English Heritage is committed to improving access to the historic environment for everybody, especially those groups who have traditionally been excluded from engaging and contributing to our shared heritage. We are working hard to ensure that we meet and exceed the legal requirements to involve and consult with different groups in all of our core work.
One of the most positive recent developments to the ways we do this is the establishment of the English Heritage Disability Action Group (DAG).
This group is made up of staff across all pay grades and areas of expertise, all with a real interest in disability equality issues, as well as external advisors from charities such as People First Self Advocacy, Action on Hearing Loss and RNIB.
What Does the Disability Action Group Do?
The groups meet three times a year to discuss disability related actions in the Single Equality Scheme and to raise any issues affecting staff or visitors which we monitor through visitor comments and surveys.
The DAG looks at disability equality issues across the organisation, from diversifying the workforce, to grants for reasonable adjustments to improving intellectual access at our sites. Feeding into DAG is the Properties Access Group which has a remit to look at improving access at all our properties and enhancing the visitor experience for disabled guests.
How Does Change Happen?
Both the Disability Action Group and the Properties Access Group feed their recommendations and achievements into the Social Inclusion and Diversity Review Group. This is made up of English Heritage Directors who look at broadening access to heritage at a more strategic level. This group in turn feeds in to our Executive Board where necessary. This way we ensure that people are having a much stronger voice for change throughout the organisation and we are already beginning to see positive results.