Survey uncovers what disabled people are most concerned about when returning to venues in the UK
Disabled access review site Euan’s Guide has published the results from its latest survey, which sheds light on what disabled people are most worried about when returning to venues as lockdown restrictions begin to lift across the UK.
The ‘Covid Concerns and Precautions Survey’, which took place from the 18th of June 2020 to 19th of July 2020, asked 450 disabled people about their views on lockdown restrictions being eased and how this would directly affect them.
Euan’s Guide’s survey addresses: the concerns disabled people have about visiting places post-lockdown; what precautions and actions will make it safer and easier for them to visit places; where they plan to go; how they plan for their trip; and what activities they would like to see remain available in online formats.
Commenting on the survey findings, Euan MacDonald, Co-Founder of Euan’s Guide, said: “As lockdown restrictions ease, we want to make sure that disabled people feel safe and confident in finding places to go or returning to venues that they already know.
“Venues need to share detailed and up-to-date information on their Covid precautions and disabled access online. This information is useful to anyone and everyone that wants to stay safe after being so cautious in the past few months.”
Concerns about visiting places
When asked about the concerns that disabled people have about visiting places post-lockdown, 82 percent highlighted that their top concern was people not respecting and honouring social distancing.
Almost three-quarters of respondents said not having access to venues’ toilets or public toilets when outside was a top concern for them and more than half of disabled people said having to queue or wait outside venues, especially when weather is bad, is a concern for them too.
Another worry outlined within the survey is disabled people being judged or challenged for not wearing face masks.
One survey participant commented: “People not understanding disabilities and hidden disabilities and thinking we are just refusing to wear a mask and not following rules.”
To help tackle this issue, Euan’s Guide recently created some face mask exemption badges, which are designed to help disabled people easily and clearly communicate their exemption status to others to help them feel more comfortable visiting places where the majority of people will be wearing face coverings.
Requirements to help disabled people return to venues
Disabled people were also asked for their top requirements that venues could implement to encourage them to visit safely.
An overwhelming 84 percent agreed that having access to sanitising stations that are at an accessible height would help them return to venues. 83 percent added that having an accessible route that disabled people can navigate independently would also help them visit places again.
Another top priority underlined in the survey was having clear markings to ensure people social distance in venues. Disabled people also suggested that touch-free doors (78 percent), limiting the number of visitors in store at any one time (74 percent) and using one-way systems (68 percent) would also make them feel more comfortable to return to stores.
Following the results from the survey, Euan’s Guide has suggested a number of steps that venues should follow to help implement necessary changes for disabled people.
This includes: reviewing the findings of the survey and carrying out necessary changes to welcome disabled people back; ensuring that any existing COVID precautions do not negatively impact on the store’s disability access; and considering how venues can continue to offer online services, as this has helped open up opportunities to disabled people that have previously been inaccessible.
Euan’s Guide also suggests that venues share information about their disability access and coronavirus precautions to further support disabled people.