Directory

Here you will find a selection of specialist organisations and independent companies that provide advice, assistance and services to help disabled people get out and about in Britain.

Getting Around

Action for Blind People New window icon
National charity providing advice and practical support; the Resources section of their website is particularly helpful.

Blue Badge Parking Map New window icon
Online interactive map with locations of Blue Badge parking, car park access, accessible toilets, railway stations and more.

BBNav New window icon
Blue Badge enhanced GPS navigation. Sat-Nav system with all the usual functionality as well as coverage of Blue Badge on-street parking bays, car park access and local council parking rules for over 150 major UK cities and towns.

Bus Pass Scheme, England
Free off-peak travel on the whole English local bus network is now available for over 60s and disabled people. Passes are usually available from the local council. Some councils offer additional benefits such as peak-time travel. Further information is available at www.direct.gov.uk New window icon or www.dft.gov.uk New window icon.

Bus pass schemes, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland operate independent bus pass schemes. In Wales, contact your local council for a pass you can use on buses at any time of day. A similar scheme is run by Transport Scotland www.transportscotland.gov.ukNew window icon and requires a National Entitlement card. In Northern Ireland, you can apply to Translink www.translink.co.ukNew window icon for a half-fare SmartPass that can be used on bus and rail services.

Changing Places New window icon
This consortium campaigns for toilets for people who require non-standard access features, including hoists.
England, Wales and Northern Ireland :
T: 020 7696 6019
E: changingplaces@mencap.org.uk New window icon
Scotland: T: 01382 385154
E: pamischangingplaces@dundee.ac.uk New window icon

Door to DoorNew window icon
Website run by the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) providing transport and travel advice for disabled people. A great starting point for basic information on all forms of transport, with good detail on London travel, if you can get beyond the sometimes obvious advice.

Disabled Persons Railcard New window icon
Concessionary railcard costing £18 annually, but allows 1/3 off most rail fares for those with a disability.
T: 0845 605 0525
Textphone : 0845 601 0132
E: disability@atoc.org New window icon

Disabled Motoring UK New window icon (incorporating Disabled Drivers Association)
A charity and member organisation campaigning for improvements in access for disabled motorists, passengers and Blue Badge holders.
T: 01508 489449
E: info@disabledmotoring.org New window icon

Motability New window icon
Exchange your higher rate mobility allowance for a new car, powered wheelchair or scooter.
T: 0845 456 4566
T: 0845 675 0009 (Minicom)

National Federation of Shopmobility UK New window icon
Most towns and shopping centres have a Shopmobility scheme that lends manual wheelchairs, powered wheelchairs and scooters.
T: 0844 4141850
E: info@shopmobilityuk.org New window icon

National Express New window icon
Aiming to run a 100 percent accessible coach network by late 2013, new vehicles are being steadily rolled out. Adapted coaches have a wide entrance, lift access, level flooring and a large toilet. Discounts for disabled passengers - up to half-price - are available on some services.
Disabled Persons Travel Helpline: 08717 818179
Textphone: 0121 4550086

Need a Loo? New window icon
Online directory of publicly accessible disabled toilets. Whilst not totally comprehensive, there are a lot of loos listed. Locations displayed via Streetmap and Google Maps.

RADAR New window icon
Campaigning network of organisations who operate the National Key Scheme for accessible toilets.
T: 020 7250 3222
E: radar@radar.org.uk New window icon

RNIB New window icon
Advice on leisure activities and holidays for those with visual impairments, including a list of accessible museum and gallery events.

Stations Made Easy New window icon
Search for any station via the “stations and on train” page on the National Rail website, click on the “Stations Made Easy” icon next to the results, and you’ll be provided with a handy station floor plan and invaluable images of facilities including ticket desks and platforms, to help with route planning.

Transport for London (TFL) New window icon
Search for any station via the “stations and on train” page on the National Rail website, click on the “Stations Made Easy” icon next to the results, and you’ll be provided with a handy station floor plan and invaluable images of facilities including ticket desks and platforms, to help with route planning.

Travel & Leisure

Ableize New window icon
Online directory of links to further information and services, including travel, recreation, sports, holidays and accommodation.

Action for Blind People New window icon
Action for Blind People provides free and confidential support for blind and partially sighted people.
T: 020 7635 4800
E: central@actionforblindpeople.org.uk New window icon

Contact A Family New window icon
Publishes a guide to “Holidays, Play and Leisure” containing advice on available facilities for children with disabilities and details of holiday providers along with possible sources of funding. The guide can be downloaded for free from the website – search under “leisure”.
T: 0808 8083555
Textphone: 0808 8083556

Direct Enquiries New window icon
Online directory with a great London Underground accessible route planner that has platform-to-platform and platform-to-street-level information for every station.
T: 01344 360101
E: customerservices@directenquiries.com New window icon

Disabled Go New window icon
Heavily detailed access information for restaurants, hotels, cinemas, tourist attractions, pubs, train stations and more.
T: 0845 270 4627
E: questions@disabledgo.com New window icon

Disabled Holiday Info New window icon
Useful website with advice on accessible attractions, transport and activities in selected regions of the UK.
E: info@disabledholidayinfo.org.uk New window icon

Disabled Ramblers New window icon
Organise and run a programme of supported disabled rambles each year. They campaign for better access while fully preserving the character of the countryside.

Directgov New window icon
Government website for public services with an area dedicated to people with disabilities. Contains background on the National Accessible Scheme for accommodation in England, the Blue Badge parking scheme and advice on places of interest, leisure and accessing the arts.

Disability Now New window icon
Wide-ranging magazine, supported by Scope, with some travel articles. The website has a listings section for accessible hotels, cottages and B&Bs.

Disabled Information from the Disabled New window icon
A website where disabled people can share their experiences and expertise with others by submitting “articles” on various subjects – the result of which is a diverse mix of informative pieces and some obvious promotion. Features some useful advice for drivers. Far from a comprehensive list but definitely a good starting point.

Good Access Guide New window icon
An online directory of services, businesses and venues that advertise themselves as accessible and disabled-friendly.
T: 01502 566005

National Autistic Society New window icon
Features some advice on planning holidays and days out when you have a child with autism, plus lists of holiday providers and accommodation suitable for adults with autism. Also features the extensive Autism Services Directory which lists organisations providing play and leisure services.

National Blind Children’s Society New window icon
Provides a range of services and organises days out for children with visual impairments at many attractions in the UK.

Open_Britain New window icon
A quarterly magazine filled with news, features and travel advice as well as accommodation, restaurant and attraction reviews and listings. The website also includes full, searchable reviews from Disabled Go.

Ouch! New window icon
BBC website concerning disability issues with news, blogs and an active forum. There isn’t a specific message board for travel but posting a question on the general board is likely to gain a good response.

RNIB New window icon
Advice on leisure activities and holidays for those with visual impairments, including a list of accessible museum and gallery events. There are also links and ideas for shopping, cinemas, theatre trips and spectator sports. They also provide advice on finding holiday accommodation.

Special Needs Kids New window icon
The ‘fun & leisure’ section on this website has some useful suggestions for days out for families with children who have special needs.

Tourism For All New window icon
A national charity dedicated to making tourism welcoming for all. The website has lots of ideas for places to visit.
T: 0845 124 9971

Vision Hotels New window icon
Vision Hotels are part of Action for Blind People offering accessible holidays for everyone.
T: 01539 445801
E: enquiries@visionhotels.co.uk New window icon

Walks with Wheelchairs New window icon
The only website in the UK dedicated to providing free information on routes that are suitable for wheelchair users throughout the UK.

The Wheel Life Guide New window icon
A helpful directory specialising in leisure and lifestyle, in association with thewheellife.com (a social networking site). Useful organisations, accommodation, activity holidays and tour operators are listed and there is a particularly good section on disabled sporting associations.

Youreable.com New window icon
Online community site run by the Disabled Living Foundation. The active forums cover motoring, travel, work, parenting and many other topics, and can be an excellent source of information and advice.

British Tourism

Accessible South West New window icon
A website produced by South West Tourism with a directory of accessible services and places. The accommodation directory is useful but places to eat are harder to find as they are listed under “businesses and services” with contacts including launderettes.

English Heritage New window icon
Owners of over 400 historic properties, English Heritage operates an Access for All policy and an Access Guide featuring properties with good provisions for visitors with limited mobility and sensory needs.
T: 0870 333 1181
Textphone: 0800 015 0516
E: customers@english-heritage.org.uk New window icon

Enjoy England New window icon
The accommodation search function on the website allows you to filter search results by type of disability (physical, visual or hearing). Every establishment assessed by Enjoy England has completed a detailed Access Statement; they’re not available to download but you can ask the hotel to send it to you before you book.

Experience Community CIC New window icon
Not-for-profit organisation that provides video guides, photographs and written information about tourism, attractions, facilities and walks in Yorkshire for disabled and older people. They also organise day trips using accessible vehicles, tour guides and providing personal assistants.

National Trust New window icon
The dedicated Access for All office runs a policy that includes an Admit One card scheme allowing free entry for an essential companion. An annually published Access Guide has details for every property.
T: 01793 817634
E: accessforall@nationaltrust.org.uk New window icon

Visit Birmingham New window icon
Undoubtedly the most useful regional tourist board website. It’s not perfect, but the Access for All section has tips on getting around Birmingham, including a link-up with Direct Enquiries to provide photo journeys of routes to tourist destinations from the nearest public transport. Birmingham City Centre Partnership run two great schemes – Meet and Greet to help people get around 0121 6162259 and Wayfinder Talking Signs for blind and visually impaired people.
T: 0121 2025115

Visit Lancashire New window icon
This website has an online list of accessible accommodation and some access information for attractions but unfortunately the fairly comprehensive “food and drink” listings section doesn’t include access details.
T: 01257 226600
E: info@visitlancashire.com New window icon

Visit Britain New window icon
Britain’s national tourism agency also run the National Accessible Scheme – a nationally recognised rating for accessible accommodation.

Visit Scotland New window icon
Runs its own quality assurance scheme for disabled access. Accommodation and attractions are searchable on the website using accessibility criteria.
T: 0845 225 5121
E: info@visitscotland.com New window icon

Family Days Out

Contact A Family New window icon
Publishes a guide to Holidays, Play and Leisure containing advice on available facilities for children with disabilities and details of holiday providers along with possible sources of funding. The guide can be downloaded for free from the website - search under ‘leisure’.
T: 0808 808 3555
Textphone: 0808 808 3556

Mumsnet New window icon
Place a question or request for advice about accessible family travel in the highly active forum area of this website, and it is unlikely to go unanswered. The site also has a Special Needs information section.

National Autistic Society New window icon
Features some advice on planning holidays and days out when you have a child with autism, plus lists of holiday providers and accommodation suitable for adults with autism. Also features the extensive Autism Services Directory which lists organisations providing play and leisure services.

National Blind Children’s Society New window icon
Organises days out for children with visual impairments at many attractions in the UK. An activity planner is downloadable from the website.

Special Needs Kids New window icon
The “leisure & activities” section on this website has some useful suggestions for days out for families with children who have special needs. Also has details of disabled sporting organisations and children’s activity clubs.

Take the Family New window icon
This brief, but informed article on travelling with disabled children sits amongst a decent offering of general family travel advice.

Other

Abnormally Funny People New window icon
Show from a troop of stand-up comedians with a season running at the Soho Theatre, London. All but one of the performers is disabled.

Arthritis Care New window icon
Offering support to those affected by arthritis. The website has active discussion forums on a comprehensive range of topics, and provides advice on topics such as exercise and arthritis.

Action on Hearing Loss New window icon
Formerly the RNID, Action on Hearing Loss provide support and advice to those affected by hearing loss. The community area of the website is an excellent resource.
T: 0808 8080123
Textphone: 0808 808 9000

BHF – Heart Matters New window icon
This FREE service from the British Heart Foundation offers a unique package of support and information for people looking to improve their heart health.
T: 0300 330 3300
W: bhf.org.uk/heartmattersNew window icon
E: internet@bhf.org.ukNew window icon

Carers Direct New window icon
Information, advice and support for carers from NHS Choices. Provides details of services on offer, as well as step-by-step guides to everything from managing finances to young carers.

The Princess Royal Trust for Carers New window icon
Provides support to carers including practical assistance such as details on local resources available, to aiding carers in planning days out. Regular blogs and discussion boards top up the information available.

A-Z

Action for Blind PeopleNew window icon
National charity providing advice and practical support; the Resources section of their website is particularly helpful.

Ableize New window icon
Online directory of links to further information and services, including travel, recreation, sports, holidays and accommodation.

Abnormally Funny People New window icon
Show from a troop of stand-up comedians with a season running at the Soho Theatre, London. All but one of the performers is disabled.

Accessible South West New window icon
A website produced by South West Tourism with a directory of accessible services and places. The accommodation directory is useful but places to eat are harder to find as they are listed under “businesses and services” with contacts including launderettes.

Action for Blind People New window icon
Action for Blind People provides free and confidential support for blind and partially sighted people.
T: 020 7635 4800
E: central@actionforblindpeople.org.uk New window icon

Action on Hearing Loss New window icon
Formerly the RNID, Action on Hearing Loss provide support and advice to those affected by hearing loss. The community area of the website is an excellent resource.
T: 0808 8080123
Textphone: 0808 808 9000

Arthritis Care New window icon
Offering support to those affected by arthritis. The website has active discussion forums on a comprehensive range of topics, and provides advice on topics such as exercise and arthritis.

BBNavNew window icon
Blue Badge enhanced GPS navigation. Sat-Nav system with all the usual functionality as well as coverage of Blue Badge on-street parking bays, car park access and local council parking rules for over 150 major UK cities and towns.

BHF – Heart Matters New window icon
This FREE service from the British Heart Foundation offers a unique package of support and information for people looking to improve their heart health.
T: 0300 330 3300
W: bhf.org.uk/heartmattersNew window icon
E: internet@bhf.org.ukNew window icon

Blue Badge Parking MapNew window icon
Online interactive map with locations of Blue Badge parking, car park access, accessible toilets, railway stations and more.

Bus Pass Scheme, England
Free off-peak travel on the whole English local bus network is now available for over 60s and disabled people. Passes are usually available from the local council. Some councils offer additional benefits such as peak-time travel. Further information is available at www.direct.gov.ukNew window icon or www.dft.gov.ukNew window icon.

Bus pass schemes, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland operate independent bus pass schemes. In Wales, contact your local council for a pass you can use on buses at any time of day. A similar scheme is run by Transport Scotland www.transportscotland.gov.ukNew window icon and requires a National Entitlement card. In Northern Ireland, you can apply to Translink www.translink.co.ukNew window icon for a half-fare SmartPass that can be used on bus and rail services.

Carers Direct New window icon
Information, advice and support for carers from NHS Choices. Provides details of services on offer, as well as step-by-step guides to everything from managing finances to young carers.

Changing Places New window icon
This consortium campaigns for toilets for people who require non-standard access features, including hoists.
England, Wales and Northern Ireland :
T: 020 7696 6019
E: changingplaces@mencap.org.uk New window icon
Scotland: T: 01382 385154
E: pamischangingplaces@dundee.ac.uk New window icon

Contact A Family New window icon
Publishes a guide to “Holidays, Play and Leisure” containing advice on available facilities for children with disabilities and details of holiday providers along with possible sources of funding. The guide can be downloaded for free from the website – search under “leisure”.
T: 0808 8083555
Textphone: 0808 8083556

Door to DoorNew window icon
Website run by the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) providing transport and travel advice for disabled people. A great starting point for basic information on all forms of transport, with good detail on London travel, if you can get beyond the sometimes obvious advice.

Directgov New window icon
Government website for public services with an area dedicated to people with disabilities. Contains background on the National Accessible Scheme for accommodation in England, the Blue Badge parking scheme and advice on places of interest, leisure and accessing the arts.

Direct Enquiries New window icon
Online directory with a great London Underground accessible route planner that has platform-to-platform and platform-to-street-level information for every station.
T: 01344 360101
E: customerservices@directenquiries.com New window icon

Disabled Go New window icon
Heavily detailed access information for restaurants, hotels, cinemas, tourist attractions, pubs, train stations and more.
T: 0845 270 4627
E: questions@disabledgo.com New window icon

Disabled Motoring UK New window icon (incorporating Disabled Drivers Association)
A charity and member organisation campaigning for improvements in access for disabled motorists, passengers and Blue Badge holders.
T: 01508 489449
E: info@disabledmotoring.org New window icon

Disabled Holiday Info New window icon
Useful website with advice on accessible attractions, transport and activities in selected regions of the UK.
E: info@disabledholidayinfo.org.uk New window icon

Disabled Information from the Disabled New window icon
A website where disabled people can share their experiences and expertise with others by submitting “articles” on various subjects – the result of which is a diverse mix of informative pieces and some obvious promotion. Features some useful advice for drivers. Far from a comprehensive list but definitely a good starting point.

Disabled Persons Railcard New window icon
Concessionary railcard costing £18 annually, but allows 1/3 off most rail fares for those with a disability.
T: 0845 605 0525
Textphone : 0845 601 0132
E: disability@atoc.org New window icon

Disabled Ramblers New window icon
Organise and run a programme of supported disabled rambles each year. They campaign for better access while fully preserving the character of the countryside.

Disability Now New window icon
Wide-ranging magazine, supported by Scope, with some travel articles. The website has a listings section for accessible hotels, cottages and B&Bs.

English Heritage New window icon
Owners of over 400 historic properties, English Heritage operates an Access for All policy and an Access Guide featuring properties with good provisions for visitors with limited mobility and sensory needs.
T: 0870 333 1181
Textphone: 0800 015 0516
E: customers@english-heritage.org.uk New window icon

Enjoy England New window icon
The accommodation search function on the website allows you to filter search results by type of disability (physical, visual or hearing). Every establishment assessed by Enjoy England has completed a detailed Access Statement; they’re not available to download but you can ask the hotel to send it to you before you book.

Experience Community CIC New window icon
Not-for-profit organisation that provides video guides, photographs and written information about tourism, attractions, facilities and walks in Yorkshire for disabled and older people. They also organise day trips using accessible vehicles, tour guides and providing personal assistants.

First Group Games TravelNew window icon
Coach services to Olympic and Paralympic venues, including direct, accessible coaches and park-and-ride services.
T: 0844 9212012

Good Access Guide New window icon
An online directory of services, businesses and venues that advertise themselves as accessible and disabled-friendly.
T: 01502 566005

Inclusive LondonNew window icon
Direct Enquiries’ fully searchable database of restaurants, accommodation, Olympic and Paralympic venues, accessible toilets and just about everything else you might need during a stay in London. Also available as a handy iPhone app.

Motability New window icon
Exchange your higher rate mobility allowance for a new car, powered wheelchair or scooter.
T: 0845 456 4566
T: 0845 675 0009 (Minicom)

Mumsnet New window icon
Place a question or request for advice about accessible family travel in the highly active forum area of this website, and it is unlikely to go unanswered. The site also has a Special Needs information section.

National Autistic Society New window icon
Features some advice on planning holidays and days out when you have a child with autism, plus lists of holiday providers and accommodation suitable for adults with autism. Also features the extensive Autism Services Directory which lists organisations providing play and leisure services.

National Blind Children’s Society New window icon
Provides a range of services and organises days out for children with visual impairments at many attractions in the UK.

National Express New window icon
Aiming to run a 100 percent accessible coach network by late 2013, new vehicles are being steadily rolled out. Adapted coaches have a wide entrance, lift access, level flooring and a large toilet. Discounts for disabled passengers - up to half-price - are available on some services.
Disabled Persons Travel Helpline: 08717 818179
Textphone: 0121 4550086

National Federation of Shopmobility UK New window icon
Most towns and shopping centres have a Shopmobility scheme that lends manual wheelchairs, powered wheelchairs and scooters.
T: 0844 4141850
E: info@shopmobilityuk.org New window icon

National Trust New window icon
The dedicated Access for All office runs a policy that includes an Admit One card scheme allowing free entry for an essential companion. An annually published Access Guide has details for every property.
T: 01793 817634
E: accessforall@nationaltrust.org.uk New window icon

Need a Loo? New window icon
Online directory of publicly accessible disabled toilets. Whilst not totally comprehensive, there are a lot of loos listed. Locations displayed via Streetmap and Google Maps.

Open_Britain New window icon
A quarterly magazine filled with news, features and travel advice as well as accommodation, restaurant and attraction reviews and listings. The website also includes full, searchable reviews from Disabled Go.

Open London New window icon
Time Out’s official Olympic and Paralympic travel guide to London for visitors with disabilities.

Ouch! New window icon
BBC website concerning disability issues with news, blogs and an active forum. There isn’t a specific message board for travel but posting a question on the general board is likely to gain a good response.

RADAR New window icon
Campaigning network of organisations who operate the National Key Scheme for accessible toilets.
T: 020 7250 3222
E: radar@radar.org.uk New window icon

RNIB New window icon
Advice on leisure activities and holidays for those with visual impairments, including a list of accessible museum and gallery events. There are also links and ideas for shopping, cinemas, theatre trips and spectator sports. They also provide advice on finding holiday accommodation.

Special Needs Kids New window icon
The ‘fun & leisure’ section on this website has some useful suggestions for days out for families with children who have special needs.

Spectator Journey Planner New window icon
Plan and book your travel to, from and between Olympic and Paralympic sites. You can even reserve Blue Badge spaces here.

Stations Made Easy New window icon
Search for any station via the “stations and on train” page on the National Rail website, click on the “Stations Made Easy” icon next to the results, and you’ll be provided with a handy station floor plan and invaluable images of facilities including ticket desks and platforms, to help with route planning.

Take the Family New window icon
This brief, but informed article on travelling with disabled children sits amongst a decent offering of general family travel advice.

The Princess Royal Trust for Carers New window icon
Provides support to carers including practical assistance such as details on local resources available, to aiding carers in planning days out. Regular blogs and discussion boards top up the information available.

The Wheel Life Guide New window icon
A helpful directory specialising in leisure and lifestyle, in association with thewheellife.com (a social networking site). Useful organisations, accommodation, activity holidays and tour operators are listed and there is a particularly good section on disabled sporting associations.

Tourism For All New window icon
A national charity dedicated to making tourism welcoming for all. The website has lots of ideas for places to visit.
T: 0845 124 9971

Transport for London (TFL) New window icon
Search for any station via the “stations and on train” page on the National Rail website, click on the “Stations Made Easy” icon next to the results, and you’ll be provided with a handy station floor plan and invaluable images of facilities including ticket desks and platforms, to help with route planning.

Vision Hotels New window icon
Vision Hotels are part of Action for Blind People offering accessible holidays for everyone.
T: 01539 445801
E: enquiries@visionhotels.co.uk New window icon

Visit Birmingham New window icon
Undoubtedly the most useful regional tourist board website. It’s not perfect, but the Access for All section has tips on getting around Birmingham, including a link-up with Direct Enquiries to provide photo journeys of routes to tourist destinations from the nearest public transport. Birmingham City Centre Partnership run two great schemes – Meet and Greet to help people get around 0121 6162259 and Wayfinder Talking Signs for blind and visually impaired people.
T: 0121 2025115

Visit Britain New window icon
Britain’s national tourism agency also run the National Accessible Scheme – a nationally recognised rating for accessible accommodation.

Visit Lancashire New window icon
This website has an online list of accessible accommodation and some access information for attractions but unfortunately the fairly comprehensive “food and drink” listings section doesn’t include access details.
T: 01257 226600
E: info@visitlancashire.com

Visit Scotland New window icon
Runs its own quality assurance scheme for disabled access. Accommodation and attractions are searchable on the website using accessibility criteria.
T: 0845 225 5121
E: info@visitscotland.com New window icon

Walks with Wheelchairs New window icon
The only website in the UK dedicated to providing free information on routes that are suitable for wheelchair users throughout the UK.

Youreable.com New window icon
Online community site run by the Disabled Living Foundation. The active forums cover motoring, travel, work, parenting and many other topics, and can be an excellent source of information and advice.