Page last updated at 15:56 GMT, Friday, 21 August 2009 16:56 UK

City disabled access 'improving'

Members of Cardiff and Vale Coalition of Disabled People at Cardiff castle
Campaigners said they were asked for advice at an early stage at the castle

Disabled access for residents and visitors to Cardiff is "improving greatly," according to campaigners.

The Cardiff and Vale Coalition of Disabled People (CVCDP) is holding a celebration ball at Cardiff Castle.

Along with the castle, members are involved in the new St David's 2 shopping centre, Cardiff central library and Bute Park developments.

At Friday's ball, for about 150 people, it will give awards to businesses and groups for work with disabled people.

Director Paul Warren said the organisation had been involved at an early stage in improvements to the castle.

He said disabled people had provided advice and guidance covering both physical and sensory impairments.

Changes were made to enable better access to the main entrance, interpretive centre, the ramparts and enhance signage and audio facilities.

There are still areas for improving but the good thing is we are being increasingly asked
Paul Warren, director

"We've had a lot of input into the information centre and the visitor centre in particular," he said.

"There is full wheelchair access right around the ramparts."

Mr Warren said the organisation was being increasingly involved from the outset on new developments, restorations and improvements within the region.

"It's improving greatly because of the input we've had," he said.

"There are still areas for improving but the good thing is we are being increasingly asked.

"Cardiff Castle is one of the larger ones we've been involved with along with St David's 2, the new central library and the Bute Park development."

He said the organisation hoped the awards ceremony would become an annual event.

"Disabled people have a right to access and know that their views are being listened to," he added.

Disability Wales will be launching a report into access issues faced by people across Wales at the National Assembly next month.

Chief executive Rhian Davies agreed "great strides" had been made in central Cardiff but said there was a lot of work to do in outlying areas around the city and many other parts of Wales.

She said where groups such as CVCDP have good working relationships with their local authorities then visible improvements had been made.

"We would like to see it happen on a more consistent basis throughout Wales," she added.

"Particularly with small businesses there is still a lot of room for improvement with issues like narrow aisles, low lighting and signage."

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