We’re working on Brighton & Hove’s Accessible City Strategy, the first to put accessibility at the heart of how we design and deliver all our services.
The aim is to make the city more accessible to all D/deaf, disabled and neurodiverse people and to everyone who lives, works or visits Brighton & Hove, irrespective of their service access requirements.
The final version of the strategy will be discussed at the Tourism, Equality, Culture & Communities Committee in March 2023.
Developing our Accessibility Strategy
Our developing Accessible City Strategy builds on existing council work and contributions to accessibility within the city, reviews its current approaches and starts new work where it is needed.
The guiding principles of the strategy include following a social model of disability, looking at where people are disabled by barriers in society rather than by their impairment or difference and going beyond the minimum legal compliance with the Equality Act wherever possible and practical.
All council services are contributing to the drafting of the strategy and establishing their own action plans to ensure that inclusive design principles are implemented consistently from the very start across all the council’s work.
Accessible City Strategy community consultations are taking place through two engagement groups - the Disability Panel and the Wider Reference Group.
The Disability Panel is made up of larger disabled people’s organisations and disabled individuals, who give strategic, expert and impartial advice to the council on developing, implementing, monitoring and reviewing the strategy and the resulting action plans.
The Wider Reference Group provides a safe, inclusive space for local disability groups and organisations to give their views and discuss how the city and council services can become more accessible.
We’re still looking for smaller disabled people’s organisations and groups to join in our Wider Reference Group. The group is a membership body and registering your interest is enough to join. Please email EDI.Officer-Disability@brighton-hove.gov.uk if you are interested in taking part.
Councillor Steph Powell, Co-Chair of the Tourism, Equality, Culture & Communities Committee, said:
“The theme for this year’s UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December is around inclusive development fuelling an accessible and equitable world, and this is very much what we’re aiming to with introducing the city-wide accessibility strategy.
“The authority-wide integrated approach we’re taking is the first to be delivered like this nationally.
“There has been a lot of progress on improving accessibility in and around the city over the past years but we're very aware it's not everywhere.
“Our aim for the Accessible City Strategy is to bring all the best practice together and identify where work still needs to be done to make the city more accessible for all residents and visitors.”