Working with people and organisations to extend a warm welcome to disabled visitors, customers and clients.
Let me tell you about some of the work I am interested in. In one sentence I think it’s fair to say that I work with people and organisations to help them when considering how to include disabled people in their service offering. Helping businesses to understand the customer journeys made by their disabled visitors, guests and supporters.
Photo: Paul getting off the High Speed train at St. Pancras Station, London
What does that mean?
My work involves auditing, testing, training, advising and bespoke pieces of work to help people and organisations include disabled people in their activities.
This can take the form of helping create accessible websites, developing inclusive publications, looking at accessible environments, inclusive events, training, consultations or public facing customer care. Often this includes visiting your premises, trying out your services or experiencing first hand what you have to offer visitors.
I often speak at conferences and gatherings about access and inclusion and the good things that I have seen and want to share. Often by sharing what can be achieved we can form new ideas and begin to create even more inclusive opportunities.
Or it may be that I simply come to meet you and have a chat about what you’re doing and what you want to achieve.
I have often been asked about writing a book to collect and collate my adventures and experiences; something I still hope to do. I have written a book but this is more about my areas of interest than my adventures.
My early professional life was in and around the field of social work and specialising in physical and sensory impairments. Tinged with a little irony, perhaps, as in those days I had no idea that I might acquire one myself.
As time passed I needed to explore less 'physical' means of employment and embarked on a career in the emerging world of information technology. With qualifications in strange things like SQL databases, server architecture and software development my journey rapidly moved me toward information technology as an enabling tool for disabled people. The first conference I attended on this theme way back in the late 1980's led to a lifelong passion to make technology open and accessible to all.
In recent years, I set up one of Scotland's first Community Interest Companies, a type of social enterprise, and gathered a team of talented people to design and develop accessible publications and websites. Designed by disabled people for disabled people. Seven successful years later and I decided the time had come to work purely in the field of access and inclusion and so the current chapter of my 'journey' started.
In my spare time, as well as professional work, I am passionate about equality and promoting the skills, talents and aspirations of disabled people.
In the odd hours where I am not working or doing the necessary pursuits of daily life I champion Disabled Access Day and enjoy quietly supporting other groups and initiatives who are working toward making society a more inclusive place.
Want to know more?
If you want to know more get in touch. I and my colleagues will be happy to meet you and explore how we can help you in your journey toward being accessible and inclusive for everyone. You can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
You can follow me on Twitter @Paul_Ralph_FRSA