York Mapping Day!
Jul 14, 2022
Want to know more about our mapping days?
YORK, UK – MAPPING DAY, JUNE 2022
As we hope you’ve seen on our socials by now (if you’re not already following us @sociabilityapp on TikTok, Facebook and Instagram, then it is the best place to keep up to date with all things Sociability!), at the start of June a few of the Sociability team headed to York for a day of mapping, chatting and laughs!
Knowing that York is hardly renowned as being the UK’s most accessible city we were keen to see for ourselves, and hopefully find a few hidden gems to add to the app (and test some of the less successful accommodations whilst we were at it, more of that below…).
What to expect on our mapping days
The day began for the team at 10.30, when Jennie, Charlotte and I arrived in York, heading into the city for a quick explore of St Helen’s Square and Stonegate where we were impressed with Ellie Warburtons Cakes level access to enter and wide front section and The White Company’s ramps throughout (reviews below). The real fun began, however, at noon, when we met up with a team of Sociability users keen to learn more about the app and the tagging process (and to get stuck in, of course!).
After a crash course in tagging from Jennie we headed back up Stonegate to see what we could find, on the way stumbling across our first accessibility fail – watch brave user Azariah (@azariahmykel) attempting to get into one store using their *very* steep ramp below.
We decided to split off into teams to cover as much ground as we could in an hour, with Ciara (@allthingslovely_cmf), Damian (@djw80) and Alison (@4li50n_x) coming with me and Jennie, whilst Barbara (@wheelienicehome), Azariah and her boyfriend Ben joined Charlotte. Our group were pleased to see that The Slug and Lettuce Swinegate had level access to enter and a ramp to access one of their side sections, whilst Charlotte’s team recommend Wagamama Goodramgate which has a range of downstairs seating options with wide paths and a variety of hearing and visual accommodations including hearing induction loops and braille signage.
We regrouped outside Browns where we were joined by another user, Claire (@clever24_7) and decided it was time to tackle the Shambles! For those of you who haven’t visited York, the Shambles is a tourist hotspot – a gorgeous medieval cobbled street with wonky old buildings which may or may not have been the inspiration for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley – it doesn’t immediately spring to mind when thinking about accessibility! The paths are narrow, the flooring uneven and it does get very busy, however happily we did all make it (and you can watch some of this journey below), although I would recommend coming earlier in the day or in the late afternoon when it’s slightly quieter.
Ciara mapping The Slug and Lettuce!
After a final quick tagging of three more spaces around King’s Square we headed to Caffe Nero for some refreshments and a welcome chance to chat and catch up. This time is always some of the most precious on mapping days, which we like to think are about so much more than just tagging, but instead are a chance for members of the community to get together in a safe and open space to share and discuss experiences with people who, as Ciara says, “just get it”.
Why our mapping days are important…
Overall, we were thrilled with how the York Mapping Day went – I think it was our best one yet! It was great to meet so many fantastic users and have the chance to share our insights into the app, and the importance of all the different accessibility considerations when tagging a space and the atmosphere across the day was super warm, welcoming and friendly. More importantly, we managed to find some great accessible places to add to the app, and can’t wait to visit again to find more – this work is so important in a city like York which it is fair to say does have a number of less accessible venues, but don’t let this put you off visiting as on the whole we found businesses were really friendly and helpful.
Want to attend our next mapping day?
Our next mapping day is taking place in Brighton in August. If you like the sound of our mapping days and would like to come along, then please email email@example.com for more details! Be sure to check out our Instagram page for updates on the planned mapping days for the rest of 2022.