Luton and Dunstable are multi-cultural towns – so we and our client wanted the Chilterns Gateway centre to be multi-cultural too.
We also set high goals for ensuring the site was accessible to all, including people with sensory impairments and learning difficulties.
The welcome banners and some of the of the interpretation (including all the audio) is in the nine languages most commonly spoken locally.
Extending a clear, warm welcome to people for whom English is not their first or home language was central to our work.
Audio was important because we wanted the interpretation to be available to blind people. We used professional audio describers to describe the panoramic view which is the main reason people visit the site.
Local people were involved in translating the interpretation into their own language and making the recordings.
The landscape was made tactile in a “Feel the View’ toposcope which proved popular with sighted people too. Tactile panels introduced key individuals from the history of the Downs or doubled as rub-able plaques.
Community groups were also involved in designing the lively and diverse events programme.