A CAMPAIGN to improve disability access in Penarth has been officially launched.

Saturday 27 April saw the launch at West House of Access Penarth, a new campaign to make Penarth a disability-friendly town.

Speakers including Stephen Doughty MP, John Davies of Shop Penarth, chair of Gwyrddio Penarth Greening (GPG) Gideon Calder, Paul Galsworthy (Penarth Ex-Servicemen’s Club) and Penarth’s Mayor Jon Luxton all gave their support to the campaign.

The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness among local shops and amenities of the barriers faced by disabled people seeking to use their services – and to encourage them to make what adjustments they can to make them more welcoming to all in the community. It will build on what is already in place and take straightforward steps rather than demanding the impossible from venue owners.

As the Penarth Times previously reported, the scheme is based around a pledge. It declares commitments where possible to welcome and treat citizens with equal respect, support disability awareness sessions and participate wherever possible, to make adjustments to premises to make them more accessible, and to to make adjustments to provided services with accessibility in mind.

The launch event gave an opportunity for disabled people themselves to speak about their experiences, and their hopes for the campaign.

The event was also attended by the Vale of Glamorgan’s Mayor Leighton Rowlands and Morfudd Meredith, Lord Lieutenant for the Vale of Glamorgan, as well as a number of councillors for Penarth and the Vale.

Mayor Luxton spoke about how disability is an issue we tackle by changing our social environment. Everything from dropped kerbs to induction loops, to just speaking a little more slowly makes the world a less disabling place for people with physical and other impairments.

The campaign is being run in collaboration with individuals from organisations including Vale People First, Action on Hearing Loss Cymru, Disability Wales, Dementia-Friendly Penarth and Penarth Youth Action.

It has already gained verbal support from several local shopkeepers, and organisers will begin formally inviting them to ‘take the pledge’ over the next few weeks.

For more information, find Access Penarth on Twitter @AccessPenarth