How accessible is Honley?

by | Aug 26, 2021 | News

Better access for all:

The Tokyo Paralympics is now in full swing. Over the past few days we’ve experienced some amazing feats of endurance, strength and skill from the GB Paralympians.

While we celebrate our para athletes’ success in the sporting arena, everyday activities such as shopping can be challenging for people with some health conditions or impairments. Steps are an obvious physical barrier for wheelchair users. But there are other, less visible challenges.

More than 10 million people in Britain have a long-term illness, impairment or disability. But these conditions are not always easily recognised. It’s estimated that around 70% of disabilities are ‘hidden’. These can include mental health conditions, autoimmune diseases and neurological disorders.

Knowing how various health conditions can impact a person’s life, makes it easier to understand and act. Often, little adaptations can make life a whole lot easier for anyone living with a disability or health condition.

Access in Honley

As a historic village, Honley is full of steps! Thankfully, many buildings including our churches, the library, the Village Hall, surgery, dentist and Community Centre now have wheelchair access.

Many businesses have adapted their access too. The Co-op has street level access as does Lebanese restaurant, Savaro. Meanwhile, those dining out at the Blue Tiger will find the car park entrance is wheelchair friendly.

When Dora’s Desserts moved into the high street, owners Ateeq and Farhana widened the doorway to make it easier for wheelchair users and people with prams to enter their shop. It means that anyone can be tempted by their wonderfully decadent waffles and ice creams.

Other ways to help

Celebrant, Lynne Green, from Creating Memories does everything she can to adapt her services to meet the needs of everyone involved. Ceremonies are provided in written presentation booklets, with large print copies available for anyone with a visual impairment. Alternatively, she can provide audio recordings and anyone with hearing impairments can request a ‘reading copy’.

Lynne’s ceremonies can take place pretty much anywhere – gardens, viewpoints and even at sea! For that reason, she always discusses special assistance or mobility needs at the initial meeting to make sure that everyone who wants to can attend the ceremony.

Hands-on approach

Becca, who runs La Belle Epoque Florals is an Autism, Deaf and Visual Impairment aware trader. She uses British Sign Language (BSL) and Makaton to aid conversations with hearing impaired people or those with non-verbal autism.

Little things that make a big difference

The website Celebrating Disability has lots of ideas for ways in which shops and businesses can make simple changes that can benefit people with health conditions or impairments. These include:

  • Shop layout – with space for wheelchair users to move around and low counters when paying.
  • Staff attitude – a welcoming, supportive team will make everyone feel more at ease, whether or not they have a disability.
  • Shop website accessibility – simple changes can make a website easier to view and navigate for people with conditions such as dyslexia and colour-blindness.

This is a mere snapshot of the facilities within Honley. And it’s by no means an exhaustive list of the things our businesses are already doing, or can do to make premises, services and employment opportunities more accessible for people with disabilities. If it’s made you think about what more you or your business could do, then you’ll find more disability awareness information via the following links. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy the superhuman achievements of Team GB’s amazing Paralympians.