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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The National Accessible Scheme

The National Accessible Scheme (NAS) helps the tourism industry make their services more accessible, allowing more disabled people to use them.

The scheme and its associated standards

The NAS identifies how accessible accommodation is to people who may have difficulty walking, use a wheelchair, or have a sensory impairment.

The ratings are split into three categories, for:

  • mobility impaired people
  • blind or visually impaired people
  • deaf or hearing impaired people

The individual ratings are represented by symbols displayed on websites and used in promotional literature such as the Easy Access Britain guidebook.

Information about the scheme, including pictures and explanation of the symbols, is available on the enjoyEngland website. You can also search for hotels, B&Bs, campsites and self-catering accommodation rated under the NAS.

Independent assessment

If a property displays the NAS symbol then it has ensured a comfortable stay for guests with hearing, visual or mobility needs. To get the NAS symbol they have met the requirements of the NAS and have been independently audited by trained assessors.

Accessibility features may include handrails, ramps and step free entrances, level-access showers and colour contrast in the bathrooms.

Members of staff may have attended a disability awareness course and know what assistance will really be appreciated.

When you see one of the symbols, you can be sure that the accommodation and core facilities have been thoroughly assessed against demanding criteria. If you have additional needs or special requirements, you should make sure these can be met by your chosen establishment before you confirm your reservation.

Information for tourism accommodation providers

Detailed information for businesses, including how to apply, can be found on VisitEngland's tourism trade website.

Additionally, accommodation providers can download self survey documents in pdf format to assess the current status of their business.

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