tours
I have visited a number of distilleries, which I have found accessible and informative. There is normally a person showing you around, providing you with commentary and answering any questions. I think, apart from going up some steps to see the top of the vats, there is a lot of room for wheelchair users.
The same can be said about factory tours – whether it is for wool products or a tasty chocolates. I have not actually been to many of these, but the presumption is that they all should be accessible. These are working environments, so people who have a disability should also be able to work there, meaning accessibility should be one of the first things on their agenda.
Accessible boat tours provide an enjoyable experience for all
I find that there is nothing like the experience of having a trip on the water.
The sea can be exciting, lakes provide relaxation, and canal trips give a tranquil experience.
Normally all of these trips are accessible, as simple adjustments allow everyone to get on a boat. Along with physical adjustments, like most tours, there is also normally a guide to describe what is going on and what people can see.
All these thoughts and adjustments make the experience enjoyable for a person with a disability. Providing the opportunity to accompany family members, which makes a big difference.
Do you think places are accessible for those with disabilities?
Think of your favourite day out and if for some reason you had to be in a wheelchair after breaking a leg, or something along those lines, could you still go out for the day?
If your first answer is no, take a look at the place and see what they can offer. You may be surprised at what can be achieved in a wheelchair, or with any other disability.
There are so many amazing places that can be accessed and enjoyed by everyone, don’t let having a disability stop you from enjoying a great day out.