Our Inclusive Access Plan

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At Govanhill Baths Community Trust, we are committed to being welcoming for everyone. We are members of the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto, a radical approach to improving access to culture for people with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities). As such, we are working to create an Inclusive Access Plan for the refurbished building, which will ensure that our space is welcoming and accessible to people with a wide range of additional support needs. The Plan will be available in a wide range of formats, and will be clearly signposted on our website. The plan will consider the needs of all visitors from the planning stage onwards, and will work on the principle that no person’s access should feel like an afterthought. Here are some of the key points which will be included: 

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  • Equal access for all visitors, ensuring the provision of clear transport information, adjacent parking, and ramps. According to the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto, transport and access are often left out of access plans, which means that people with disabilities are still excluded from taking part. 
  • A Changing Places toilet, a fully accessible facility meaning that people with a wide range of disabilities will be able to take part in activities at the baths. In addition, there will be an accessible toilet next to both pools. 
  • State-of-the-art poolside equipment to ensure that our swimming facilities are wheelchair accessible 
  • Events and activities specially designed for people with disabilities
swimmer

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In addition, Govanhill Baths aims to be a leading example of how cultural organisations can be welcoming to neurodiverse visitors. The Inclusive Access Plan will highlight the following provisions, created with neurodiversity in mind: 

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  • Quiet times: providing information about when the building is quietest. 
  • Sensory backpacks, which are packs of activities rich in sensory , which can be used as calming tools in stimulating environments. They will also contain items relating to displays and exhibitions, helping visitors with autism (as well as visitors with visual impairments) to engage with the content. Find out more here. 
  • Visual Stories, which describe a visit to the baths, from travelling to the building, and through all the facilities. Visiting a new place can be very stressful for people with autism, and Visual Stories help to combat that by enabling visitors to build up a picture of the experience before they visit. You can see some excellent Visual Stories here, which gives you an idea of what they look like. 
  • A quiet space with dim lighting and soft furniture which can be used as a chillout space. This can act as a respite from overstimulating environments. See more here. 
  • Events and activities specifically designed for neurodiverse visitors.

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Finally, none of the measures mentioned above would be effective without training for staff in disability- and neurodiversity-awareness, particularly for those in public-facing roles. This will ensure that all visitors feel safe, welcome, and respected throughout their visit. 

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For more information about the Cultural Inclusion Manifesto, click here.

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Image of sensory backpacks courtesy of the National Museum of Scotland. “West Coast Adventure 2010” by Saucy Salad is licensed with CC BY 2.0.