To demonstrate the barriers that disabled people can encounter we have created an Accessibility Empathy Hub in Stratford, 14 Westfield Ave, London E20 1HZ, on the 1st floor and in Newcastle, Benton Park View, BP9001.
You can come along to the Accessibility Empathy Hub at any time, you do not need to book it. However if you would like to request a facilitated session, please use the HMRC Accessibility Empathy Hub enquiry form (opens in new tab or window). If you are part of HMRC we will then get in touch to arrange a date and time. If you are part of another government department we will acknowledge your enquiry and let you know when we are arranging our next open day.
We have different areas set up. Each one has a set of tasks you can carry out that will show various barriers that exist for someone with a disability.
- The Chromebooks are installed with the 7 Government Digital Service (GDS) accessibility personas. Each persona simulates at least one disability or impairment which can cause difficulty when trying to use a digital service
- Try the glasses that simulate different visual impairments. For example, common conditions such as Glaucoma; age-related Macular Degeneration; patchy vision which can be a complication of Diabetes
- Put on the ear defenders to experience the effects of severe hearing loss and the difficulties this can cause
We’ve had lots of great feedback from visitors.
“It was a real reality check to help us understand how some people hear, see and read. It helped us put ourselves in their shoes and made us appreciate more the difficulty it can cause when using our services”
“Very informative. Good to understand the issues people face - the whole centre would benefit from this”
“The team really enjoyed the hands-on simulators and it will certainly inform our designs going forward”