DisabledGo is always listening to disabled people who use our website and services.
This section has a lot of detail about how we work. If you are more interested in finding out how to use the website please go to Searching this Site
or if you need more information about the symbols we use please go to Our Symbols
The information provided by DisabledGo aims to empower disabled people to make their own informed decisions as to the usability of a venue based on their own particular access requirements. DisabledGo does not judge a venue’s accessibility, but provides the information needed for individuals to make this choice. You may find venues which are totally unsuitable for your disability but they will have relevance for other people's impairments. Additionally, our research has shown that sometimes it is as important to know what is not accessible to your own individual circumstances as to know what is. That way, journeys are not wasted and evenings are not ruined.
DisabledGo produces access guides in two different formats. These are –
Key Access Review
This is a guide that gives a venue’s address and contact details together with symbols which are awarded based on the surveyor's visit and assessment.
Key Access Reviews are used to cover venues which you spend short periods of time in, for example banks or small high street shops.
Detailed Access Guide
A Detailed Access Guide provides all the information of a Key Access Review together with a lot of detailed information, split down by section. A Detailed Access Guide can provide up to 800 separate pieces of information. Throughout a Detailed Access Guide you will find pictures of the features being described. The guides describe the visitor's journey into and throughout that particular venue. A DisabledGo surveyor gathers every piece of information in person.
Because disabled people have asked us to.
DisabledGo have always worked with disabled people in order to shape the services we deliver.
Consultation meetings are held in every area covered by DisabledGo before any local surveying begins.
After the launch of each local guide DisabledGo sets up a Steering Group. Each group is made up of a wide range of disabled people and individuals ensuring a pan-disability perspective. Steering Group members have play a large part in deciding which questions are asked when our surveyors visit venues.
DisabledGo does not allow venues to "self confess" their state of access because:
• The vast majority of people not trained in disability-access can miss, overlook or not appreciate the reality of the access provided.
• We will not compromise the integrity of our service by relying on third parties for information in which they have a vested interest.
• The majority of venues do not have the expertise or the time to go into the detail that many disabled people need to have to make an effective judgment about the suitability of access.
Every venue is visited by a trained surveyor. The surveyor collects the data on a hand held computer, taking relevant measurements and photographs and talking to a representative of the service face to face.
The survey template that is used can collect over 800 individual pieces of information, per venue, relating to access.
The DisabledGo research template was launched after an initial 2 year consultation period with disabled people. It has then been refined over the past 7 years by DisabledGo involvement events. As a direct result of extensive consultation with disabled people and disability organisations new improvements have been rolled out year on year, improving the detail and breadth of information.
Although DisabledGo's Detailed Access Guides convey a lot of information, they are not Access Audits. The purpose of an Access Audit is to carry out a physical assessment of a building and make recommendations. DisabledGo does not make recommendations. DisabledGo surveyors record a wide range of detailed access information - "we say it as we see it" - so that disabled people are in control by having independent, reliable information from which they can decide whether they wish to go to that venue.
BS8300:2001/9, (a technical document relating to building accessibility) does not form the basis by which DisabledGo symbols are allocated or form the basis for surveyor assessment criteria. This is not to say that BS8300:2001/9 are not referred to or studied. What does form the basis of the criteria is the years of feedback received from disabled people regarding what information they need to know.
The venues which appear on the website come from a variety of sources. Our partner (local council, university, college or NHS Trust) will provide us with a list of their priority venues, often libraries or sports facilities. Local disabled people then give us their suggestions at an initial consultation event and at the Steering Groups. Local businesses may also contact us letting us know they wish to be included.
We aim to survey a good mix of venue types and provide a good geographical spread from across the area we are covering. The mix and accessibility of venues can depend on the character of the area to be covered and the wishes of our council partner and the local community. For example, a Victorian seaside town would differ to a modern New Town. We aim to research the most accessible venues we can find. However, it can sometimes be as important to know what is not accessible so that a trip is not wasted.
Our symbols are designed to represent the access you will find at a venue. We strongly advise users of the website to read the symbol definitions so that you have a good understanding of how they relate to your specific requirements. Please see our symbols
for more information. The criteria for the Wheelchair User, Wheelchair User with Assistance, and Mobility Impaired Walker symbols have been designed to account for the wide range of requirements within each group.
There may be situations where a Wheelchair User with Assistance symbol is applied to a venue, but a particular wheelchair user maybe able to access that venue without assistance. The symbol with assistance will have been awarded to take account of possibilities such as:
• There may be a manual door which one wheelchair user can open easily but another wheelchair user may find very difficult and so require assistance; a companion holding the door open whilst they pass through.
• There may be a moderate slope which one wheelchair user may not find a barrier to them but that another wheelchair user may need assistance to overcome.
In the above situations an individual user of the website may not agree with symbol allocation based on their own requirements.
Every venue on the website is contacted each year to find out if their access has changed. A venue owner or customer can contact us at any time to inform us of changes to venues. Venues which have had structural changes are revisited by DisabledGo surveyors annually, a note of any changes will be made as soon as we are informed, but full details will not be taken until we can collect them in person. Details such as telephone numbers or opening times are changed centrally without the need to visit the venue.
If a user of our website finds an error and contacts us this will always be followed up within 24 working hours.
We also add new venues each year. Suggestions for new venues come from our Steering Groups, our partners, members of the public and local businesses.