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.
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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:
- Joined Up Journeys – Integration and Interchange: Making
Travel Workable for Disabled and Older People - The concept of transport chains makes clear
that, where any link in the journey chain is missing or broken, it can prevent
a person from travelling. This
one-day seminar explored the challenges faced by disabled and older people
and discussed practical solutions and examples of good practice to achieve
joined up journeys.
Presentations included perspectives from travellers with disabilities and
transport providers as well as information on new research and pilot
- Out of Sight, Out of Mind – This seminar set out to explore the needs of people whose disabilities are “hidden” and to discuss what can and should be done to recognise them more routinely and sensitively, with contributions from academics, experts and practitioners as well as disabled public transport users, charities and campaigners.
- Train Journey Experiences - With the subject of Driver
Only Operation very much
in the public eye, this is an account of a series of rail journeys undertaken
on one day by older and disabled people. It reflects both the excellent levels
of support available in some areas but also the gaps and problems in others. It
is intended to inform the debate in both professional and public circles.
- Older People: Making Sense of the Costs and
Benefits of Travel
- This seminar took an
in-depth look at the reality of enabling older people to remain independently
mobile in both urban and rural communities. Topics for discussion
included the key role free bus travel plays in enabling older people to support
working age families and undertake voluntary work amongst other activities.
- Is Technology Leaving Older and Disabled Travellers behind? This one-day seminar
explored the pros and cons of new technology as it affects the ability of older
and disabled people to travel.
- “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, guidance and training notes from the seminars are available from the Related Useful Information and Links section. For further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.