Tuesday 27th November 2018 – Cheltenham Racecourse has become one of the first sporting venues in Britain to give disabled people and carers a Detailed Accessibility Guide on its facilities via AccessAble, the UK’s leading provider of access information.
The initiative follows extensive site visits to all 15 of the Jockey Club’s racecourses and its historic Jockey Club Rooms in Newmarket.
The online guides are available via the Cheltenham Racecourse, Jockey Club and AccessAble websites and analyse facilities ranging from car parking spaces and viewing ramps to hearing loops and lighting levels.
AccessAble already works with High Street retailers including Marks & Spencer and Next, the majority of universities and shopping centres in the UK and a number of other key leisure and tourist destinations.
Now Cheltenham Racecourse, the Jockey Club’s 14 other racecourses and the Jockey Club Rooms in Newmarket, have become the first sports venues to partner with AccessAble.
Paul Fisher, Chief Executive of Jockey Club Racecourses, which stages the Randox Health Grand National, Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup, the Investec Derby and the QIPCO Guineas Festival, said: “We have posted information about access at our courses on our own websites for many years.
“But as society’s needs change we have been listening to our racegoers who want more information before visiting our courses. We hope that, by partnering with AccessAble and making even more of this information so easy to find online, people will be able to make their own choices on the best areas of our venues to visit and book tickets for our racedays with confidence.
“AccessAble’s meticulous analysis of our facilities over many months, from the car parks to the bars, restaurants and other areas, now give those who are visiting or considering visiting our 15 racecourses and the Jockey Club Rooms an incredibly thorough and detailed guide.
“I have no doubt that this will help improve the raceday experience for many of the 4 million people who visit our courses each year, both on racedays and for conferences and other non-racing events, especially those with very specific access requirements.”
As well as a building-by-building breakdown on the facilities the digital ‘Accessibility Guides’ also include dozens of images taken at each venue.
The guides are designed to help the UK’s 13 million disabled people, and 7 million carers, make informed decisions on where best to book tickets for and how to best enjoy the racing, while also giving those attending other events or conferences all the information on access and facilities they need.
AccessAble – which operated under the name DisabledGo for 18 years until a rebrand in October 2018 - speaks to thousands of disabled people and carers throughout the year, ensuring that when they put the guides together every aspect is covered.
AccessAble aims to help people with a wide range of accessibility requirements – from visual impairment, to autism and mobility impairment to mental health issues and long term health conditions.
The guides are also designed to help others with access needs, such as parents with prams or older people needing to know more about walking distances or areas to rest.
Barry Stevenson, Chairman of AccessAble, said, “We are delighted to launch our Detailed Accessibility Guides in partnership with The Jockey Club. We believe they will make a real difference to customer experience and will ensure everyone has the information to decide what facilities will suit them best.
“We hope other organisations in UK sport will recognise this and be keen to replicate the commitment to accessibility and inclusion demonstrated by The Jockey Club.”
About The Jockey Club
The Jockey Club stages thrilling sporting occasions including the Randox Health Grand National, The Cheltenham Festival and The Investec Derby. Millions of people every year enjoy the special experiences we offer through racing, music, food and entertainment. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny we make goes back into British Racing to help the sport thrive. We were founded in 1750 and today we are the largest commercial group in Britain’s second-biggest spectator sport, operating 15 racecourses nationwide, The National Stud, Jockey Club Estates, Jockey Club Catering, Jockey Club Live and our charity, Racing Welfare. For more information visit www.thejockeyclub.co.uk.
AccessAble, originally called DisabledGo, is a national disability organisation. It is the UK's Accessibility Guide, here to take the chance out of going out. AccessAble cover 10,000s of places across the UK and the Guides are available free at www.AccessAble.co.uk and on the AccessAble App. Every place included has been visited and assessed by an AccessAble surveyor. AccessAble was set up in 2000 by Dr. Gregory Burke as a result of his own experiences as a wheelchair user and disabled walker. Gregory was frustrated to find that the best-case scenario when he looked for accessibility information was a few unhelpful words that only resulted in more uncertainty. Working alongside over 100 different disability groups Gregory launched DisabledGo's first website in 2002. Since then the organisation has grown and developed, continually meeting and listening to its user community. By 2018 DisabledGo was used by over 1.5 million people each year to plan a visit or trip out. Thousands of people continued to shape the service getting involved in DisabledGo's engagement events and social media channels. In June 2018 AccessAble began to build the new website and IOS and Android Apps. These launched in October 2018, alongside the new AccessAble Brand.