Access Audit: the access for disabled people to Wolverhampton city centre is inadequate and unequal when comparing it to Milton Keynes

When compared to Wolverhampton, Milton Keynes is just a baby. Built a little over 30 years ago, you’d expect that many issues and aspects of general life would be taken into consideration to build a town that custom fitted our personal needs. One of the biggest issues affecting a number of people is Disability. This project looks at just that and how each shopping centre has dealt with providing a warm, welcoming and enjoyable visit for the disabled members of our community.Hypothesis:Milton Keynes will have many facilities and good access for disabled people in relation to Wolverhampton. This is because Wolverhampton is a much older town and built in the era when disability wasn’t widely accepted. However, outlook on disability has changed since then, therefore, Milton Keynes will be more suited for disabled people as the newest centre is more likely to have taken disabled members into account. This will also reflect on the towns attitude towards disability which are divided into two main groups; medical and social model.Examples of people that fall under this category are doctors. The other group is the Social model which suggests responsibility lies within our society and that we should adapt our ways to meet the needs of people that may have impairment. Personally, I lean towards the second group as I believe that disability is something beyond our control.People should be accepting of this and learn to change their ways to help disabled people cope with their impairments.Method:To test my hypothesis out, I will fill in an access audit and conduct a series of questionnaires and interviews with the public, disabled people, selected shop managers and/or staff. As well as coming to my own conclusion, the response from the public can help me ensure that my views aren’t biased. Depending on the results gained, I can validate my hypothesis.Access Audit: Wolverhampton Shopping Centre1. Can a wheelchair get into the shopping centre?Yes but there is limited access to shops inside the centre.2. How is this made possible?Wide entrance doors.3. Is there a lift to use if someone in a wheelchair wants to access shops on the second floor?Yes – two.4. Are any steps or stairs marked clearly with strips so that it can help anyone who is sight impaired?No.5. Are guide dogs allowed access?Yes – into the main centre, although some shops do not allow dogs to enter their property.6. Is the lighting good for anyone who is visually impaired?Lighting is adequate but a little dim.7. Are there any hand rails on the stairs?Yes8. Are there any disabled toilets available?No. Access to toilets for disabled is none.