At Trailblazers, we gather hard evidence about what we think needs to change in society for young disabled people to become fully empowered and have full equal rights in their lives.
We use this information to write reports that we then use to influence decision makers and share our knowledge with the rest of society.
Click the sections below to read about our campaigns and reports.
The Equality Act 2010 places duties on transport providers not to discriminate against disabled people. Yet when it comes to accessing public transport, disabled people still face a range of barriers including: inaccessible train stations; problems with receiving assistance when getting on and off trains; a lack of wheelchair accessible taxis; and barriers to boarding buses when the wheelchair space is in use by non-disabled people.
Our report, Drive: the road to independence, focuses on the issues young disabled people face when learning to drive and getting a car. Over the years, some Trailblazers have told us they’d like to know more about learning to drive when you have a muscle-wasting condition. Although the report is not intended as a comprehensive guide, we hope it provides useful information for young disabled people thinking of learning to drive or getting their own adapted vehicle.
Since the implementation of the Equality Act 2010 and the Disability Discrimination Act in 2005, it has been illegal for education providers to treat disabled students less favourably because of their disability. Our report University Challenge shows that despite an increase in the number of disabled students entering higher education, young disabled people still face challenges when planning to study at university.
Our report, Locked Out, looks at the struggle to find accessible housing. The services of the UK’s housing providers was instigated following concerns raised by members of the Trailblazers network and their families when searching for accessible accommodation to rent or buy.
Our investigation into employment, Right to Work, found that young disabled people still experience significant barriers to gaining employment compared to their non-disabled peers.
Since then Trailblazers have continued to campaign to get more young disabled people into work and have produced our Ready and Able policy report. The report provides strong, evidence-based recommendations for both Government and employers to narrow the disability employment gap.
Young disabled people should be able to live their lives free of abuse and harassment. Our report, Under Investigation, reveals the very real issue of disability hate crime and the damage it can cause to the lives of young disabled people.
Exploring personal relationships is a natural part of growing up for young people, and this is no different for a young disabled person. Trailblazers wanted to consider personal perceptions of disability and relationships through case studies, surveys and the sharing of personal experiences. Our report, It’s Complicated, aims to present these sensitive and private thoughts in an honest and realistic way to provide a matter-of-fact account of what it really means to be single, in a relationship or married, when you have a disability.
Assistive technology has been defined as ‘any product or service that maintains or improves the ability of individuals with disabilities or impairments to communicate, learn and live independent, fulfilling and productive lives’. Our report, Switched On, demonstrates that assistive technology can greatly reduce the social isolation of young disabled people, while improving confidence, wellbeing and independence.
Trailblazers have found that although there are many excellent examples of ever-improving practice in entertainment, sport, retail and catering, many providers of leisure activities are failing to deliver a good or even ‘reasonable’ service for their disabled customers.
Following on from our Switched On report, we are currently investigating young disabled people’s access to gaming. Gaming is often hugely important to many young disabled people. We want to find out what barriers exist that prevent disabled people from fully participating in gaming.
If you want to be involved in our investigation, please complete our survey.
Our report Short-changed demonstrates that a lot more needs to be done before high streets across the UK are fully accessible for disabled shoppers.
In the summer of 2013, Trailblazers carried out an investigation, Access all areas?, into disability and live music. We asked young disabled music fans to describe what they thought was good and not so good when it came to booking tickets and accessing venues to see their favourite musicians play live. Going to concerts and festivals is a fundamental part of social life for many young people.
The Trailblazers’ investigation into access to grassroots sport kicked off after the Olympic and Paralympic Games came to London in the summer of 2012. The legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is, in some ways, as important as the Games themselves. Our report, Game On, shows that local opportunities to participate, coach or enjoy sport as a spectator should be available to everyone.
Trailblazers continued their investigation into sport in the summer of 2016. Watching live sport is important to many young disabled people but our Move the Goal Posts report found that young disabled people face a far inferior experience compared to their non-disabled counterparts. Our investigation showed poor access facilities, extreme difficulty booking tickets and isolating seating positions.
Cinemas are popular places for young people to spend their leisure time. Disabled people make up 12 percent of the cinema-going audience but as our report, The Big Picture, highlights, the experience they get isn’t always the same as their non-disabled peers.
Tourism is a major domestic and international industry involving diverse businesses such as hotels, travel agents, tourist attractions, and transport providers. These organisations are legally obliged to make reasonable adjustments. Our All Inclusive? report reveals that many young disabled people are missing out on the opportunity to travel independently and holiday in the location and accommodation of their choice.
The Trailblazers air travel report, Up in the Air, further highlights the barriers disabled people face when trying to take their wheelchair abroad.