Launch of All Access Wake County: How to Welcome More People

— Written By Courtney Hotchkiss

The UN estimates there are at least 1 billion people around the world with some type of disability (UN DESA). Disabilities can range from cognitive, motor, physical and visual, and those with some type of impairment are often marginalized by society. Traveling can be challenging for people with disabilities and their companions, however, there are many ways in which the tourism industry can accommodate. VisitRaleigh and the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance (GRSA) launched the All Access Wake County event, an initiative to help businesses discover ways they can invite and welcome visitors with disabilities. 

people looking at painting

The All Access Wake County event launched a new website for business in the hospitality and tourism industry to learn ways to make their businesses more accessible. Photo credit:

The launch took place on November 22nd at the Convention Center in Raleigh with over 150 people in the hospitality industry in attendance. The event kicked off with a keynote speech from authors of “I’ll Push You”, Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray, who completed the 500 mile Santiago de Compostela trail in a wheelchair. 

Attendee Joseph Gosselin, a manager at a hotel in Raleigh, found the training and resources helpful and thought-provoking, stating “I’ve been in hospitality ever since I started working. Today was one of the most beneficial days of my career. The class was informative, inspiring and so helpful to us over at the hotel.”

Accessibility is more than being ADA compliant; it is a human right to be able to participate in everyday activities and to enjoy cultural and leisure activities. Additionally, places with more accessibility can also encourage use by multi-generational families and groups, as well as allow small children to participate in more activities. 

To learn how businesses in North Carolina are opening their doors to more people, check out the VisitRaleigh Exceeding Expectations page.