A new app launched by charity, See Around Britain, aims to take away travel uncertainty for disabled people with a solution that offers essential accessibility information and photographs for hundreds of thousands of sites in the UK and Europe. It also includes railway and Eurostar, buses and taxis, stations and airports.
The charity is seeking volunteer contributors to add to its database, along with sponsorship from organizations, businesses and individuals that see the value of its mission.
See Around Britain began with over 500,000 photos taken by its founder trustee, Marg McNiel, who was born with a mobility impairment.
He has spent a lifetime in community and heritage education and has travelled extensively in Europe over many years. He joined forces with fellow trustees Vin West MBE and Trevor Palmer BEM to take his surveying efforts to the next level by launching See Around Britain.
Their aim with the site, however, is to reach beyond the disabled community to anyone who wants to check out a venue in advance of a visit.
“A guiding principle of See Around Britain is that its website is fully inclusive and is not ‘a disabled-only’ website, so that it can reach as many citizens as possible and by its extensive use of photographs help them evaluate if a venue is suitable for their interests or specific requirements, and how to find it,” said McNiel.
The charity is also encouraging schools to get involved: carrying out surveys for the website has already proven a valuable activity for Baccalaureate students in Wales, where the charity is based.
“In doing this work, the pupils and the venue owners that they visit will get an awareness of the varied needs of disabled people, and how to best meet them,” he said.
The team’s ultimate vision is to build its coverage throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe and eventually to have worldwide coverage and reach anyone of any age and ability, disabled or non-disabled, can contribute to the See Around Britain website by writing venue descriptions, undertaking photo and video surveys of new venues, giving admin or editorial support, or contributing through social media.