For volunteer week which is this week 1st till 7th June, I’m reflecting on what I’ve learnt over my 2 years of volunteering as a Euan’s Guide ambassador for the Dundee area. It’s a great charity to be involved with and I hope that this blog post helps if others want to join our amazing team.
About other disabilities
Before I started to be involved with Euan’s Guide I didn’t really know anyone with a disability, especially a disability different to my own. However, I’ve met so many fantastic people the last couple years who have opened my eyes to the different barriers they face when out and about. Reading other peoples reviews also gives me insight into what works best for everyone and I try to include suggestions reflecting on what I read in my reviews to help others in the future.
That I can be confident
With being involved with Euan’s Guide I visit a lot of places and talk to a lot of people. I attend events representing Euan’s Guide and offer advice to business owners on how to be more accessible. Doing these things has definitely given me more confidence and I think that is because of the great support that staff and fellow ambassadors give you.
What to look for when reviewing the accessibility of a business
I’ve always struggled with accessibility as I’ve always been a wheelchair user however, I only really saw that I couldn’t get into somewhere because they had stairs and didn’t look at the surrounding facilities (i.e. table heights, door width, how to open the door etc.). I would just manage around those things. Now with doing reviews I notice everything and definitely comment on them, trying to provide positive feedback and if needed, suggestions on what improvements can be made. When writing a review, they are split into 4 main sections; Transport, Access, Toilets and Staff. This is great for you to know exactly what to write about, especially when you first start to do reviews. I usually now end up writing numerous paragraphs in each section, just because I am more aware and try to provide as much information as possible.
Where is accessible for wheelchair users all over the world
Before I became an ambassador I hadn’t looked up any reviews on Euan’s Guide, I would usually either just turn up to a business and hope for the best or contact a business through social media to see if they are accessible. However, now my go to place to check first is definitely Euan’s Guide. It’s perfect for visiting a new city when you don’t know anywhere, the only thing is that someone needs to do a review on a business for it to be available on the website.
The importance of emergency red cords
I’ve always known about emergency red cords in accessible toilets and why they are there however, I wasn’t quite aware of the issues that people have with them constantly being tied up. Now I continuously check in as many accessible toilets that I can, untie them if they are tied up and attach a Euan’s Guide red cord card to let others aware of why they are there and should always be hanging free. You can order red cord cards off of the Euan’s Guide website and help spread the awareness.
These are probably just a few of the things that I have learnt since becoming a Euan’s Guide ambassador. I’ve probably learnt more but, I can’t think of anymore just now. A couple of months ago though I did share a video on my YouTube channel which you can find below where I share how I complete a Euan’s Guide review online.