The Accessible Guide was founded by disabled people, and our platform was designed by disabled people to create genuine opportunities for inclusion and catalogue Liverpool venues with disabled access. We will focus on factual information that will allow users to find venues and services that meet their individual access requirements.
As a disabled person, Phil Peel was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a toddler. During his early teens, Phil’s condition deteriorated and by the age of 15, Phil was a full-time wheelchair user. Being a teenager was a key advantage and Phil was able to take this in his stride. There was always a passion to travel. and this took Phil to work three summers at Easter Seals Camp Ascca in Alabama (two summers were through the Camp America programme), whilst also travelling to places such as New York, Atlanta, Nashville, Chicago, New Orleans, Florida, Lisbon, Berlin, Warsaw, and Krakow.
Unfortunately, it was taken for granted that Phil would encounter barriers to inclusion whilst travelling. This was certainly the case whilst travelling by public transport in Eastern Europe. The barriers encountered were similar in most cities and countries visited. The lack of provision of adequate toilet facilities was a common barrier, whilst accessing buildings was also very common.
A graduate in Information Technology and Business from Liverpool Hope University. In 2015, Phil decided it was time to combine his knowledge and the love of travelling, and this is where The Accessible Guide originated. After completing the School for Social Entrepreneurs Start Up Programme in 2016, The Accessible Guide registered as a Community Interest Company.
The early years of the Company were used to design the concept of The Accessible Guide and after consulting many different stakeholders it was vital that we were able to have a clear vision of the type of content The Accessible Guide would provide. One of the key findings was that the basis of the platform should focus on factual information, with plenty of resourceful review-based platforms, factual information would enable users to find venues and businesses that met their individual access requirements.
In July 2019, The Accessible Guide was awarded funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, that then enabled us to appoint Cyberfrog Design as our I.T partners who would be responsible for the build of our platform. It was a game changing moment for our Company.
The vision of our founders, the expertise of Cyberfrog Design and the funding from the TNL Community Fund have blended together to form The Accessible Guide. A platform that will not only showcase businesses and their access provision, but will also create genuine opportunities for inclusion.
Left Image: Phil Peel speaking at the School for Social Entrepreneurs Graduation in 2016 at Blackburne House, Liverpool, England.
Right Image: Camp Ascca Summer Staff 2008, Phil Peel is pictured to the left. Picture taken at Camp Ascca, Alabama, USA.
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