Museum and ArtsPost praised for accessibility
27 April 2018
Image: Waikato Museum and ArtsPost Visitor Services Manager Steve Chappell, left, with accessibility coach Steven Taylor, right, and his son Hamish Taylor.
Making community facilities more accessible for people with a disability makes life easier for everyone.
That’s the philosophy of accessibility coach Steven Taylor, who recently assessed Waikato Museum and ArtsPost Galleries & Shop for Be. Accessible.
Established in 2011, Be. Accessible scores businesses on a ‘just starting’ through to bronze, silver, gold and platinum scale for their user-friendliness.
Waikato Museum and ArtsPost received a silver rating for their accessibility initiatives, based on four areas: information about accessibility, arriving and getting in, getting around within, and getting out safely.
“A silver rating is a really good starting point,” says Mr Taylor. “It won’t take much for Waikato Museum and ArtsPost to get up to a gold rating.
“Someone with a wheelchair or a pushchair can get around the Museum and ArtsPost really easily. Toileting is always a big issue so having an accessible unisex toilet [as well as gender-specific accessible toilets] is really good.”
Mr Taylor says improving accessibility is “just the right thing to do”.
“This is a community facility, a lot of people in wheelchairs or with other mobility issues, as well as parents with pushchairs, use these places. They can visit without any dramas.
“People with mobility issues constantly have to plan how they are going to get around a facility. Being able to just turn up somewhere like the Museum [which is accessible] creates independence and gets people out into the community.”
Waikato Museum and ArtsPost Visitor Services Manager Steve Chappell says work has already started to action or schedule suggestions made in the Be. Accessible report.
“Hamilton City Council is proactive on making its facilities more inclusive,” he says. “Disability Advisor Judy Small has a wealth of knowledge, expertise and connections in the disabled community and is a driving force for improving our buildings’ accessibility.”
To read Waikato Museum and ArtsPost’s accessibility report, go to beaccessible.org.nz.