Access Fylde Coast is an exciting project. It’s played a major part in boosting tourism and supporting the local economy across the Fylde Coast. They’ve done that by making it an outstanding location for people with disabilities.
Here at Visit Fylde Coast we want to carry on that good work and provide you with information about accessible venues and things to make your time here more enjoyable.
We’ll try to share tips and information for visitors and users. Plus ways in which businesses can be more accommodating of people with different needs.
Worldwide, 1 billion people have disabilities, with 13 million here in the UK alone.
- Accessibility for Everyone
- Make your Business Accessible
- More about the Access Fylde Coast Project
- While you’re here…
Accessibility for Everyone
A new digital app links with the popular and widely-used Blackpool Transport App. It makes it easier for people to find disability-friendly places, toilets and special facilities. That way you can fully experience all that the area has to offer.
Have you downloaded the Blackpool Transport App yet? In the ‘Things To Do’ section under ‘Attractions’ you’ll find an Easy Read format and a British Sign Language video for many of the popular places here on the Fylde Coast. It makes finding out about attractions across the Fylde Coast that bit easier if you’ve got a sensory disability.
Access to Public Toilets
Everyone needs public toilets when they go out. For many people knowing where they are is vital in planning a journey. Bladder and bowel problems create hidden disabilities for many thousands of people.
- Visit Fylde Coast is compiling a list of toilets across the Fylde Coast.
- Changing Places are special toilet facilities for disabled adults. Find out where the Changing Places toilets are on the Fylde Coast.
- Use the same website to find find Changing Places toilets anywhere in the UK.
Interactive Toilet Map
Access Fylde Coast created an interactive map to help people locate toilets. It includes accessible toilets and changing places and they want to add your business to it, if you have a toilet which people can use.
People with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well as people with other physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis often need extra equipment and space to allow them to use toilets safely and comfortably.
Campaign for Chairs
Here at Visit Fylde Coast we understand how important it is for people to be able to sit down while they’re out and about.
Not only is it a help to the customer, it’s also financially beneficial to the retailer. Being able to rest awhile enables the customer to carry on shopping, instead of leaving to find somewhere where they can sit down.
We’re doing our bit with our Campaign for Chairs. If you know where the chairs are pop us an email and we’ll add them to the list. Let’s make the Fylde Coast the most comfortable place in the country to shop!
If you’re visiting the Fylde Coast for a holiday you might need to hire a wheelchair or scooter during your stay.
These are available from MillerCare on 01253 764 054. Please mention you saw it on Visit Fylde Coast if you contact them!
Make your Business Accessible
Be Accessible and Welcoming
Small steps really do make a big difference to the 1 billion worldwide and 13 million people in the UK with disabilities. Being more accessible does not need to be a costly affair; it’s mostly about about being welcoming.
Disabled people and their families spend £3 billion in the UK every year in our UK businesses. Being accessible is not just ethically the right thing to do but commercially very lucrative too. By helping open your doors to a wider audience, it will attract more people to your business and open it up to more repeat custom.
If you’ve got a step that you can’t do anything about, or you can’t shift things around to clear and widen aisles, don’t worry. It’s not just about the physical aspects; it’s about staff feeling comfortable and confident with disabled people. Not worrying about opening the door for a wheelchair user, or guiding a person with a visual impairment. Not being worried about saying the wrong thing.
Access Fylde Coast produced a free, online disability awareness flip book. It’s in small bite-size sections, so it’s easy to pick up and read in little snatches of time. It will help you and your staff to gain more of an awareness of disabilities.
From conversing with people, to understanding hidden disabilities, and finding out about environment, attitude and organisational barriers, the flipbook will help. Quickly and easily give your staff an understanding of visible and hidden disabilities and how they can offer support.
Click on the image to download and print the pages that are relevant to your business
Keeping Disability part of the Conversation
The Access Fylde Coast pilot project has now finished, but its work still lives on. So much has been achieved over 2 years.
From helping more than 500 businesses become more inclusive to enhancing 13 major events with British Sign Language and accessible toilets. Access Fylde Coast helped to break down stereotypes, change perceptions of disability and enabled businesses to better support disabled customers.
What’s the ‘Purple Pound’?
The ‘grey pound’ is used to describe the spending power of older people. The ‘purple pound’ is the spending power of disabled people and their families. There are around seven million people of working age who all have some kind of disability.
It’s worth £249 billion and is rising by an average of 14% per annum. Yet it’s estimated that less than 10% of businesses have a targeted plan to access this disability market. Purple Tuesday’s research shows that more than 80% of disabled people say businesses could do more to be accessible and encourage them to spend money.
When someone says ‘disability’ the first thing you may think of is a wheelchair. But that’s far from the whole story. Many disabilities and long term health conditions are invisible. They also control people’s lives in wide ranging ways which you might not imagine.
Making your business welcoming and accessible to everyone is not only a ‘nice thing to do’. It’s also a great way to make your business more profitable.
The purple pound is fast becoming a spending power that your business can’t afford to ignore.
This national initiative takes place in November each year, shining the spotlight on inclusion.
Blackpool Tower, Lytham Windmill and the dome at the Marine Hall in Fleetwood all turned purple on Tuesday, November 12 2019. It was part of a series of events to encourage businesses to help change lives by providing a positive customer experience to disabled people. All part of a national initiative to inspire change.
We’re putting the Fylde Coast on the map for giving a warm welcomes to people with physical, sensory, learning disabilities and mental health conditions.
For the first time in 2019, the Fylde Coast was the first major centre outside of London making a big push for positive change. The aim is to make Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde a positive and inclusive destination for all.
What’s in the pipeline to keep disability a conversation across the Fylde Coast in the years to come?
Boost Your Business! with FREE Online Disability Awareness Training
Even though the Access Fylde Coast project has drawn to a close YOU CAN STILL COMPLETE TRAINING.
Did you know that a huge 75% of people with a disability have left a business or website because they were unable to complete their purchase easily? How easy is it in your business or on your website for people with disabilities to find and buy what they need?
We are all human; we feel awkward, we feel uncomfortable, we don’t know what to say or how to act around disabled people. You might worry that enhancements to improve accessibility will cost the earth.
Education is the best way to change attitudes and break down barriers. Training for you and your staff will ensure that everyone is informed and confident. Making your business inclusive to all.
Disability Awareness Training is FREE
Disability Awareness training is completely FREE. It will give you an understanding of hidden and visible disabilities and how small inexpensive changes can reap a large return and make a big difference.
- Online – simply click on link below
- Quick to get started
- Only takes 15 minutes per module
- Complete it at your own pace
- Log in and it takes you back to where you left off
There are only 6 modules to complete and it is the same content as the face-to-face training, so you are in no way missing out. Each section takes approximately 15 minutes. Complete it in your own time and you’ll receive an accredited “Disability Awareness Certificate” on successful completion.
There is no catch – it’s completely free.
More about the Access Fylde Coast Project
Access Fylde Coast is spearheaded by Blackpool charity Disability First. It will help break down the barriers of disability. That includes hidden disabilities, such as sensory, mental health and learning disabilities. It will help business across the district benefit from an estimated £14.8m* of additional spending from disabled visitors.
The Access Fylde Coast project helped businesses in Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre to be accessibility friendly to visitors and local people. It did this by:
- Enhancing disability access and awareness to boost tourism and bolster the Fylde Coast economy.
- Bringing high-profile performers to the Fylde Coast. Enhancing events with accessible toilets, British Sign Language translation and more to make events accessible for everyone.
FACT: Businesses that are helpful and accessible to disabled people will attract more customers.
Making it easier for people with health conditions and disabilities to access hotels, retailers, tourist attractions and events will enable you to benefit from additional spending. An estimated £14.8m is expected to be generated over the next three years. Shouldn’t your business be part of it?
The project was possible thanks to £985,922 funding from the Coastal Communities Fund.
Making the Fylde Coast Accessible
Access Fylde Coast launched in April 2019. It helped businesses across the Fylde Coast make their businesses more accessible through free access guides. More people now better understand the issues faced by people with disabilities thanks to the project’s disability awareness training.
It’s not rocket-science. Small changes, such as attitude, which is free, make your business more attractive to customers. Use the free online training and access guides, and be one of the businesses making a difference.”
While you’re here…
Have a look at the Visit Fylde Coast website homepage for more of the latest updates.
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