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George with his wife Stacey

#DisabledAccessDay

Disabled Access Day is back for its second year, and is even bigger and better that last year’s great success. Disabled Access Day, supported by Euan’s Guide, the a listing and review site that helps disabled people and their families know which venues are truly accessible, came about after Paul Ralph, a powerchair user and Euan’s Guide supporter, went to a ‘try it out day’ at his local bus company. Through his experience, being shown how accessible buses could be for people with a disability, he is now a frequent bus user. This prompted the idea for Disabled Access Day.

George with his wife StaceySupporting Disabled Access Day, Paisley MSP and SDEF (Scottish Disability Equality Forum) Patron George Adam said, “Disabled Access Day is a fantastic chance for people with a disability to get out and try something new. Often, people with a disability fell that they are unable to uses public transport or access buildings, shops and restaurants due to the lack of disabled access. As many of you may know my wife Stacey is a wheelchair user and gaining access even to a local shop can be difficult. However, as Paul has shown, if you engage with, in his case the local bus company, you might be pleasantly surprised.

‘The day is also about raising awareness amongst the general public and businesses that we need to do more to support disabled access. Far too often people with disabilities face far too many obstacles when getting about and this needs to change. Disabled Access Day is also a great opportunity to share your experiences on Euan’s Guide, www.euansguide.com.

‘The Scottish Parliament is also getting involved today by launching its new accessible toilet sign on Disabled Access Day, designed by 10-year-old Grace Warnock, a student at Prestonpans in East Lothian. If you are only able to do one thing tomorrow, tweet #DisabledAccessDay and show your support.”

Backing For Disability Access Campaign

George with his wife StaceyA website which reviews the disabled access standards of local venues has been gaining momentum after boosting new celebrity backers, Stephen Hawking and JK Rowling. The website, Euan’s Guide, was started by Euan McDonald, who suffers from Motor Neuron Disease, in a bid to share information on disabled access with other people with accessibility needs. Paisley’s MSP George Adam is encouraging people across Paisley to use the site to review local bars, restaurants and other venues.

Commenting, George said:

“This is a fantastic initiative which can make a real difference to the social lives of disabled people across Scotland, as well as their friends and families.

“Disabled people often face challenges in accessing everyday venues which most people don’t have to think twice about, with proper information about disabled facilities often being a process of trial and error. My wife Stacey is a wheelchair users and we need to think carefully before choosing a restaurant, café or pub to go to. If the place has stairs but no lift, then we simply cannot go.

“Euan’s Guide is looking to help us make the decision on where to go before leaving the house and provide a reliable portal for information on disabled access for venues across Scotland, which would help disabled people across the country enjoy access to the bars, restaurants and cinemas which most people take for granted.

“Renfrewshire Access Panel already do a great job highlighting accessibility weaknesses at venues across our town, recently consulting on disabled access to the refurbished Paisley Town Hall, while helping consult on access for disabled spectators during the Commonwealth Games. I hope Euan’s Guide can supplement the great service they already provide the people of Paisley.

“I would encourage people across the constituency to contribute to the website and rate local venues – and make a real difference to the quality of life of disabled people in our community.”

Founder of Euan’s Guide, Euan McDonald, said:

“Following years of investigating, me and my family have built up something akin to a local directory on disabled access that we were keen to share with others with accessibility needs. And then we thought that there must be thousands if not millions of people who have the same issues that we do so we decided to take this a step further and create a site that will benefit the whole disabled community.”

The Euan’s Guide website can be found by clicking here.