If ever you are going somewhere with someone with mobility, hearing, visual or other impairment, it’s worth having a look at the DisabledGo website first. It has access information about a good range of places in the UK. You can search for accessible places such as restaurants, hotels, shops and parks in a particular place and they are listed along with symbols to say if they have ramp access, accessible toilets, large print menu, if the staff have disability awareness training. This part is compiled by surveyors from the website.
For most places but not all you can click for a more detailed description of the access. The different categories of information, for example, parking, outside access, toilets, will expand to give further detail such as distances, whether doors are automatic, light levels etc. and sometimes there are photos which is a really good idea.
However I find I am still not entirely sure whether a venue is accessible or not. The description might say ‘There is not level access’ then in another section it talks of ramps without making it clear exactly where it is you can find the level entrance if there is one. I wonder if the issue arises from venues filling out a form rather than describing the access themselves. At least the form-filling means they mention plenty of issues such as colour contrast or whether there is piped music but in the end, I would not feel confident visiting some of these venues without checking with them first about access.
I investigated a particular York restaurant that is accessible but according to DisabledGo it has an accessible toilet that does not have level access to it! I checked with the venue and indeed, they do have level access to the accessible toilet and I suggested they might like to get the error corrected but it is still there – either unreported or uncorrected! Another restaurant, which I know has a step to get in, has the symbol for ramped access – does this mean they will provide a ramp? It is not explained. An entry for a York park says it does not have level access to get in but if you click the additional information it explains that the ramp bypasses the steps – you could easily miss that information (plus I know there are several other entrances which are level anyway) and it says there is not level access once you are in but again I know it does as I go there often with my scooter! Elsewhere, a country park mentions that some paths have steps but does not actually say they provide you with a map so that you can avoid them. Am I nit-picking?
Anyway, potentially a really useful site and definitely worth consulting but it is still worth checking with the venue if you need to confirm some of the details.