Glasgow Science Centre is ready for Disabled Access Day

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Posted on March 12th 2019
Deaf Science Club

Glasgow Science Centre is proud to open its doors for Disabled Access Day 2019

Few of us will spend much time considering the challenges that many people face in planning a day out. As the organisers of Disabled Access Day point out, "Not everyone wants to try out a bus journey in the rush hour, climb a tower with a queue behind you, visit a museum with loads of noise, or go swimming where there's no accessible changing rooms".

We want all of our visitors to know that the day isn't just a one off here. The changes to our building are here to stay and I'm excited to tell you about them.

We are committed to Disabled Access Day by ensuring that people of all abilities have the opportunity to try something new in a safe and fun environment. Rightly, the event organisers point out that while creating the opportunities to try something new "can't be everyday", "it doesn't have to mean it can't happen at all".

Even before arriving here, our visitors can download the free Glasgow Science Centre BSL app that include British Sign Language explanations of some of our most popular exhibits. Look out for the icons on different exhibits with numbers that you can enter into the app. 

Every month, we host Autism Friendly Hours at the science centre. We know how exciting our building can be, bustling with loud sounds and bright lights, so we lower the volume and soften the lighting to allow adults and children with autism to enjoy their visit without additional stress. 

We also collaborate with several charities that have a focus on particular challenges visitors can face. For example, we've been running a deaf science club with a deaf professional to inform us of gaps in our knowledge, how to improve what we do and celebrate recent changes.

And its not just the building that's changing. We recognise the need to develop training and programmes for staff so they can be more aware of the needs of our visitors. We'll be doing this in partnerships with organisations like Autism Scotland and Downs Syndrome Scotland to develop these modules.

We know that people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well as people with physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis often need extra equipment and space to allow them to use the toilets safely and comfortably. These needs are met by Changing Places Toilets and we've now secured funding for them to be installed this year.

Instead of seeing "barriers to participation", we are challenging ourselves to find solutions to any barriers by working closely with community groups and visitors to GSC.

Our commitment is part of a journey with our visitors and we hope to demonstrate that on Disabled Access Day 2019 and every other day of the year. 

By Sally Pritchard

Sally is a community learning coordinator responsible for strengthening and enhancing Glasgow Science Centre's connection with communities and groups throughout Glasgow and beyond.

 

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