Welcome to Accessibility and Inclusion Forum
Chairman: Peter Rayner FCILT
The purpose of the Forum is to ensure that the changing needs of the UK’s large and growing population of older and disabled people are properly understood and reflected in the development of transport policy and the design and delivery of transport services across all modes and sectors at both national and local levels.
Accessibility to public transport and to the pedestrian environment are both an economic and a social imperative. Continuing mobility is key to enabling disabled and older people to remain independent and able to contribute both directly and indirectly to the country’s economy.
To view the Forums Terms of Reference please click here.
The Accessibility and Inclusion Forum meets on a regular basis with participants attending both in person and by conference call. New members are always welcome.
Discussions at the Forum cover all transport modes. Recent topics have included the impact of driver only operated trains on older and disabled travellers.
In June 2015 the Forum organised and hosted a seminar on the theme “Is technology leaving older and disabled travellers behind?” The speakers explored both the benefits to young disabled people of social media as a means of ensuring that they can travel independently and with confidence and the problems faced by older people in a world where staff are increasingly being replaced by machines and on-line processes.
Previous seminars run by the Forum include:
- “What price accessibility” which focussed on the economic and social challenges of meeting the accessibility needs of an ageing population. Speakers from the transport industries looked at the remaining access challenges for the railways and for buses and discussed whether the requirements for accessibility could be justified in economic terms.
- “Older People – Making sense of the costs and benefits of travel”. Topics for discussion included the key part that free bus travel places in enabling many older people to support working age families, and undertake voluntary work among other activities.
Speakers also focused on what needs to be done to create environments within which older people can live without support and at how to make sense of the costs of mobility – who pays and who benefits.
- “Empowering Staff, Enabling Passengers” which looked at the importance of training of transport staff to give disabled and older people the confidence to travel. At a time when most transport infrastructure and vehicles are accessible, the weak link is often inadequate training to help drivers and other front line staff understand and empathise with the needs of older and disabled travellers.
Following the seminar, the Forum produced and published guidance on the business and legal imperatives for training transport staff in disability issues.
Presentations from the seminars and the training note are available in related useful information and links section.
For further information please contact Daniel Parker-Klein.