The Canal & River Trust has published its programme of Disabled Boater Forums for 2022. To improve accessibility, the charity has arranged a British Sign Language interpreter to be present at the online meetings.

Canal & River Trust logo

The informal forums are places for disabled boaters to discuss the challenges they face when using the inland waterways and to share their views about how to make positive changes. Boaters can also expect to get updates from the Trust on work to address these issues and improve the boating experience.

Matthew Symonds, national boating manager at Canal & River Trust, said: “The waterways are there for everyone to enjoy and many people report the benefits of being on or by the water. We recognise that boating can be more challenging for people with physical or mental health impairments and actively work with disabled boaters to identify and solve problems where they arise. Accessibility means more than simply addressing physical barriers to visiting or getting on the water: making sure we improve communication for deaf people is important and we hope that, by inviting a British Sign Language interpreter to our regular forums, more boaters will be able to get involved.”

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The virtual Disabled Boaters Forum meetings usually take place on the third Wednesday of alternate months from 4-6pm. Meeting dates for 2022 are:

Wednesday 16 February 2022 – register on Eventbrite here
Wednesday 20 April 2022
Wednesday 15 June 2022
Wednesday 17 August 2022
Wednesday 19 October 2022
Wednesday 21 December 2022

Please check Boaters’ Update for the Eventbrite link or contact the Trust to receive notice of upcoming meetings: [email protected]. These forums also appear on the Inland Waterways Accessibility Forum site on Facebook.

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For more information on enjoying the Trust’s waterways if you are disabled, or for further support, please visit: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/boating/do-you-know-a-vulnerable-boater/disabled-boaters-information

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