HAXessibility – Mapping Accessibility in Halifax
As a pilot project, Imagineer Development CIC have been supporting the use of wheelmap.org by a number of community groups in Halifax to identify and map restaurants, cafes and bars in Halifax town centre that are accessible for wheelchair users and people with visual impairments.
What are we doing?
As a pilot project, Imagineer has been engaged by Halifax BID to examine a number of restaurants, cafes and bars in Halifax town centre that are included in the #DiscoverHFX food and drink directory.
Using a combination of wheelmap.org and our own tools, we are surveying each establishment using a traffic light system (green = completely accessible, yellow = accessible but room for improvement, red = not accessible). The traffic lights will be added to a paper-copy brochure that will be circulated around the town, as well as on the #DiscoverHFX website.
In addition, the project will work with local stakeholders to realise the potential Social Return on Investment represented by investment in increasing the visibility and potentially the number of accessible facilities.
Why are we doing it?
From Imagineer Foundation’s ongoing community consultations with people with disabilities, it is apparent that a challenge exists in Calderdale in regard to the identification of accessible facilities in the region. No overall visual picture of accessible facilities (and their level of accessibility) for individuals who have mobility issues exists in Calderdale.
The consultations identify that this contributes to a sense of social isolation (and in some cases a sense of fear and anxiety) for some people with disabilities. This lack of information creates issues of engaging with a ‘place’ and therefore the community and social events associated with that place unless it is already known to the user. There is no means by which wheelchair users can plan ahead to engage with new events or less known areas.
The JSNA for Calderdale shows that 18% of Calderdale’s residents identify as having any form of long-term condition which affects their ability to carry out every day activities. This is a significant proportion of the population.
Who and How?
Imagineer CIC is a ‘Good Help’ facilitator. We work alongside people with disabilities and/or mental health issues, as well as their families, enabling them to lead empowered lives. We support individuals to exercise choice and control to direct their own support needs and to take part in community activities.
Imagineer has a large network of wheelchair users in the Calderdale area. Volunteers have being trained as local mappers, using the example set at the Marciac Jazz Festival. We are aiming to create a network of Mapping Ambassadors that will be able to roll-out this project across all public/civic places in Calderdale.
After a successful completion of the project, we aim to run a series of dissemination events to talk to stakeholders from other use cases about projects and benefits that could be realised from a clear accessibility map for Calderdale.