Making events accessible
Choosing a venue: Entrances and entry systems
- Is the entrance level?
- Are the doors clearly marked?
- Is alternative access clearly signposted?
- Is the button for assistance clearly signed and at appropriate height?
- Is there an alternative to the entry phone/key pad system?
- Is the alternative to the revolving door clearly marked and unlocked?
The entrance should be level or ramped, and if there are steps as well these need to have a handrail and clearly marked step edges. Portable ramps can be acceptable for a few steps, but ensuring they are out when needed and not dangerous makes them undesirable. Some people with walking difficulties prefer steps to a ramp. Revolving doors are not suitable for wheelchair users, guide dog owners and many with walking difficulties. The position of the entry door needs to be clear for people with a visual impairment and glass doors should be well identified. Glass doors can be difficult to see and should have coloured markings on the glass (tape, paint etc.) to be safe.
Entrances should be well signposted to avoid confusion or unnecessary effort, as should any alternative entrance for wheelchair users.
Any bell system for people to summon assistance must be accessible to wheelchair users and short people. It is important to consider how someone with a hearing impairment will get in if there is an entry-phone system and whether a visually impaired person would know it is there and be able to use it.
‘(With) video or bell entry I cannot hear what is being said so I can't reply.’
‘Even if you find the front door you can’t always get in. There might be a doorman or porter at a desk but you can’t tell if you have their attention or not. It can be very frustrating.’
In this situation people will increasingly use a mobile phone to ring or text for help. Prior to the meeting, you should give out the phone number of someone who will be there on the day.