For our winter newsletter, we interviewed Emma Goulding, the Accessibility Ambassador for the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) in Exeter, to find out about her role and what she has achieved so far.
Emma took up the mantle of Accessibility Ambassador about two years ago and was our first Ambassador in the region.
1. So Emma, how long have you been with RAMM, and what did you do before?
I’ve been working as a Museum Assistant at RAMM for nearly five years now, and I was a volunteer at the museum for two years before that.
2. Why did you decide to be an ambassador?
When I was eight, my mother was involved in a car accident, which left her with a range of disabilities. Since that time, I have become increasingly aware of how vital - equal access is, and the numerous limitations that not having good accessibility can create.
3. What do you do as an Accessibility Ambassador at RAMM?
I monitor the building for any potential problems disabled visitors may face when visiting and listen to customer feedback about our accessible tools. I have helped implement new accessibility aids such as Easy Read Guides and British Sign Language (BSL) tours, helping to promote them to a broader audience and ensure visitors are aware they are available on request. I also provide staff and volunteers with Disability Awareness training for our organisation.
4. What is your proudest achievement within the role so far?
It’s hard to pinpoint, but it’s always great to watch individuals using facilities that I helped to implement.
I think it helps to keep accessibility as a current and ongoing concern. There is always more that can be done and having someone within an organisation that people can approach with any ideas or concerns are always useful.
5. What you plan do you do next as an ambassador?
Oh gosh, I’m not sure. I will continue to roll out our Disability Awareness training to all staff and volunteers and keep my eyes open for any other improvements I think can be made to improve accessibility for disabled people.
6. Is it a lot of extra work?
Not really, it’s mostly about being passionate about accessibility and being willing to talk to people about it; be that training staff and volunteers or marketing the products that Heritage Ability has helped the museum create
7. Any advice you would give others interested in becoming an ambassador?
Do it! It’s incredibly rewarding and a really easy way to make a positive impact on an organisation.
Happy New year Emma and keep up the excellent work!
For more information on becoming an Accessibility Ambassador at one of our partner heritage sites, please contact Claire Rowe, Communications and Engagement Officer, by emailing [email protected].