Many thanks to Access Rating for this guest blog describing their services and free mobile app.
We were so pleased when Talking Mats invited us to write a post for them this week. There is such a great need for disability-related organisations to connect and share right now. COVID 19 has had a devastating effect on us all, but particularly on disabled people, who are facing even greater barriers across health, employment and access every day. A joined-up approach to delivering our services has never been so important.
About Access Rating
We are Access Rating; a social enterprise which seeks to create opportunities for disabled people to work, live and socialise with the same freedoms as non-disabled people. We provide a range of services, from employability support for disabled people, to access audits for businesses, to help them create more accessible venues and services.
Always striving to find innovative ways to promote access for disabled people, we have recently launched our Access Rating mobile app. This simple online tool allows disabled people to rate their access experiences of any venue they visit in the UK. In turn, accessible venues can attract more disabled customers from their positive recommendations …whilst encouraging those a little behind, to follow suit.
That’s a lot of work, but we’re not alone; Access Rating is just one cog in a wider society of individuals, communities and organisations which support disabled people throughout their life journey. Each of us plays our part in empowering disabled people to reach their potential and exercise their rights as they choose. And the impact of what we achieve depends very much on those who support us in our efforts.
The ‘Purple Pound’ as an Incentive for better Access
The Access Rating app has the potential to be a game-changer within the quiet world of retail and hospitality accessibility. We say ‘quiet’, because it is. Despite current legislation and the tireless work of countless organisations, too many businesses still don’t understand what it means to be fully accessible. And without an access-specific platform for disabled people to voice their opinions on these venues, there has been little incentive for businesses to get on board. The app hopes to change this by increasing visibility of good – and not so good – practice.
However, there is another factor which may be influencing accessibility in the right direction.
With the crushing impact of COVID19 restrictions, more struggling businesses are turning their focus to the value of the ‘Purple Pound’ – that’s the spending power of disabled people, their families and friends. And at £274 billion in the UK each year, and rising, businesses have a lot to gain; with so few accessible venues around, disabled people are likely to become loyal customers to those who actively seek to cater for their needs.
It is timely then, that our Access Rating app serves as an incentive for businesses to ‘up their game’. And the more venues that are rated, the greater the motivation for them to maintain their good name – or begin building it.
Connection is the key word here. Everything works better when we work together. And that’s why we’re asking you to help us spread the word, by rating the venues you visit.
Download the Access Rating App: Your Opinion really counts!
The Access Rating mobile app is free, easy-to-use and nation-wide in its reach. So whether you are disabled, live with, or work with someone who is disabled, we invite you to download the app directly from the links below, or from our Access Rating website. By taking just a few moments to rate any venue you visit – be that a hotel, library or shopping centre – you can help to make our society a more inclusive and enjoyable place to live, work and socialise for disabled people across the UK.
We thank Lois from Talking Mats for the opportunity to connect and share our news, and are delighted to have made new friends who share our passion for building a more inclusive society.