Our Achievements

(Awards)

What we have done so far:

"In 2014 we won a volunteer award at the DCVS (Dudley Council for Voluntary Services) award ceremony. It was for our commitment to volunteering."



DUDLEY PARK AUDITS:
The audits were completed by a team of disabled people who looked at all the paths, play equipment and seating available in each park and noted details to compile an audit with recommendations where improvements could be made or seating could be installed.

Because of topography, certain parks such as Marsh Park Brierley Hill, cannot be recommended as suitable for people with some disabilities, however most parks could have a route identified as ‘accessible’ for most people to be able to travel either in a wheelchair or with a mobility problem.

These identified routes are posted on the parks notice board somewhere at each parks main entrance.

Click here to follow the link to the Council's website to find out more about the parks and open spaces in your area:
http://www.dudley.gov.uk/see-and-do/parks-open-spaces/

ACCESSIBLE PLAY EQUIPMENT:

As a result of funding accessed by Dudley MBC, primarily ‘The play path finder’ project, and the park access audits completed for the council under the ‘Liveability’ fund, all play equipment installed in the borough’s play areas and parks, was discovered to be lacking as regards accessibility for children with all types of disability.

There were no wheelchair accessible play equipment and children with visual impairments had nothing to stimulate them in play. This meant that children with disabilities and their siblings could not play together.

A.I.D. was instrumental in helping the council , alongside the disabled children group ME2 to both identify the needs of all children to be able to play together and indentifying the types of accessible play equipment required to address this need.

A.I.D. identified a wheelchair accessible round-a-bout that can not only secure wheelchairs safely to ride on but can also take pushchairs for younger children and able bodied children too.

These round-a-bouts are more expensive than others round-a-bouts previously installed in our formal parks and the council have made a strategic decision to install four around the borough in the following parks:

  • Stevens Park – Wollescote.
  • Mary Stevens Park – Stourbridge.
  • Netherton Park – Netherton.
  • Tenscore Playpark – Sedgley.

Click here to follow the link for a list of the Council's play areas: http://www.dudley.gov.uk/see-and-do/parks-open-spaces/play-facilities/

AUDIO GUIDES:

For people with a visual impairment, accessing information can be difficult particularly when an individual wants to remain independent. This can be achieved with audio information.

Dudley Borough Council have prepared access guides for some of their places of interest and facilities such as the glass works and the museum in St. James road. The Council commissioned Access in Dudley to produce audio versions of these guides.

These can be requested from Council Plus on 0300 555 2345 or online http://www.dudley.gov.uk/resident/living/accessibility/dudley-councils-access-guide/

HEALTHY HUBS:


In partnership with the Primary Care Trust (PCT), Dudley Borough Council have installed a health hub in some parks.
This is a building that can be used by groups for exercise classes.
These are staffed, part of the time with staff that are proficient in exercise programs to help us all to be fitter.
These parks have also had outdoor exercise equipment installed, the selection of which A.I.D. advised on.

Full instructions are posted on all of the equipment and whilst most are not wheelchair accessible, there are some pieces which can be accessed from a wheelchair like the hand cycle pictured below


“Dudley Healthy Towns is a Department of Health (DoH) national pilot scheme that supports the national Change 4 Life movement. Its aim is to develop innovative ways to prevent obesity through supportive environmental change.

This has been done through increased activity opportunities via the development of five ‘Healthy Hubs’ and a network of ‘Active Corridors’. Each Healthy Hub is a local park that has had a building with toilets, an activity ranger, improved play areas and footpaths and the provision of new outdoor gym equipment. It is particularly in relation to the outdoor gym equipment where Access in Dudley’s (AID) input was invaluable.

AIDs’ role started right at the beginning in 2008 when they were asked to assess a pilot gym in the borough for accessibility for people with differing degrees of disability. Their experience with their members and their knowledge of the range and scope of certain conditions meant that the equipment became more inclusive than exclusive. This input then informed how the Healthy Towns equipment was implemented, to include lower heights, signage and contrasting colours. Post implementation, a further review was held during a site visit and it was identified that the exercise bikes could be a problem for some users who had to step on to a moving part. It was suggested that a fixed step could be developed to bye- pass this problem, this was subsequently adopted as good practice by the company and is on all the hub sites. The input from AID has I believe enabled greater use of the equipment from all ages and abilities, and their input is always realistic and supportive, they recognise the real world situations that organisations work in and support them to be inclusive, therefore providing a meaningful service for the borough.”


Dean Hill
Physical Activity Programme Manager, Public health, NHS Dudley. Food and Nutrition Programme Manager, Public health, NHS Dudley. Head of Healthy Towns, Public health, NHS Dudley. Dudley MBC.


What we are doing:

PARK STANDARDS:

We are currently awaiting the adoption by Dudley MBC, of a document to establish standards above and beyond those in the BT Countryside standards for formal parks and other open spaces.

These 'park standards' have been co written with members of staff based at Dudley MBC’s Directorate of Urban Environment and has been supported by Cllr Stanley and Cllr Banks, who is the current champion of the disabled.

After auditing over 30 parks and play areas, A.I.D. wrote what was the foundation of this document, with the idea that any new park or improvement to existing parks could be made better for all by making the improvements so that disabled people could access and enjoy the parks facilities more easily.

If this document is adopted by Dudley MBC, it will be the design guidance for all development around the borough and we hope that if the Planning Department adopts the document, who knows what changes will be made to our built environment.

Currently this document cannot be found on the Local Authority website, however as soon as possible after the document has been adopted, the full document will be published on their website and we will provide the link.

“The Access Design Guidelines which we have produced in partnership with Access In Dudley (AID), have not only raised our awareness of access issues - as designers and managers of parks and open spaces, but have shown us that by making simple, and often relatively inexpensive, adjustments we can ensure that many more people can enjoy the Borough's enormous wealth of parks and countryside.

Access in Dudley have carried out access audits on a significant number of our key parks and nature reserves. Their recommendations have been thorough but always pragmatic. On certain sites the topography makes it almost impossible to provide access for all, but with the help of AiD we have been able to identify certain routes which can be used by people with limited mobility, be that wheelchair users or the elderly.”

Sally Orton
Head of Museums, Greenspaces and Bereavement Services
Culture and Leisure Services
Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

DUDLEY MARKET PLACE REDEVELOPMENT:

Access in Dudley is currently amongst those consulting with Dudley MBC over the redevelopment of Dudley Town Market Place.

This consultation has been open to the public and can be found at:
http://www.dudley.gov.uk/business/regeneration/new-dudley-market-place-consultation/?Market consultation


For details of meeting dates, please check the diary page on this website.