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What is an Access Statement?

Access Statements

Access Statements help visitors with access requirements to plan a day out to your attraction or overnight stay at your accommodation.  These visitors may be wheelchair users, mothers with pushchairs, the elderly, people with arthritis, impaired hearing, impaired mobility, impaired sight or learning difficulties. These potential visitors are unlikely to consider visiting your business if this information if not available to them.

What is an access statement and why produce one?

  • An Access Statement is a clear,accurate and above all honest description of your current facilities and services.
  • The purpose of an Access Statement is to enable a potential visitor to make an informed decision as to whether your attraction/accommodation meets their particular access needs.
  • An Access Statement can enhance the quality of service you offer to all of your visitors and can be a valuable marketing tool for your business.
  • In order to become join the Quality in Tourism scheme, businesses need to create an access statement.

The production of an access statement is also likely to benefit your business in marketing it to a wider cross section of the public. VisitEngland provides a simple, standard template for businesses to complete.

Visit England has recently launched a new online tool link will open in new window to make it easier to create an access statement.   This free tool now offers bespoke guidance according to the business type and in doing so provides operators with the information they need to create a crobus Access Statement.

The National Accessible Scheme (NAS)

...promoting your accessible accommodation...

It has never been more important to make small improvements to your business to keep one step ahead of your competition. By 2025, more than one third of the UK's population will be over 55*.  We are all living longer, so it is important to recognise that the baby boomers may need a little extra help whilst on holiday. The National Accessible Scheme provides a set of recognised standards against which you can be assessed and awarded a rating based on your awareness and work on disabled access.

The ratings indicate to disabled guests that you are both 'disabled-friendly' and prepared for their stay. This gives you a direct route into the large, but under-tapped, disabled market.

The National Accessible Scheme standards for serviced, self-catering and now holiday park accommodation cover three types of impairment: mobility, hearing and visual. There are four categories for mobility plus an additional accolade 'access exceptional' and two each for visual and hearing impairment with level 1 being the minimum entry requirement.

Why take part?

  • The business potential - Research shows that there are approximately 2.7 million potential holiday-makers with disabilities in the UK who regularly travel, and millions more abroad.
  • Confidence to promote your facilities as accessible - The ratings identify your establishment as one which has been assessed and approved to a national standard. Attaining a rating and using it in your marketing increases the visibility of your property and can improve business.
  • It will help you comply with the law - The National Accessible Scheme cannot guarantee compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act, however, achieving a rating will demonstrate your recognition of and commitment to the importance of accessibility.

'Staying One step ahead'

VisitEngland has refreshed the entry-level mobility standard of the National Accessible Scheme (M1).  The standard, called 'One step ahead', will help you increase the appeal of your business - even though you may have steps to the front door or no way of providing a ground floor bedroom.

'One step ahead' will help you see your business from the perspective of older guests and those who are a little less mobile.  Taking part in this scheme has many benefits, including a visit from a specialist assessor and the use of the scheme logo in your marketing.  Your business will also be searchable on visitsoutheastengland.com, enjoyengland.com, visitbritain.com and tourismforall.org.uk as accessible accommodation (non-quality assessed accommodation will not receive a listing on the VisitSouthEastEngland, VisitEngland and VisitBritain suite of websites and tourismforall.org.uk).

What do I need to do to get the 'One Step Ahead' rating?

Probably not a great deal, as it is likely that your business already meets most of the 'One Step Ahead' standard.  Along with your public areas, only one guest room and bathroom needs to meet the standard.  Are your doors easy to open and your public areas clutter-free?  For further information visit Visit England or download the brochure above.

 

 
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