When someone you love celebrates a significant birthday, do you send flowers – or pay for them to experience something unforgettable? The idea of giving “experiences” as gifts went mainstream with Red Letter Days in the early 1990s, but until now there’s been a huge gap in the market.
If you have a disability, it’s not easy finding an activity provider that meets your needs. It’s not impossible, but the extra work involved - contacting operators, explaining your disability and asking questions – is offputting.
That’s where Paul Nicol comes in. He’s a blind man who loves adrenaline-fuelled outdoor activities too much to let his disability get in the way. I’m proud to have worked with him on the website for iCAN Experiences, his recently-launched business, which has already attracted plenty of media attention.
He realised that lots of activity providers have excellent provision for people with disabilities. The problem is that finding them and assessing their level of provision can be tedious and stressful. Too much research, too much potential to get it wrong.
iCAN does that work for you. It’s the first company in the UK that actually specialises in providing experiences for people with disabilities. You can browse the site by disability, safe in the knowledge that every activity you see has already been vetted for its accessibility.
Maybe your blind brother has a passion for fast cars. OK, so buy him a rally-driving experience where a professional rally driver zooms him around the track. Or maybe your best friend has serious mobility problems. She can still try gliding!
Paul hired me to do the copywriting for the iCAN site. I also did some work beforehand finding out which search terms were relevant to the site content - and discovered that pretty much nobody was searching for “disability-friendly activity” or anything of the kind. I think that’s because Paul is breaking new ground with his business. It just wouldn’t occur to a lot of people that their disabled friends might want to try white-water rafting or bungee jumping. But once word gets out about iCAN and the possibilities it opens up, I think it could be very successful indeed.