Many of us face a world seemingly built against us and wonder if things will ever get better, but a recent opportunity gave me hope for accessibility, so I wanted to share.
I recently went for a day out to a local stately home run by the national trust, and I vlogged my experience on my YouTube channel and wrote a post about how accessible it was. I want to start doing this once a month to try and help us to find more places to go out for the day with a little more information.
I emailed the post and video to the generic email on the website honestly not thinking too much about it. So, I was very much surprised to receive an email from one of the people who work there inviting me for a chat about how they can improve the experience for disabled visitors.
Yesterday me and my husband went back to Shugborough, a little nervous but mainly excited at such a cool and rare opportunity. You see, most of the time disabled people are not asked, we are not invited to the table to talk about accessibility instead able-bodied people look around and try to figure out what we could need. It meant a lot that the stately home so close to me invited me to the table.
The person I met with was so nice and interested in what I had to say, honestly, they are doing a really good job and the main issue was communication. I think this is a big issue most places have, and I have spent far too much time trawling through websites trying to find accessible booking no matter information!
Planning a trip out for many, not all, but many disabled people is something that is rare and can cause a great deal of anxiety. Knowing where to go how much walking is involved, how accessible certain areas are, if the bathrooms are completely accessible, is there an adult changing area etc are often things we don’t know until we arrive.
Getting to speak to Emyr in person and chat through a few ideas as well as knowing that I can speak to them in future with ideas is something that really gave me hope for accessibility. It was so nice to feel heard after so long feeling like I didn’t exist in a world that I don’t seem to have a voice in.
After, our chat I came away knowing that they were going to think about the few things I mentioned and how to improve communication with disabled visitors. This is something that is a big conversation in the National Trust at the moment as they try to find ways to make listed buildings more accessible.
I highly recommend Shugborough if you are disabled, they have some amazing ways to make your experience the best it can be and that is constantly improving. I do have a vlog of my day so go check that out and the other blog post where I talk about my experience.
Knowing there are people trying so hard to improve our experience really does give me hope for accessibility in the future. It was so nice to be asked to have a chat and I’m excited to go back and try out their motorised vehicles you can hire for the nature walks.
Thank you xx