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A handy venue accessibility checklist for adults with learning disabilities & disabilities wishing to attend local events

At CASE, we regularly plan day trips and excursions. Everybody loves the escapism of a new environment, a little fresh air, and endless opportunities to socially interact and put their blossoming independent living skills into practice. But there’s an important task to be completed first! Each time we plan a trip, our trainers and bubble leaders research the accessibility at events to make sure our trainees are as comfortable as possible – both physically and emotionally. Here is our venue accessibility checklist… we hope you find it inspiring when planning your own days out!

Accessibility at events: What we look for

Because learning disabilities are often part and parcel with Syndromes and other genetic or physical disabilities, it’s important to look at what accessibility at events means beyond mobility. To us, accessible venues allow us to enjoy whatever is going on without compromising our comfort. For example, trainees with Autism may struggle with loud music and bright lights, whereas others with ADHD can get overwhelmed if there is too much going on at once.

Disabled access at events can include:

Depending on the type of event we are attending and the trainees we are taking along with us, we consider the following features…

✔️Wheelchair access – ramps & slopes, ensuring corridors and doors are wide enough

✔️Access to lifts if there is more than one level to the event

✔️Accessible toilets and comfort facilities

✔️Blue badge parking, if applicable

✔️Headphones for those sensitive to noise

✔️Easy to read or larger fonts on signs

✔️Hearing loop systems or audio descriptions

✔️British Sign Language (BSL) translation

✔️Allowance for those with hearing or sight impairments to move closer to see what’s going on

✔️Dimmed lighting

✔️Music at a reasonable level

✔️Less crowded or quiet areas

✔️Not too much going on at once

The Freedom Festival: A good example!

18% of UK adults aged 16+ have a disability [1], so there’s no wonder local events need to pay attention to accessibility! We are currently planning a trip to Freedom Festival in Hull on the 3rd & 4th of September, and we are delighted to see a dedicated `accessibility` section to their brochures and website information. Please view Freedom Festival’s webpage for more information: Freedom Festival Arts Trust – Festival Accessibility.


[1] Events checklist – disabilities & accessibility considerations (desouza-associates.com)

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