Through Sport, Technology, and Education, our holistic approach is designed around making Scotland a fairer, more accessible and inclusive place, regardless of disability or condition.
Being the catalyst in introducing a significant scaling up of autism friendly and relaxed theatre performances across the UK, Friendly Access was established in 2015 to promote accessibility and inclusion across other sectors through our award-winning and innovative projects.
Friendly Access has a successful reputation on delivering collaborative projects, which respects and works in partnership with vulnerable and excluded people, their families, and organisations. We have proven experience working with technology, sport related, and access projects, which are delivered co-productively to a high standard and on time. This reputation has earned us valued trust of our stakeholders.
Our projects include;
Based on the North East coast of Scotland, we are proudly Scotland’s first inclusive and fully adaptive surf therapy programme. As part of our 7 year strategy, we are already underway with plans to build Scotland’s first surf therapy centre in Moray, and a working collaboration to establish a national para surf team to represent Scotland on the world stage.
SurfABLE Scotland took to the waves for the first time in 2017, with a mission to provide full access to surf therapy for everyone (aged 5 up), regardless of disability and condition.
Our sessions consist of 1:1, and assisted lessons, with a higher ratio of support in the water, and also non-assisted lessons. So whatever your requirements, we have a session tailored to meet all your expectations and needs, giving you the best experience in surf adventure to take away.
Working in partnership with Active Schools (Moray), we deliver structured swimming lessons and pool surf sessions at Forres and Lossiemouth pools for children and young adults with additional support needs. As demand is high, there is generally a waiting list. Referrals can be made through your school, your Active Schools (Moray) area co-ordinator, or directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Technology, Research & Development
Friendly Access led a collaborative project with the School of Simulation and Visualisation at The Glasgow School of Art, and Crag3D, to validate ‘iSenseVR’, funded by a Stage 1 and 2 European Social Fund, supported by The Scottish Government’s Social Innovation Fund.
The premises of this innovative concept is that of empowering people with ‘hidden disabilities’ – in this case, hypersensitivity issue and/or anxiety, in breaking down barriers towards independent living. Using Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy and mobile technology, we successfully validated an affordable and accessible desensitisation and familiarisation solution to overcome fears and overwhelming stress associated with busy public environments. Our concept was a global first in bringing technology outside of laboratory conditions into mobile platforms.
In 2018, ‘iSenseVR’ won the ‘highly commended paper award’ at University of Nottingham’s’ 12th International Conference on Disability, Virtual Reality and Associated Technologies.
Policy & Equality
As a newly established team, we appear to love policy!
That said, we wish to see policies which are both understanding to read, and meaningful. We also feel for too long, the true sense of the word ‘person-centred’, and ‘inclusion’, have been lost, and this needs to change.
Our most recent collaboration with Moray Council, saw our team provide a significant contribution in rewriting the ‘Transitions to Adulthood’ Policy, approved in February 2021.