Scottish Parliament launches app to help disabled visitors

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The Scottish Parliament has launched an app designed to help disabled people with personalised assistance at venues. 

The Welcome app by Neatebox allows those with additional needs to set up a personal profile and request help in advance of their visit. Holyrood has now been added to the list of facilities and venues.

Using beacon technology, staff at the Parliament will be notified of any request put forward when the visitor arrives on site. It is the latest in continued efforts to make the Parliament more accessible in addition to portable seating, wheelchairs for loan and multimedia tour handsets in numerous languages including BSL.

Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh said: “The Scottish Parliament is proud to be recognised as a five-star visitor attraction in Scotland and we are always looking at new ways to ensure that everyone, regardless of their needs, can visit Holyrood and have a positive experience.

“We are pleased to introduce the new Welcome app, which will enable us to respond quickly and effectively to the needs of our visitors who need additional assistance.

“As a Parliament that always strives to be open and accessible it’s vital we continue to find new and innovative ways to reach out to communities and to break down the barriers that prevent people from accessing their Parliament.”

The company behind the app, also based in Edinburgh, has also been working with the city’s Fringe organisers ahead of another busy season in the capital.

Gavin Neate, Neatebox chief executive, said: “As a Scottish company, we could not be more proud to be bringing this revolutionary system to our own Parliament building first.

“For too long disabled people have been placed in a position of needing to declare a disability and then hoping that staff members will have the experience needed to support them.

“All this changes with the Welcome app and we could not be more excited for the future of equality and inclusion and our systems roll out across the globe.”

Chris Price
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