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Euan’s Guide by Kiki MacDonald

Euan’s Guide is a disabled access review website set up by Euan MacDonald and his sister Kiki.
Euan is a powerchair user and the pair were finding it very difficult to find out information on disabled access, and so they decided to set up a website to help solve this.  Euan says “the goal of Euan’s Guide is to provide a friendly, honest & empowering alternative to hours of web searching and phone calls and, most importantly, remove the ‘fear of the unknown’ when visiting a venue for the first time.”
euans-guide

We are pleased to have over 350 reviews / venues listed already in over 75 towns/cities across the UK – we hope to go international as soon as possible in 2014. London & Edinburgh are currently our most reviewed cities (http://www.euansguide.com/reviews/england/london/london/ & http://www.euansguide.com/reviews/scotland/edinburgh-(city-of)/edinburgh/) and give a flavour of how useful the site could be for people that live in, work in or want to visit these cities.

But we need your help… We need a lot more reviews for this to be a great resource for disabled people and their families and friends, so please let us know where you would recommend with good disabled access but writing some reviews today.
We are also asking all venues to list their accessibility information on the site too. It’s free for venues to list and all individuals to use and is very much designed as a positive resource and knowledge bank for disabled people…

Euan MacDonald

About Euan

What is your background?

I’m Edinburgh born and am 39. I studied at St Andrews and Edinburgh University before moving down to London for 6 years where I worked in the financial services industry. In 2003, I noticed a loss of power in my thumb when trying to change gear on my bike. It seemed innocuous at the time but 2 months later I was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. Since then I have moved back up to Edinburgh with my family and tried to fundraise for MND research, working closely with Edinburgh University. I now use a wheelchair and ventilator but my condition has progressed slowly. I am one of the lucky ones.

 

Why have you created Euan’s Guide?

Quite simply because I wanted to go out for a drink with some friends, I wanted to go somewhere new and I couldn’t find any information on accessible bars in Edinburgh. I had lots of information about local places with disabled access that I did visit however and thought that I would like to share my knowledge and figured that there must be thousands of people like me who have the same issues. Coincidentally my sister Kiki was thinking the same thing at the time and we decided to take this a step further and create a website that will benefit the whole disabled community.

 

Euan MacDonald

What does that mean to you?

For me, a site like Euan’s Guide will remove the fear of the unknown. If I can read some reviews from people who have similar access issues I’m much more likely to trust them than a venue website which just displays a disabled badge. Euan’s Guide is designed to provide an accurate preview of the venue & should remove the element of surprise when you arrive somewhere.  It is really important to me that barriers such as these are removed so I can get on with leading my life.

 

What do you want to achieve with it?

I want to create a resource to serve people with access requirements. I would love it to be a place where we can routinely help each other by recommending places to go or suggesting improvements to venues. I want Euan’s Guide to become a useful part of people’s lives…

 

Euan MacDonald

What is your experience with accessibility in the UK?

I’ve had some brilliant experiences… And some dreadful ones! The worst was a well known venue in Glasgow (that shall remain anonymous but that should know better) that had sold me accessible tickets. When myself and my carer arrived, the manager offered to carry me up the stairs – when I politely refused I was offered £200 to go away! That was definitely a one off though, some of my best experiences have been the most surprising such as the T in the Park Festival and some of the venues in Edinburgh that you think will be terrible as they are in old buildings but you find that although the physical accessibility isn’t great the staff more than make up for it. Rewarding these types of venues is another reason behind Euan’s Guide.

 

You can write a review and contribute to this important project, or use it as a resource to find accessible venues:

 

www.euansguide.com

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