As a result of Heritage Ability, disabled and Deaf people with their families and friends will have meaningful, inspiring and life-enriching engagements with the South West’s heritage.
The South West of England has an astounding variety of heritage ranging from iconic landscapes such as the Jurassic coast and the rugged beauty of Dartmoor to the Georgian grandeur of Bath and bustling coastal towns and villages. People visiting heritage places go to relax and spend time together; to learn about wildlife; nature conservation; the environment; history and human stories that have shaped the landscape and built heritage over thousands of years.
We believe this heritage should be accessible to everyone. However, this is certainly not the case at the moment. Although there are many examples of good practice, for most disabled people and Deaf people, the heritage that the rest of the population takes for granted can be a struggle to access.
Changing cannot be done overnight. The Heritage Ability project is helping at least 20 South West heritage destinations over the next three years become more accessible. These places will then become role models to show what can be done and the value of a community-led approach.
By 2020, Heritage Ability will be a self-sustaining initiative, working with a new collection of sites to generate change even more widely.