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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Speed

About Accessing History

Updated: Apr 14, 2022

Welcome! Here you can find out more about the aims of Accessing History and the people behind it.

The Aims

Accessing History has three main aims:

  1. To encourage a love of history

  2. To share my experiences of visiting historic sites and museums as a person with limited mobility, highlighting accessibility, so that others may know what to expect and plan their visit more easily

  3. To encourage site owners to make their sites as accessible as possible, recognise their efforts so far, and encourage them to create more welcoming accessibility statements

I hope that more people will feel inspired to visit the many historic sites and museums in Britain after visiting Accessing History, and that people who need to consider the accessibility of sites will feel they have a good idea of what to expect when visiting them.

The Blogger

Hi, I'm Melissa, the person behind Accessing History. I’ve always loved History, travelling to our many sites to connect with the past and walk the steps of those who came long before us. As my medical conditions and disability gradually worsened, I began to feel frustrated by the problems it caused when trying to visit historic places and museums, and by the sometimes off-putting accessibility statements of those I wished to visit. But! Determined, I have continued to visit sites regardless of my inability to access all areas. I’ve discovered there’s still so much I can access, and I want to share my love of history and my experiences of visiting Britain's amazing places with others.

I rarely visit anywhere alone. Most often accompanying me are my husband and son, who take photographs for me (especially of the parts I can't access) which feature in my blog posts, and help me with less disabled-friendly elements of sites. Occasionally, I visit with friends or my parents. Anyone who visits a site with me is helping me keep Accessing History going and has my gratitude.

What You Will Find

On Accessing History you will find details of services I offer and the blog featuring write-ups of my visits to historic sites and museums in Britain. I am based in England so the majority of my posts will be about English sites, but I will endeavour to visit other parts of Britain as much as possible.

Each post will include the address(es) of the location(s), accessibility information relating to mobility and facilities on-site, photographs, a summary of my visit (including notes on the relevant history), top tips for disabled visitors, links to websites where people can find more information and to the website for the site(s) where applicable, and a final note to finish.

I will always include the location of the nearest fully accessible Changing Places toilet and a link to the map and information provided by Changing Places. This remarkable organization is helping to make the UK a more accessible place by campaigning for Changing Places toilets to be installed across the country. History and days out should be for everyone.

People with profound and multiple learning disabilities or with physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis often need extra equipment and space to allow them to use the toilets safely and comfortably. These needs are met by Changing Places toilets.

I have personal experience of visiting places as a person with mobility needs. I have some awareness of other access needs but I do not have lived experience of these other than in an accompanying/supporting role. I am endeavouring to learn more about the needs of others so that I can provide more inclusive, comprehensive accessibility write-ups for the places I visit.

Thanks for Visiting

Thank you for visiting Accessing History. I hope you find it interesting and useful. But I don't just want to thank you for visiting this website:

Thank you for visiting the historic sites and museums of Britain.

I hope you will return to Accessing History for more inspiration and information, and that you will spread the word about this history-themed disabled-travel blog and any places you visit.

Happy travels!

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