Improving accessibility of train travel at Wokingham Station with new rail partnership

Optalis Ability Travel in partnership with the Wokingham Learning Disability Partnership Board (LDPB) and CLASP embark on a new Rail Partnership project, with the adoption of Wokingham Train Station and the launch of Easy Read Station Guide.

On the 7 October, Champions from the Wokingham Learning Disability Partnership Board, team members from Ability Travel and CLASP held an event Wokingham Train Station to raise awareness of learning disabilities and share information about using train travel for those who face barriers to travel, including a new accessible station guide and travel training support available from Optalis Ability Travel team.

Debs Morrison, CLASP Chief Executive Officer said “This event is all about helping the general public to gain a better understanding people with Learning Disabilities. People with learning disabilities have so much to offer, this partnership helps us to show the active role people with learning disabilities play in their community.” 

The station adoption runs alongside support from Optalis Ability Travel team who assist people who might face barriers to train travel. Donna Morgans, Optalis Head of Supported Employment explains “We are delighted to be part of this partnership, to encourage more people to explore train travel. As we continue to work at the station to make it more welcoming and accessible, we look forward to sharing our Ability Travel support to those who are seeking to learn to travel independently. The station guide developed by CLASP is a brilliant tool that will be so useful to many people using rail travel.”

CLASP has developed an Easy Read Station Guide for Wokingham Train station. Easy read is an accessible format with pictures to support those who do not read words. Debs Morrison, explained: "The guide has been created using straight forward language that has been reviewed by our Easy Read panel, with photos taken with our members. It was an exciting project for us, we hope to do more for the station teams going forward."

The partnership will see an ongoing presence of the Ability Travel and Wokingham Learning Disability Partnership Board team at the station, to help people understand Ability Travel programme, and continue to raise awareness of learning disabilities.

Michael Adlington, SWR’s Senior Accessibility Manager, said: “Travelling by train can be very challenging for anyone with disabilities – whether visible or non-visible – and while it is positive that a growing number of disabled people are using the railway, too many still feel that they are unable to do so. 

“South Western Railway is determined to make travel by rail more accessible for all and we’re delighted to support initiatives like CLASP’s station guide which can help us achieve that aim.”

Previous article

Senior women doing yoga relaxing together

New fitness activity starting November ~ join us!

An easy to follow class led by a qualified instructor, specifically for people with learning disabilities.