The very latest in walk-in baths! The Easy Riser comes with a power seat to provide assistance lowering and raising into the bath.

Govt Funding Announced To Improve Travel For Disabled People

The Department for Transport (DfT) has launched an Accessible Technology Research and Innovation Grant, which will invest up to £500,000 in projects in order to improve access to services and inspire more confidence among disabled people when they’re travelling around the country.

Projects could include ways to help visually impaired people to identify the buses they’re looking for, a Wayfinder-style system to help plan journeys and smartphone apps to track progress and report inaccessibility.

The new competition comes as the DfT publishes is two-year update on its Inclusive Transport Strategy, highlighting the work that has already been achieved, such as the opening of 59 Changing Places toilets in motorway services, the It’s Everyone’s Journey public awareness campaign and the expansion of the Blue Badges scheme to non-visible disabilities.

The Access for All programme, meanwhile, has succeeded in providing 200 stations with better access around the country, with approximately 100 more to be completed by 2024. Improvements that have already been made mean that over 75 per cent of rail journeys are now through stations that have step-free access, compared to about 50 per cent in 2005.

Grant Shapps, transport secretary, said: “Everybody’s way of travelling has been affected by COVID-19, but none more so than those who are disabled. While essential in tackling the virus I know the widespread use of masks, social distancing and changed timetables has been disconcerting for people with accessibility issues.

“I want to harness the power of technology to improve accessibility for disabled people through covid and beyond. Today’s funding will play a key role by finding new and innovative ideas and projects to break down barriers and could make a massive difference to people’s lives.”

The government also recently announced that it was launching a consultation on accessible housing for older and disabled people to tackle the issue of accommodation being built that doesn’t prioritise accessibility from the outset.

It’s essential that appropriate housing is built for older and disabled people to ensure they can continue to live safe and independent lives – and it’s important to plan early to meet the needs of an ageing population, as well.

The consultation is seeking views on how to raise the accessibility standards of newbuilds, in order to ensure that there is sufficient housing where it’s required.

Robert Jenrick, secretary of state for housing, communities and local government, explained that the proportion of older people in the country is on the rise because people are now living longer. In 2018, there were 1.6 million over 85 years old and this is forecast to nearly double to 43 million by 2043.


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