Inland Waterways Accessibility Forum

RBOA recently received an interesting communication about a new Facebook forum, which has a focus on waterways users with accessibility issues, from Tracey Clarke who is one of our RBOA members. After consulting with the rest of the RBOA Committee the text is repeated below:


My name is Tracey Clarke. I have set up a Facebook group called IWAF – Inland Waterways Accessibility Forum. This is in full liaison with the Canal and River Trust and, hopefully soon, other waterways agencies too.

The forum is intended as a means of ongoing discussions between the Trust / other waterways authorities and users of the canals, rivers and towpaths who have accessibility issues. The forum also welcomes carers.

The general idea of the forum is to enable conversation between appropriate authorities’ staff members and waterways users/visitors who have accessibility issues. The hope is to keep it pleasant and positively interactive, rather than a confrontational ranting page.

Disabilities are as wide and varied as are the people who live with them. The range includes;
*  physical/mobility problems
*  mental health issues
*  sensory impairments
*  cognitive impairments…

This is by no means a comprehensive list. We all have our abilities and difficulties, some of which make life more of a challenge than for those who are fully ‘able bodied’ and/or ‘able minded’.

Equally, our waterways are used and enjoyed in a variety of ways including:
*  boating
*  walking (or wheeling)
*  cycling
*  fishing
*  gongoozling

IWAF is intended to encompass all of the above variants and more. We want to include people from each of the above groups plus organisations and companies who provide (or want to) services or facilities for everyone. is a private group. If you feel that you fit in the group and would like to participate, then please click on the ‘join’ button and answer the three simple questions. Please don’t be put off by these questions. They are intended solely to ensure, as far as possible, that the group is kept for those that genuinely belong. The answers are NOT stored or recorded in any way.