Assess4Access - Connect Culture
What is the Assess for Access project?
After doing some research, it became glaringly obvious that information about accessible venues was hard to come by in the Coventry and Warwickshire area. With Coventry as a chosen Olympic City, it is apparent that a guide for visitors as well as local people would be extremely useful.
With the experience from a similar guide to Our Top Ten Accessible Venues in West London for the Octavia Foundation, our local community group, formed under the name Connect Culture, applied and were successful in receiving funding via the Big Lottery Awards for All, to produce a similar guide for the Coventry and Warwickshire area. The funding also allowed for the production of this website.
The funding was requested to allow for access advisors and a team of mystery shoppers to find out the ten most accessible restaurants in the area. Accessibility relates to not the environment provided by companies but also the attitudes of their staff. For example, we removed one restaurant from our top ten because they refused to remove a burger from a plank of wood to plate for one of our mystery shoppers, so they could eat it without trouble. We thought this was a reasonable request.
Choosing the final ten wasn’t easy because we wanted the restaurants to reflect the population and heritage of the area. As one comment said, “one does not go to Stratford upon Avon to eat in a curry house, however accessible it might be,” so we aimed for proximity to landmarks and tourist spots too.We also added in family, age and gay friendly restaurants where possible and including a restaurant that serves halal food to represent cosmopolitan Coventry.
We hope this site is useful to you; welcome feedback from you all!
Note from the Access Advisors
Chomp our way through a project celebrating the most accessible restaurants in the region? This was an access auditor’s dream assignment!
Unfortunately, we then hit our big challenge: What defines Accessibility? Does a wheelchair user have the same access concerns as a deaf person? How do you rate a tiny restaurant that has gone the extra mile to maximise access but still falls a little short of the ideal?
Rest assured, we audited the restaurants under strict best practice guidelines. However, when we sat down to decide our Top Ten, we opted for a more open-minded definition of “accessibility”. All the restaurants in this guide are independently owned and we recognise that, quite rightly, disabled diners have different expectations of ‘the big chains’. The levels of physical access at our chosen restaurants range from reasonable to excellent. However, just as importantly, they all demonstrated positive and welcoming attitudes towards disabled people.