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Getting out and about with a child with disabilities

We know that getting outdoors in the fresh air is a great way to boost our wellbeing and cheer us all up. We know that disabled children, young people and their families can face additional challenges when it comes to  getting out and about. You and your family may have to think about things like access to suitable toilet and changing facilities, options for accessible travel  or the cost of a day out for everyone. We’ve put together this guide to help.

Don’t forget to check out our Get into Summer page to find activities happening this summer near you.

Accessibility information

AccessAble

AccessAble has a search function for accessible venues.

Accessible Travel Hub

Whether you’re thinking about travelling by public transport, car or taxi, you can find information, articles and guidance about accessible travel in Scotland on the Accessible Travel Hub, from Disability Equality Scotland. 

Changing Places

Changing Places has a map to help find a changing places toilet quickly and easily.

Disability Information Scotland

Disability Information Scotland provide reliable, accurate and accessible information for people living with disability in Scotland. They have lots of helpful information about getting outdoors, going on holiday and finding accessible toilets when you’re out and about.

Euan’s Guide

Euan’s Guide provides accessibility reviews of visitor attractions, cafés and restaurants, accommodation and lots of other places, written by disabled people for disabled people.

Historic Environment Scotland’s Access Guide

Kids love castles and tales of knights and battles, so how about visiting one of Scotland’s historic properties? Download Historic Environment Scotland’s Access Guide to find out more. As the carer of a disabled child you can also access paid sites for free.

The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain

Motability’s Rough Guide to Accessible Britain features reviews of tourist attractions around the country.

Visit Scotland

Visit Scotland have lots of information on accessible venues and accommodation in Scotland, as well as advice on borrowing wheelchairs, finding accessible toilets and hiring accessible vehicles.

Saving on days out

If you’re thinking of checking out a visitor attraction like a zoo or theme park, remember that many offer free tickets for disabled children and their carers, so always check in advance before booking anywhere. If your local authority supports the Max Card scheme, you can apply for a card to get you discounted access to venues across the UK.

You may be able to get funding or a grant to help pay for days out or holidays. Our getting support section below lists some organisations that can help.

Getting support

There are lots of organisations offering advice and support to families with disabled children. If you feel you need a bit of extra advice or help this summer, here’s where you can find it.

Contact

Contact supports families with disabled children, bring families together and help families take action for others. Check the Contact website for information and advice or call their helpline on 0808 808 3555.

Cerebral Palsy Scotland

Cerebral Palsy Scotland’s support directory lists organisations that can help with days out, holidays and sports and leisure, as well as lots of other things.

Disability Grants

The Disability Grants website helps you find grants available in your local area to help with things like holidays and specialist equipment.

Family Fund

Family Fund is the UK’s largest charity providing grants for families raising disabled or seriously ill children and young people. This summer, more parents and carers of disabled or seriously ill children and young people in Scotland, who are on low incomes, can apply for a range of grants from Family Fund thanks to ‘Get Into Summer’ funding, including days out, activities, family breaks, outdoor play equipment, sensory toys, and more. Find out how to apply on the Family Fund website.

National Deaf Children’s Association

The National Deaf Children’s Association has information on getting out and about if your child is deaf, including advice on cycling, swimming and getting the best out of birthday parties.

Royal National Institute of Blind People

RNIB have helpful advice on moving out of lockdown and getting out and about. You can also use their Sightline Directory to find support in your area.

Carer centres

Local carer centres may also be able to offer services to you, such as information on short breaks, advice and counselling support. Local carer centres can be found using the Care Information Scotland website.

Shared Care Scotland, supported by Scottish Government, helps to administer the Better Breaks Fund, which aims to increase the range, availability and choice of short breaks for carers and those they care for across Scotland. Check here for a list of organisations currently in receipt of Better Breaks funding for 2021. Select OPEN ALL project filters, then click on the Better Breaks icon and 2021. To understand what places are available in your area, please contact the organisation directly.