Being unable to use streets and pavements or get into buildings and public places is probably the most common and annoying barrier faced by disabled people. Despite 20 years of legislation requiring ‘reasonable adjustments’ to be made for the needs of disabled people, buildings, public transport and public spaces are still littered with barriers preventing disabled people from using them.
BuDS’ ultimate aim is to make ‘everywhere accessible’, so that disabled people have equality of access with non-disabled people and can travel independently and confidently. Buckinghamshire is of course the ‘home of the Paralympics’ and ought to set a shining example of good access and accessibility to the rest of the world. BuDS aims to make sure that this goal is achieved. In the meantime, we accept ‘no excuses‘ for poor access and inclusion and don’t hesitate to expose bad practice. Contact us if you would like our help!
Part of the Accessible Everywhere project is the creation in Buckinghamshire of a network of fully accessible routes which can be used by disabled people with all types of impairment. The first of these is the Stoke Mandeville Way, a pathway route which links Aylesbury town centre to the home of the Paralympic movement at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and Stadium and onward to Stoke Mandeville village. Clickhere to learn about the SM Way. Other accessible routes are being investigated in High Wycombe and Buckingham.
Another part of Accessible Everywhere is our Fair4All Taxi & Minicab scheme. Fair4All is a new voluntary quality assurance scheme for licenced taxis (hackney carriages) and minicabs operating in Buckinghamshire. Fair4All will ensure that disabled people receive fair and good quality service when using taxis and minicabs belonging to the scheme, thus helping eliminate abuse and bad practice. Fair4All is a collaborative project by taxi licencing authorities in Bucks and BuDS.
BuDS provides access and inclusion advice to anyone who asks. This can range from arranging a f ull disability compliance audit under Building Regulations to a quick word on the phone to solve a single issue. As a pan-disability charity, we always consider the needs of people with all types of impairments, including learning disability and people with mental health issues. We are particularly experienced in making public events and festivals accessible to disabled people. Contact us on [email protected] or call 01494 568 864.
BuDS also works to make Buckinghamshire town centres accessible to disabled people. We do this by commenting on plans put forward for redevelopment, like the Aylesbury Waterside and Wycombe Rye projects, and working with town centre planners. This area of our work is expected to grow a great deal in the next two years.
Being able to park near shops or leisure facilities is essential to many disabled people. That’s why BuDS names and shames non-disabled people who abuse and wrongly park in Blue Badge bays. We do this on both Twitter and Facebook – follow @BuDS_UK and visit our Facebook page here.
At any time, BuDS has several accessibility and inclusion projects running, and we’d always like to do more. We always need more volunteers to help us – could you spare a few hours a week to make Bucks a more accessible place? Check out our volunteer opportunities here or e-mail [email protected]