Coronavirus: information and updates

Checking the accessibility of an event or venue

Warning Events during coronavirus

Venues and events may have safety measures to keep everyone safe during coronavirus. This can include:

Contact the venue or event organiser to discuss any concerns before you book.

It’s important to check the accessibility of an event you’re attending in advance so that you can be confident it caters for all your needs.

You can do this by:

  • checking the event website or researching online
  • contacting the venue or the event organiser
  • visiting the venue in person

Research before attending

Research the event or venue before booking. There are useful websites you can visit for information.

  • Euan’s Guide is a disabled access review site where disabled people, their family, friends and carers can find and share reviews on the accessibility of venues around the UK and beyond.
  • AccessAble provides detailed information about venues so that you can decide if it’s accessible to you.
  • Simply Emma is a blog with comprehensive reviews and advice on accessible travel. There are reviews on festivals, gigs, hotels and days out.
  • Accessible Screenings is a searchable listings database for accessible screenings in UK cinemas, including subtitled, audio described and autism friendly.
  • Scope’s online community is a good place to ask about a venue’s accessibility.

You may find it useful to use sites like Google Street View to see parking options and distances from public transport stops to the venue.

TripAdvisor also has lots of photos of venues you may find useful.

Travel and public transport

Days out tips for disabled people and their families

Free and discounted events

Questions to ask about the venue

Before contacting someone responsible for access at the event or the venue, have a list of questions ready to help you get the information you need. It’s also important to be clear about your requirements.

You might find it helpful to ask some of the following questions:

  • How far is the venue from public transport?
  • Is there disabled parking and how many spaces are available? Can I book a space?
  • Is there disabled access to the building and to the event, like ramps and lifts?
  • Are the toilets accessible? If so, what size are the toilets and what equipment is available?
  • Is there a quiet room?
  • Is there a wheelchair area at the event? If so, where is it located, how big is it and are spaces integrated with the audience?
  • Is the canteen or restaurant area accessible?
  • Will information be accessible? Will there be a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter, audio description or subtitles?

Contact the venue or event organiser if you cannot find this information on their website.

Under the Equality Act 2010, venues and events must take reasonable steps to make sure that disabled people are not at a disadvantage. This might include making physical adjustments, like adding a ramp to an entrance or providing information in an accessible format.

Equality law - Theatres and other entertainment venues (EHRC)

Asking for reasonable adjustments

Work or college events

You may need to attend an event for work or as part of a course you’re studying. Speak with the organiser ahead of the event to tell them what you need. You may want to find out:

  • how far you’ll need to walk and if the venue is accessible to you
  • if there’s a map or someone who can meet you at the entrance
  • if you’ll need to participate during the event

If a venue or event is inaccessible, ask them to make alternative arrangements for you. If they fail to do so, this could be discrimination.

Disability discrimination

Virtual events

A growing number of events are online. But there can still be issues with accessibility if you’re disabled.

Before signing up to a virtual event, it’s worth checking if it suits your needs. For example, if there will be subtitles, a BSL interpreter or audio descriptions.

Access for a disabled child

Some shops, cinemas and other venues may have specific times when they are more accessible to disabled children, such as ‘autism-friendly’ shopping hours or performances.

Some supermarkets might have ‘GoTo’ trolleys with 5-point harnesses and padded seats with extra support.

If shopping is difficult, you could ask the manager if they'll open 15 minutes early so you can try things on.

Last reviewed by Scope on: 20/08/2020

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