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About Ability 2 Access


Our Vision Statement

  • Ability2Access wants to provide access and support for enhancing the lives of all people with disabilities
  • A2A ‘s immediate focus is on people with physical disabilities in the UK

Our A2A Aim is to advance the following through

  • Learning – close the gap between those with physical needs and those without
  • Research – understand the educational gap between those with physical disabilities and those without.
  • Assistive learning – utilize Information Technology to address this gap
  • Support - provide support to those with physical disabilities to enable and advance learning and inclusion

Where do we want to carry out this work?

  • Provide dedicated locations for people with physical disabilities for educational access and support
  • Online presence by way of website & supporting smartphone applications
  • Research & analyse the educational gap between those with physical disabilities and those without to identify and develop learning access & support needs
  • Immediate focus on UK geographical footprint
  • Immediate focus on what educational resources UK Universities currently offer for people with physical disabilities
  • Threats – raising immediate awareness without substantial marketing.

How are we going to achieve the work we want to undertake?

  • Through extensive transferrable knowledge from existing human resources
  • Established presence at University of Reading including physical facilities
  • Unparalleled access to research and operational human resources
  • Challenge remains raising funds amongst increasing competitor and regulatory constraints

What is our strategic intent? Mission Statement:

  • Enable the advancement of education, employment & well-being for people with all disabilities

What is our objective introductory statement:

Ability2Access wants to improve the following areas relating to disability

  • Health;
  • Business;
  • Creative Arts;
  • Children Support;
  • Physical Access;
  • Communications;
  • Sporting Activities
  • Technologies

Learn from Experience

Ability2Access wants to learn from an Unlocked Mapping Research Exercise Project what has been achieved through legislation and implementation for people with disabilities in the UK and especially those with physical disabilities.

What are Ability2Access overall objectives?

Identify and address, through the research, the following areas of concern for those with physical disabilities in the UK:

  • The existing health resources
  • Business support and entrepreneurial skills
  • Enabling opportunities in the creative arts and technology areas
  • Autism support for children, parents, teachers and carers (Specialkidz)
  • Physical access for people with a variety of disabilities (Ability2Access)
  • Sharing ways IT overcomes communications disabilities including Online (AACT & GOALS4LIFE)
  • Helping young people with disabilities sporting activities
  • Help people with disabilities to understand what technology is available to support them (EASiTEC)


A little history

Ability 2 Access has a long history. The research group was originally established in 1993 to further research related to accessibility, based within the Department of Construction Management and Engineering at the University of Reading. It pioneered the belief that if people cannot satisfactorily use an environment because of the way it is designed and managed – the fault lays with the environment not the user.

The research group published widely on building design issues for accessibility. Its research informed codes of practice, development of the Building Regulations Part M and won a Chartered Institute of Building Gold Medal for work on Colour and Contrast in 1997. 

Ability2Access (formerly Inclusive Environments) was formed as an independent charitable company in November 2003, retaining close links with the University of Reading, to bring together education, practice and research in promoting design and management for accessibility. It retains the original commitment to adopting a pan-disability, multi-professional and inter-disciplinary approach to research, involving user groups and the organisations that represent them.

Ability 2 Access entered a new era in 2012, since moving to newly refurbished offices at the University of Reading London Road Campus, alongside the Institute of Education.