The Heritage Ability project, delivered by charity Living Options Devon and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund has a clear vision - to break down barriers to accessing heritage places and unlocking the South West for everybody to enjoy. Over the next three years, the Heritage Ability team will support a variety of unique places across the South West to help them improve the experience for disabled and Deaf visitors. From the West tip of Cornwall all the way to Gloucestershire, the team will work with over 19 sites to deliver accessible interpretation, from BSL (British Sign Language) clips, to visual stories and easy read documents. Many sites will also benefit from an all-terrain scooter or ‘Tramper’, which will enable people with limited mobility to access the countryside like never before.
The Forest of Dean is excited to be in the project, with organisations such as Forest Voluntary Action Forum and specific initiatives such as Forester’s Forest looking at how they can improve accessibility information on their website and access across some of their projects.
As part of the project, Heritage Ability are looking for disabled and Deaf volunteers with a passion for heritage to help spread the word, become advocates for the project and help their sites on their ongoing journey. They also need your help to conduct some mystery visits at the sites and provide feedback which the team can use to help the sites improve. If you’d like to be involved, take a look at the website at www.heritageability.org. You can email the team at heritageability@livingoptions.