Have you heard of Disabled Access Day? No? Well, it’s a day for disabled people to celebrate good access and take up opportunities to try something new. About highlighting the fantastic access that already exists in places, such as touch tours, relaxed performances, sensory experiences, level access and of course a warm welcome.
As the event has got so popular this year the event has expanded to three days 10th – 12th March. If you want to find out what’s happening look at the Disabled Access Day website.
Emma Horsfall is a Community Banker at Barclays Bank, one of the official sponsors of the day, and she tells us how Leeds will be celebrating Disabled Access Day.
Emma says: “I work as a Community Banker for Barclays and. within the Leeds area and I’m a Golden Digital eagle and member of both Spectrum and Reach, which means that I get really involved with work in the community from teaching children how to code to supporting in Leeds Pride, but the work that I am most proud of is the work I do with disabled groups teaching them life and money skills but also creating new accessible digital technology to allow children with disabilities the chance to learn how to code with their class mates.
Due to all my work and my passion I have been asked to organise the 2-day event in Leeds, which is a true honour for someone at my role level to have been given, so I have gone full out to prove that Leeds can really shine as a super site and super city!
Several Leeds based disabled charities have come to my aid and are helping on the day to show people the great work that they do. We have the amazing guys at Leep 1 Leeds, Sunshine and Smiles who are also known as Down Syndrome Leeds, People in Action, Specialist Autism Services, DIAL, and Your Health Matters. Also, adding some fun for the day, 2 amazing and talented students from Caroline Atha School of Dance, Heidi and Charlotte, but their contribution is being kept as secret for now you’ll have to come and see.
We also have some amazing guys from the BBC Micro: bit Foundation who are helping with a special project that will allow visually impaired people use a micro bit that we have specially coded to lead them around the Albion Street branch and guide their way, highlighting that digital technology really can help make a difference to people with disabilities. They may even be persuaded to give a lesson or two in coding for anyone that might be interested. Sarah Ezekiel will have some of her art work on display too, Sarah was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (ASL, Lou Gehrigs disease) in 2000 and she uses assistive technology to create her art so it’s a display not to be missed!
The brilliant children from Parklands Primary school have also created art work about their ideas of disability and Barclays and we will be showing this throughout the branch and they will be helping in a special secret project happening on Friday 10th that should not be missed.
The Barclays Access team are popping up from London to show people all the great things that we offer to all our customers to help make banking fully accessible, from high visibility card to audio pin sentry card readers to the sign videos allowing you to chat to with a qualified BSL interpreter to open new accounts or discuss your banking needs, along with a few extra special things and maybe even a freebie or two. The BPay team will also be about to offer great discount on the BPay devices and for those of you that have never heard of them I’d say pop down and have a look!
It’s going to be a really good event and is helping to put Leeds on the map as a city that cares for its disabled residents, I urge everyone to pop down to the Albion Street branch on March 10th and 11th and see all the fun things we have going on and take a selfie with one of our great access day selfie frames and logos and really show that Leeds cares and if you’re a business why not get InTouch and see about popping along to our corporate breakfast event, to see how you can help your business to become more accessibility friendly and spend some time with our great guest speakers.
I’m super proud to be Leeds born and bred so it’s been a true honour to put this event together in my home town and it will be made even more special to see everyone else come together and really take part in the day. This year Barclays is giving full strength and support to 3 super branches, Edinburgh, London Piccadilly, and Leeds for Disabled Access day. So, come on Leeds lets show the guys in Edinburgh and London that we are better!!!”
For more information contact @BarclaysAccess or @emmahorsfall1
Phew, Emma sounds like two fun-packed days. Can’t wait to hear how it goes.