Disability Equality Scotland is looking for new members to join the new Access Panel in Moray to promote inclusive design and accessibility in the area. Access Panels can be found across Scotland, and they are groups of volunteer disabled people who work to improve accessibility in their local areas. Access Panels work with many different groups in their area such as the local authority, community council, and other groups to help improve accessibility for disabled people. Disability Equality Scotland is the umbrella body for Access Panels in Scotland.
Access Panels work to improve physical access and wider social inclusion in their local communities. They are made up of groups of local volunteers, including disabled people, who come together to improve access in their local communities.
This doesn’t just mean access to the built environment. Access Panels are increasingly concerned with ‘access’ in the fullest sense, including: roads; employment; education; health; transport; the countryside and leisure and recreation, etc.
Panels provide a valuable service in their communities, including:
• Engaging with local authorities and other public bodies on access matters and independent living
• Examining and advising on building warrant applications and planning
• Undertaking site visits
Many take on specific projects, such as:
• Researching and publishing local access guides for disabled people and tourism
• Disseminating information on access and independent living
• Offering advice and guidance to architects and designers
Access Panels can help their communities in many ways including:
• Creating a better physical environment for all
• Assisting local authorities, public bodies and designers meet their statutory obligations
• Promoting full social inclusion
• Encouraging people to take ownership of what happens in their own communities
• Keeping access and independent living issues to the fore
What is an Access Panel?
Access Panels are groups of volunteers who work to improve access and inclusion for disabled people in their local community. They do this by raising awareness and helping to change attitudes among the general public about the need for inclusive access.
Access Panels are made up of people of all ages and abilities who share a passion for the issues faced by disabled people. With the help of Disability Equality Scotland as the national umbrella body, Access Panels support their communities to become as accessible as possible, particularly in relation to the built environment, healthcare, employment, education, and transport.