About us

Access Project (PHSP) has been involved in the production of accurate and well researched Access Guides for over thirty years.

In the pages about our Methodology, we outline the criteria we apply when describing access, there’s a list of the abbreviations we use, and we include some comparisons between our write-ups, and the information provided by others.

The research is carried out by Pauline Hephaistos Survey Projects (PHSP) and if you want to know more about our background, and our rather curious name, then please see the PHSP page.

Our current guides are:

They all cover the key subjects of interest to both residents and visitors. These include the practicalities of getting around, and access into the main places of interest and of entertainment. For the visitor, they include details of access problems encountered in travelling to your destination, and of accessible accommodation. There is an extensive list of useful contact organisations and of both general and specialised information.

In addition there is:

Access to Football Grounds (Premiership and First Division) published 2003.

You can order a copy of the guides by sending your address to: accessinlondon@gmail.com or to:

Access Project,
39 Bradley Gardens,
West Ealing,
London W13 8HE, UK.

The guides are distributed without charge, but we ask for a donation of at least £10  to help with the cost of research, printing and postage. Cheques are payable to Access Project if drawn on a British bank.
If you want us to send you copies it is essential to send us your postal address.
If orders are coming from abroad, please send CASH in your local currency, or use PayPal. We have a UK Business Account with PayPal (www.paypal.com) called Access Project (Gordon Couch) with the e-mail address gordon_couch@yahoo.com.
If you are ordering the guide from the USA, we would request a donation of $25-30 as it costs around $15 just for postage.
Note that small cheques drawn on a foreign bank are almost valueless, as the bank charges US$15-20 to process them, so we get no money at all for a small cheque!

If you are downloading the PDFs please send us a donation of about US$5, €5 or £2.50 for each one

We work closely with other UK/London organisations providing information for disabled people and in particular with:

  • Artsline who provide well researched information about access to arts and entertainments venues in London
  • Disability Rights UK who are the central campaigning body for all the voluntary groups concerned with disability, and
  • the Centre for Accessible Environments who work to make the built environment more friendly

All the guides are researched by visit, and the survey teams include people with disabilities, so the information is firmly based on people’s experience. Our approach regarding access is significantly different from that of many other information providers. This is because our write-ups and assessments are essentially descriptive. We say how big the place is and measure distances where relevant. We note slopes and surfaces as well as looking for step free routes. Where there are barriers, we give details – for example of the number of steps involved, or of door widths. We even give the basic details about disabled person’s toilets.

It is important, in our view, not to make value judgements (as most other information providers do) but to give people the basic facts, and allow them to make up their own minds about the practicality of a visit or of travelling. A classic example of this is the question of accommodation. While disabled people will want and prefer to have step-free access, together with well adapted bathroom facilities and hopefully a wheel-in shower, in practice a visitor may prefer to use a hotel which is slightly less accessible (or even quite difficult) but is half the price and in a much better location. Location can be immensely important in making getting around easier. If you want to get a better idea of our motivations and methods then please see the PHSP page.

In addition, many other information providers use the ‘access auditing’ approach which is fine as far as it goes, but usually makes no attempt to relate an audited building to how you get there, nor its relation to other nearby facilities or interesting places. Access auditing too often involves one person trying to assess the requirements of a wide range of disabled people. Much then has to be taken on trust, and is not part of the experience of the auditor.