This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit

Disability Arts Online

Giving notice / 18 July 2008

I heard a funny story from a Disabled friend the other day. He’s been working as an access auditor in one of the big hospitals in the North of England and really felt that he was starting to get through to them. blindsign cartoon

They’d initially thought that all they had to do was improve their wheelchair access and that would be that! The fact that they also had to work at their signage and communication, along with other non-physical aspects came as a bit of a surprise to them apparently.

The story centres on the Outpatients Department and the ways that they facilitated various groups of patients as they arrived for their appointments. He’d already had to point out to the reception staff of the Audiology (hearing) section that calling out the names of people waiting to see the hearing Consultants wasn’t exactly a very viable method!

After several feed-back sessions with the various team leaders involved, he was invited to revisit the Ophthalmology section (sight). They were extremely pleased with themselves and pointed out that they now had information in Braille and large print at their reception counter, and had made sure that blind (sic) people coming into the general department knew where to obtain this. The cartoon alongside summarises their solution!