We are calling for the Welsh Government to bring in an "Access Certificate" showing numbers from zero to five along the lines of the Food Hygiene Certificate. All buildings used by the public such as shops, food outlets, sports clubs, pubs and offices as well as public transport services should be assessed on how wheelchair accessible they are, as well as how easy it is for someone with a sensory impairment or learning disability to use.
We want all premises to be given a number which they could then display to show how disabled friendly their premises are. We hope that those who achieve high ratings will possibly persuade other nearby premises to improve access and get a high rating themselves.
When Food Hygiene Certificates were first introduced in Wales they were not mandatory, but later became so. Since the introduction of the Food Hygiene Certificate we believe food standards have vastly improved and premises with a high number use the certificate with pride. We believe premises will make a bigger effort to improve access and services for the disabled community if a similar Certificate was introduced for access.
We believe the introduction of such a certificate will hugely improve services for disabled shoppers and those who want to go out for a drink, a meal or to use public transport, facilities most take for granted.
To achieve a five rating a premises will not just need to be wheelchair accessible but be fully inclusive for those with visual and hearing impairments, and possibly have staff understanding to those with learning impairments.
Having a restaurant with a braille menu or staff able to use sign language can make a huge difference and give someone a far easier and less stressful experience when doing everyday things most take for granted.
One idea may be, as well as having the Five to Zero rating to have extra symbols underneath to show if a premises has full wheelchair access, an accessible toilet, info in braille, staff who can use sign language and autism friendly.
We feel that this will result in big improvements. Many food outlets compete with each other to get a higher rating and we hope this will be the same with Access Certificate.