What is Disabled Access Day?

A bi-annual event, Disabled Access Day (DAD) is back for 2019 with the vision of celebrating accessibility across the disabled community. From humble beginnings, DAD is breaking down barriers.

It was back in January 2015 that the inaugural Disabled Access Day took place.

Initiated by a group of disabled people and their friends, sponsored by accessible travel and information website, Euan’s Guide, DAD was a success beyond the imaginations of the founders.

Set up to be a day of fun and activities that anyone, regardless of location and ability, could get involved in, DAD is a celebration of access, raising awareness, and promoting inclusion.


With an estimated 13.9 million disabled people in the UK incorporating sensory, mental health conditions, physical, hidden and learning disabilities: DAD is an integral staple in promoting increased understanding and education.

In 2016, the second DAD event took place in March. After the success of the first event, the founders saw DAD grow.

Developing from an original conception in 2014 by Paul Ralph – who first got the idea from attending an accessibility taster session with his local bus company – it is refreshing to see an event dedicated to disability progressing for future generations.


Alongside encouraging more organisations and businesses to become accessible, DAD is about promoting confidence amongst the disabled community.

The main aim of the event is to encourage disabled people, their friends, families, and carers to try something new.

Going to the cinema for the first time, visiting a new coffee shop, museum or anywhere else, DAD is a chance for disabled people to go outside of their comfort zone to experience something new.

Plus, it allows venues to showcase their accessibility levels and hear from disabled customers on what improvements they could be making.

And the wave of success DAD is creating is tangible.

During the first year, over 1,000 disabled people got involved alongside 261 venues.

The second year saw 10,000 disabled people taking part, and this has increased year on year with: 11,293 people participating and 1,090 venues, organisations, businesses, charities and more showing their support for the disabled community.


From the Scottish Highlands, the Lake District, all the way to the bustling cities of Edinburgh, London, Leeds, Manchester and beyond: the UK becomes a hive of activity during DAD.

This year, the event is set to be the biggest yet.

From transportation to venues and businesses celebrating their accessibility, alongside the disabled community, we’re spotlighting the events you need to know about.


You can also join in the fun.

Organisers of DAD are actively calling for individuals, groups, businesses and beyond to get involved during this year’s event.

For individuals, groups, families or friends, DAD will be hosting a variety of events throughout the day that people are welcome to attend.

Similarly, venues with an idea for an event or activity can approach the DAD team to discuss your ideas.

The excitement is building, and with not long to go we’re spotlighting everything you need to know before Saturday 16 March.

We’ll be looking at the organisations already involved and the events you should put in your diary to celebrate Disabled Access Day 2019 this Saturday.

How will you be celebrating disabled Access Day? Let us know on Twitter or Instagram.

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