Call for Access Certificate - your views are wanted

The Petitions Committee of National Assembly for Wales is considering Bridgend Coalition of Disabled People’s (BCDP) petition calling on ‘all premises in Wales to be awarded an Access Certificate number similar to the Food Hygiene Certificate’.

Learning Disability Wales would like to seek your views to feed into the Petitions Committee of National Assembly for Wales. We are pleased to support the introduction an access certificate.

The petition collected 2,391 signatures.

Access Certificate to show how accessible places are

Bridgend Coalition of Disabled People say 'We are calling for the Welsh Government to bring in an "Access Certificate" showing numbers from zero to five along the lines of the Food Hygiene Certificate. All buildings used by the public such as shops, food outlets, sports clubs, pubs and offices as well as public transport services should be assessed on how wheelchair accessible they are, as well as how easy it is for someone with a sensory impairment or learning disability to use. We want all premises to be given a number which they could then display to show how disabled friendly their premises are. We hope that those who achieve high ratings will possibly persuade other nearby premises to improve access and get a high rating themselves.

When Food Hygiene Certificates were first introduced in Wales they were not mandatory, but later became so. Since the introduction of the Food Hygiene Certificate we believe food standards have vastly improved and premises with a high number use the certificate with pride. We believe premises will make a bigger effort to improve access and services for the disabled community if a similar Certificate was introduced for access.

We believe the introduction of such a certificate will hugely improve services for disabled shoppers and those who want to go out for a drink, a meal or to use public transport, facilities most take for granted".

To achieve a five rating a premises will not just need to be wheelchair accessible but be fully inclusive for those with visual and hearing impairments, and possibly have staff understanding to those with learning impairments. Having a restaurant with a braille menu or staff able to use sign language can make a huge difference and give someone a far easier and less stressful experience when doing everyday things most take for granted. One idea may be, as well as having the Five to Zero rating to have extra symbols underneath to show if a premises has full wheelchair access, an accessible toilet, info in braille, staff who can use sign language and autism friendly. We feel that this will result in big improvements. Many food outlets compete with each other to get a higher rating and we hope this will be the same with Access Certificate".

The Committee intends to take further evidence on this petition during the autumn and they are looking for views on the following:

  • Whether you would support the concept of a national 'access certificate' scheme.
  • The range of premises which could be covered by a scheme of this type(for example, the petition proposes that it should cover public buildings, commercial premises, workplaces and public transport services).
  • The range of accessibility issues that any scheme should seek to encompass (the petition references improving accessibility for wheelchair users, people with visual and hearing impairments, learning difficulties and autism).
  • How such a scheme could be administered and whether it should be voluntary or compulsory.
  • Any specific difficulties that might arise in the design or implementation of a scheme of this type.
  • Other views or comments that you have in relation to this petition.

Please email your views to Learning Disability Wales. We will collate views and make a response. Please send your views by Wednesday 5 September 2018

Or if you would like to provide your response directly send it to SeneddPetitions@assembly.wales by Wednesday 12 September 2018.

Responses will be published as part of their Committee papers and will be discussed at a future Committee meeting.

More information here http://www.senedd.assembly.wales/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=21495