London Zoo has been made more accessible for disabled visitors after their nature trail and other features were redesigned through contributions from participants involved in Leonard Cheshire's 'Can Do' skills development programme.

Individuals aged 10-35 with a disability or long term health condition participate in Can Do. Participants with learning disabilites and autism were among those involved in shaping the London Zoo enhancements.

Project components included tacticle map development and exploration for a nature trail, along with design workshops. "Interactive design implementation" will facilitate presentations, animal experience visits and learning resource development, which all stands to benefit disabled guests visiting the zoo.

'Memorable project'

Mustafa (pictured above), a student at Lambeth College, said: "I planned the trail map; I took pictures and videos of the animals and I learned more about marketing and advertising and how to grab people’s attention. I also made a poster and presented it with confidence."

Leonard Cheshire will receive a Silver Award from The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) for their Can Do programme with The Zoological Society of London.

The partnership delivered two projects with young disabled people, with the first featuring Can Doers with learning and physical disabilities from Lambeth College, the Camden Society and Roots and Shoots. Each worked collaboratively with London Zoo’s design, marketing and interpretation team to create an inclusive and interactive Snowdon Aviary exhibit.

"The award is testament to our team and the young people who benefitted from it," said Pete Donnelly, Can Do Programme Manager. "Carrie Tse was instrumental in setting it up and Cicely Taylor carried the torch through a memorable project that inspired everyone who participated in it."