Making events accessible
Choosing a venue: Flat/level access
You should – at the very least – make sure there is flat/level access from and to the:
- drop-off point
- local train station
- nearest bus stop
- restaurant or canteen
- main room
- break-out rooms.
Ensuring level access might seem obvious, but it is surprising how many venues do not have flat access. There are many access issues to look out for – from having no dropped curbs on the pavement outside the venue to having no visible alternative to a revolving door. One small step can be as much of a barrier for some people who use services as a flight of stairs can be for others.
Service users commented:
Electric wheelchairs have a lower clearance for doors etc. A one-inch lip is too hard for me. A manual wheelchair can bounce over these. I can't.
Modern buildings are less likely to expect wheelchair users to come in via a separate ‘accessible’ entrance, round by the bins like some form of social pariah.
Level access in itself can be a barrier to some disabled people. For example, a guide dog is trained to walk along a pavement and stop at a kerb edge. Drop curbs and slopes can be confusing for visually impaired people.
Another person gave this example:
I can walk but I can’t do slopes so steps, with a hand rail, are better for me.
The solution is usually to have alternative options.