Demand surges for Harrogate charity's expertise in helping disabled customers and staff.

A Harrogate charity is in demand from the UK's biggest organisations for its expertise on addressing the needs of disabled people.

By Graham Chalmers
Friday, 11th February 2022, 2:35 pm
Updated Friday, 11th February 2022, 2:37 pm
Harrogate charity in national demand for advice - Josh McCormack, Disability Action Yorkshire’s Disability Access Co-ordinator.
Harrogate charity in national demand for advice - Josh McCormack, Disability Action Yorkshire’s Disability Access Co-ordinator.

Businesses and organisations – including utility companies - from around the country are calling on Disability Action Yorkshire (DAY) to advise them on accessibility issues facing disabled customers and staff.

In addition, this Harrogate-based charity - which has its headquarters and training centre on Hornbeam Park - is in demand from employers wanting to understand their obligations under the latest disability discrimination laws.

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Its latest client is a Hereford-based organisation which runs workshops for the likes of Royal Mail, City of York Council and Mencap, has asked the DAY team to lead a series of online legislation awareness sessions for dentists and healthcare professionals.

Josh McCormack, Disability Action Yorkshire’s Disability Access Co-ordinator, said: “From initially offering our services to businesses and organisations in and around the Harrogate area, we are now working with clients across the UK.

“Whilst our accessibility audits are carried out onsite, awareness training can be done either in person or just as effectively online via Zoom or Teams. This means we can offer this particular service to businesses and organisations across the UK, which is proving incredibly popular.”

Disability Action Yorkshire (DAY), which celebrates its 85th anniversary this year, has recently worked with Yorkshire Water contractors to ensure the needs of disabled people are fully considered when carrying mains and sewer repairs in public areas.

Last November, it carried out a full accessibility audit for Harrogate Town Football Club, which has a goal to become a fully accessible ground.

Just before Christmas, it was approached by a major hotel chain with hundreds of venues across the UK, to provide disability awareness training to its senior managers.

It has recently worked with traders on Harrogate’s Commercial Street, who are keen to tap into the ‘purple pound’ – the name given to the spending power of disabled people which is calculated at many billions-of-pounds of each year.

Last month, Disability Action Yorkshire (DAY) was asked to give its advice on a retrospective planning application centred around changes to a public space in Bradford making it in accessible to those with mobility issues.

And one of its more offbeat requests was to carry out accessibility audits at two North Yorkshire cemeteries.

Businesses and organisations keen to tap into Disability Action Yorkshire’s expertise can find out more by visiting its website at www.disabilityactionyorkshire.org.uk