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We are Up-and-Running!

High Peak Access launched their new accessible website on Thursday 19th April, at the Whaley Bridge Uniting Church. People were invited to the Launch to hear about, and ask questions of their work promoting local accessibility, and to network with organizations and individuals over a buffet lunch.  

Alan Jackson (Vice Chair of High Peak Access), Master of Ceremonies, welcomed people to the Event and afterwards introduced the first Speaker, Alison Salmen (Secretary of High Peak Access). 

Alison provided a Power Point Presentation – an overview of ‘Why the need for a new Access Group’, the four High Peak Access Groups, of Hope, New Mills, Glossop and Buxton have now merged into one single group - High Peak Access.

Alison stressed in particular, that although we have the DDA, (Disability Discrimination Act) which is now part of the Equality Act, 2010, it is still being breached by both private and public organizations.

Alison’s slides clearly demonstrated obstructions and obstacles that disabled people face in their daily lives, for example, ‘A’ Boards being positioned inappropriately on dropped kerbs or pavements, thus, impeding movement and access by Wheelchair and Mobility Scooter Users – a continual problem for disabled people in the High Peak. 

Another illustration showed poor design i.e. colour contrast, for instance, glass doors that have poor colour contrasting warning circles i.e. grey circles on glass create difficulties for visually impaired people, as the colours merge together into an indefinable mass – logically, the warning strips/circles should be coloured to stand out from the background and not merge with it.

Alison also spoke about how the group is led by disabled people, although, not all of the members are disabled, the group’s aims and objectives, and the group’s achievements, of which there are many.

Elaine Hill (Manager of Peaks & Dales Volunteering and Advancement Project and Volunteer at High Peak Access) gave a presentation of the website, following Alison’s talk.  Elaine demonstrated the clarity of the access tools at the top of the webpage, and the navigation buttons on the left-hand side of the page, these buttons are pictorial, thus, creating easy navigation for ALL People.

Elaine pointed out, that equality of access is not only to the built environment, but also to information and communication services.

Lunch followed Elaine’s presentation – it provided the opportunity to foster good relations between High Peak Access and Public and Private Organisations. 

After lunch, Alan Jackson introduced Chris Hughes (Direct Payments at Disability Derbyshire Coalition for Inclusive Living): 
His talk was on "The Conception of Access Groups”.  Chris’ PowerPoint Presentation was particularly interesting as it was a vocal history, depicting the strong campaign of Disabled People fighting for their rights to participation in society – culminating in the DDA and the Equality Act.  The conception of the first High Peak Access Group was formed in 1986 and supported by two link workers from DCIL. One member of the audience stated: "I am proud to be involved in any way I can with this kind of "People Power", Chris received a stirring ovation; and it was obvious that he was pleased with the achievements of High Peak Access – they must continue to strive and campaign for a truly accessible environment.

Questions and Answers followed the three Presentations, allowing members of the audience to ask for information and advice on a raft of disability/access issues. High Peak Access received rousing applause for their accessible website, and their clear and informative approach to the Presentations.

If you are a disabled person, and you wish to do something challenging, and to discover skills that you think you cannot do – come and join us.

Website - Elaine and Alison

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