The Greater London Authority's London 2012 Unit commissioned Enabled City to produce 26 routes as part of their initiative to improve access for disabled people along the riverside walk on the South Bank of the River Thames.
The Greater London Authority worked with Southwark and Lambeth councils to improve pavement layouts, install better lighting and signage, increase seating and provide more access ramps and handrails as a lasting legacy for London, enabling even more people to enjoy this area. PhotoRoutes easy way-finding completed the improvements and helped everyone find their way to the South Bank Riverside Walk. A continuous safe and accessible route along the South Bank can now be used and enjoyed by everyone regardless of age or disability.
"The GLA was delighted to collaborate with Enabled City on this project. The flexible nature of this innovative company allowed us to complete this project in an efficient timescale without compromising its quality or content. It is always a pleasure to work on projects like this, that benefit such a wide audience and showcase how the Greater London Authority is helping to make the South Bank, and London, a more accessible and inclusive place " Julie Fleck OBE, Advisor on the Paralympics, London 2012 Unit at the Greater London Authority
The South Bank area attracts 22 million visitors every year, and is home to some of London’s iconic visitor destinations including Southwark Cathedral, Borough Market, Shakespeare’s Globe, Oxo Tower, Tate Modern, National Theatre and Royal Festival Hall. We were commissioned to provide a treatment to the South Bank area to ensure locals and tourists were aware of the improved access from Westminster to Tower Bridge. The routes were produced in time for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and serve as part of the Olympic and Paralympic Games legacy. PhotoRoute walking maps are particularly helpful to people with learning or physical disabilities, people whose first language is not English and everybody else finding traditional map reading difficult.
Second Paralympic project
The Greater London Authority's 2012 Unit commissioned Enabled City for another project to help visitors during the Olympic and Paralympic Games find their way along six unique walking routes.
The 6 discovery trails ran across the historic city centre to the greatest sights and sounds of London, brought to life by official Games mascots Mandeville and Wenlock highlighting some great photo opportunities. The PhotoRoute maps were available on the Mayor of London Presents website.
The success of our projects with the GLA led us to develop native mobile phone apps to complement the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic information provision, we've since replaced native apps created for London 2012 with highly inclusive and scaleable web apps as used by Tottenham Hotspur FC and Foundation.
Tottenham Hotspur FC gives its fans access to the revolutionary PhotoRoute app (2014)
The app’s inclusive design helps people across a range of disabilities, including physical disabilities and learning difficulties. PhotoRoute can also assist fans who do not use English as their first language.
PhotoRoute has been championed by Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, the Club’s charitable body that has a track record of providing sporting opportunities for disabled people in our local community.
“The Club is constantly looking at ways in which it can enhance the matchday experience for fans. We believe that offering the PhotoRoute service will ease navigation in and around White Hart Lane for all supporters, especially those with disabilities.
By working closely with our award-winning Foundation, and liaising with the Tottenham Hotspur Disabled Association, the Club is confident it can address the needs of its disabled supporters and continue to ensure the fantastic matchday experience is inclusive of all fans.” Jonathan Waite, Customer Services Manager
One of the key features of the mobile app is that people accessing THFC’s PhotoRoute maps via mobile device when they are within 200 metres of a map have their own location displayed on screen as well as automated way-finding.
Hotspur Foundation & West Lea SEN School promote independent travel (2015)
Through a partnership with Enfield Council’s Joint service for disabled children and Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, the West Lea School subscribed to PhotoRoute to aid their travel-training and independence education. It is, in part, a continuation of the Tottenham Hotsupur’s efforts to widen horizons, raise aspirations and provide opportunities to young people regardless of race, sex, age or ability in it’s communities. They are using these maps, not only to educate their students in independent travel, but also to give them the skills to create these maps, which can translate to real world technical skills.
“West Lea Specialist Sports College & Physical Education School recently published the PhotoRoute map on our website. This was for the public to be able to find us on foot from Edmonton Green railway station to our main entrance. Only after a few days of the publication a visitor to the school commented that they found the link on our website and used the App to find their way to our school. They commented on how easy and efficient it was to use and made the journey on foot more enjoyable and less stress to know they had directions.
We are very pleased with PhotoRoute map and intend to use it for our pupil’s to know how to travel around our borough. Our next publication is to find the route from our school to our charity shop in Edmonton Green Shopping Mall, so our students can find the best, safest and easiest way to the shop”.
Julian Halford Community & Enterprise Manager, West Lea School
The outcomes include greater independence for individuals by reducing the need for council provided transport. Trained instructors will teach their students the in’s and out’s of PhotoRoute, who will then create maps of routes they themselves travel every day. The team at West Lea School is very enthusiastic about this project and PhotoRoute in general. It fits well with the school’s motto of “Learning for Life,” while the system’s easy-to-use interface and adaptable capacity continues the policy of personalisation and ensuring skills needed to advance either in academia or the working world. The act of students independently creating also increases their confidence, independence, and could even count towards Duke of Edinburgh accreditation.
Hotspur Foundation removes independent travel barriers (2017)
Tottenham Hotspur Foundation have received funding from the Premier League Charitable fund to roll out the new PhotoRoute service across their patch, expected outcomes include:
Removing independent travel barriers (the minimal requirement to go on a Hotspur Foundation course)
People with disabilities gaining work based skills from co-creating maps with Hotspur Foundation staff
Enabling students with Special Educational Needs to make healthier lifestyle choices and gain independence
Excellent customer service provision for wider community
Battle and Langton Primary C.E. has grown in size both in term of pupil numbers and footprint over the last few years. At time of writing, the school has 464 pupils on roll; the largest figure ever. There is a whole host of people charged with ensuring the smooth running of the school, from the teachers to the governors, from the kitchen staff to the office staff.
To ensure the children get the best experience possible at Battle and Langton, they have a School Council. The group is made up of seven children from Year 6 who represent each of the seven year groups.
Their role is very diverse. They act as conduits of information between the children and the staff, represent the school at town events and take on a range of projects over the year.
This year, the Council have been working hard on ensuring that accessibility into, out of and around the school is efficient for those with mobility and visual difficulties. This not only includes children on a day to day basis, but also visitors and regular evening users of the building.
Visit Brighton & Visit England create an inclusive destination
“We are delighted to be working with PhotoRoute and view the new walking maps as a very important addition to our information on accessible Brighton. We are sure they will inspire confidence in all visitors that Brighton is a city that can cater for all degrees of mobility, and one that can offer a quality experience to all visitors”. VisitSuzanne Mantell, Visitor Services Manager at VisitBrighton
Brighton is one of the most cultural cities in Europe. Oozing creativity and cultural kudos from every pore, Brighton entertainment offers a hotbed of Festivals, galleries, museums, film, nightlife, comedy and theatre.
Traveling by train is the greenest and often the fastest way to get to Brighton from London and other UK destinations. Travelers from Europe can connect directly from the Eurostar train at St Pancras, London to Brighton.
Brighton is a quality tourist destination. VisitBrighton understands and are committed to improving visitor experience through inclusive design which improves local businesses:
Accessible tourism has an estimated purchasing power of 80 billion pounds per year.
12% of all visitors in large parts of the UK were made by people with access needs or accompanying a person with a special need.
VisitBrighton understands the key drivers to tap into the inclusive tourism market are to boost information provision and excellence in customer service. Their forward thinking has gained recognition to be included in VisitEngland's high profile destination pilots that culminate in a co-branded TV and radio campaign at the end of summer 2013. There are 5 other pilot visitor destinations in England.
84% of Europeans felt there was an improved opportunity for business.
56% said they would pay more for products if they were better designed and accessible.
VisitBrighton chose inclusively designed PhotoRoute walking maps to help potential visitors make an informed choice to book their seaside city breaks and comfortably navigate easy to follow itineraries while on location.
Can you afford not to include these groups?
PhotoRoute graphical maps are especially good for people with and without disabilities, young parents with buggies, silver surfers and people speaking English as a second language.
Download Visit Englands case study or see Visit Brightons client page to see maps
Case study with Greenwich Leisure Limited
The Eltham Centre is an award winning community centre which includes leisure facilities, council services, a library, college and great cafe. The Eltham Centre includes an accredited Inclusive Fitness Initiative (IFI) centre and hosts a broad range of children's activities that gives a well rounded community feel to the centre.
The Eltham Centre is modern and inviting, it boasts step free disabled access throughout, accessible changing and toileting facilities. There’s a state of the art 100 station gym with the latest cardiovascular and resistance machines (accessible facilities/machines and type please?), the centre also includes a 25 meter swimming pool with pool side hoist, group exercises studios that are home to over 50 plus classes on the programme and a health suite with spa pool, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi.
As part of its Olympic and Paralympic legacy commitment, GLL offered a discounted membership to customers over 16 years old with a disability, called the ‘Better Inclusive’ membership.
Barriers to memberships
GLL recognise that having the state of the art facility is not always enough and that many people within our diverse communities need a little extra information to provide customer confidence, groups requiring extra information includes those who:
have limited mobility or need step free routes from train station
find linear map reading difficult and need way-finding support from the nearest transport links
need to know the surrounding neighbourhood is safe and not threatening
like to know there are useful ancillary facilities along the route
GLL chose to use PhotoRoute map’s to cater to the above groups and improve customer experience for people:
speak English as a second language
who are Deaf
are parents with buggies
are senior citizens
have learning disabilities
have physical disabilities and use a manual or power wheelchair
PhotoRoute maps were used during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and Visit London gold awarded expertise. Where possible , PhotoRoute maps follow step free routes and the simple formula of adding photographs at decision points (taken from the walkers perspective) along with a directional arrow and jargon free text to guide people along predefined routes.
PhotoRoute maps are accessible via website, print, web app (users don’t need to download web apps, they use browser technology) and embeddable formats, The embeddable format allows potential visitors to view the entire route without having to leave your website, they can then select the app for automated way finding onsite via mobile devices or print for those without a mobile device.
PhotoRoute maps being highly editable is another useful feature. Clients can update their maps at anytime via the PhotoRoute website, changes automatically update on embedded maps within every web or mobile site - what could be easier?
Homerton hospital / Hackney council
A training Initiative
When Enabled City first started, our aim was to produce a toolkit that we could train individuals with learning or physical disabilities to use to produce maps and routes for companies and institutions. We have worked closely with people with learning disabilities for over 16 years to develop our value-adding, bolt-on services. Our vision is that companies will commission individuals with disabilities to produce accessible maps being uniquely qualified to understand the different needs that come with having a physical or learning disability.
“Giving our residents employment opportunities is one of the Council’s priorities. I'm delighted we've been able to use this exciting project to get people into work. We hope these maps will encourage more people, including visitors from further a field to explore the many attractions Hackney has to offer.” Cllr Jonathan McShane, Hackney Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture
Hackney One Team
Hackney Council's One Team were the first to license Enabled City’s Photo Route toolkit and experience the training scheme offered by our specialists. Hackney One Team suggested people with learning disabilities who had interests in computing, photography and liked getting out and about who may like to be trained to become mapping consultants.
Enabled City met with the candidates to demonstrate the map making process and break down the job roles required. "Anyone could be trained if they wanted the training. It was also considered helpful if some of the trainees had dedicated supporters, that would be prepared to help client’s work partner and so on, to ensure that supporters developed good rapport with the team, and understood the process sufficiently to provide ongoing support for the developing social enterprise".
Homerton Hospital user-tested their first map with an external learning disability group, proving the combination of meaningful pictures, text and arrows worked for everybody. Their feedback led to minor improvements to the map, and a photo opportunity for Homerton Hospital's community magazine - the mapping consultants had their first client.
From there they mapped Homerton Station to Hackney Service Centre. Trainees planned the route with Enabled City, then took turns to photograph and write up way-finding text, they understood the job at hand and took ownership of their work. Its easy to miss small things when gaining experience, the collaboration toolkit is a great way to preview and save your work, and add or change all elements of mapping at any time.
We broke map making into 3 parts comprising of:
writing up notes while walking
photographing the route
typing up the text for each stage of the route
selecting the images and renaming them
adding place markers, images arrows and text to online mapping tool
“Commissioning a PhotoRoute map is as easy as turning on a switch: they provided the map then arranged local and external learning disability groups to test our map, then updated the map – we only hadto add it to our site once which is straight forward. An additional benefit has been making connections with people with Homerton Hospital learning disabilities who have expertise in accessible Health information. This map gives us confidence that our services are accessible to people with learning disabilities, visitors new to disability and those speaking English as a second language”.
Margaret Howart, Head of Patient Experience, Homerton Hospital
Enfield council - supported employment
Enfield’s Equals Employment team licensed PhotoRoute to provide employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities.
Enfield Equals team work with adults and young people with learning disabilities who are 16 + and transitioning into the job market in Enfield. Training in map creation skills of PhotoRoute is a prerequisite for potential employees, included in the easy-to-start programme. Trainees are guided through the route making process by one of our specialists. They plan a map route together, gathering the photographs and inputting the information into the online tool via computer.
The training provides an opportunity for trainees to experience using the software before applying for a job to be employees within this new social enterprise that provides PhotoRoute maps to local businesses and local authority services. Enabled City will supply ongoing support and administration services, such as payroll for the employees.
Feedback from trainees has been very positive and we've seen confidence grow with individuals, all would like to apply for a job to provide inclusive way-finding services for the wider population. Their local knowledge has identified services such as leisure centers, job centers, parks, tourism and health facilities (especially as many people receiving health services will be new to disablement) needed for PhotoRoute mapping opportunities. PhotoRoute is a brilliant opportunity for people to bring their skill sets together, they can collaborate in teams or create maps individually.
Equals work with:
People who want to get a job
Help people to understand what they can do
Help to make a work portfolio - this includes CV, references, help me document,
Help people to get training so that they can get a job that they want
Help people to get work experience
What they do:
Talk to employers about giving someone with a learning disability a job
Help people to look for jobs
Help people to apply for jobs
Help people with interviews
Help employers to make interviews more appropriate for someone with learning disabilities
Give support to people once they have a job
Give support to employers to help someone with Learning Disabilities in the workplace