Accessible resources in the community
Your rights under the law
The Equality Act 2010 prevents any discrimination based on disability in terms of access to goods and services. These goods and services include shops, restaurants and bars, libraries, sports facilities, museums, theatres, cinemas and many more besides. Providers of these goods and services must make reasonable adjustments for people with mobility problems and other disabilities. This can involve providing extra help or making changes to the way a service is delivered. It also means reasonable adjustments to the physical features of the property should be made to help any person with disabilities gain access to the goods/service.
Examples of the sorts of adjustments a business could make include:
- Ramps and grab rails to improve access for customers with limited mobility
- Information in Braille for blind and partially-sighted customers
- Induction loops for hearing aid users
- Adapted toilet facilities and changing rooms
However the definition of reasonable adjustments means that, if an adjustment is too costly for a provider, they would not be expected to make it. Well-known organisations with big budgets would be expected to make adjustments to provide access for people with disabilities, but small local businesses would not be required to do so as this would be too expensive for them.
If you are planning a shopping trip or day out to somewhere you haven't been before, it may be a good idea to call the shop or venue in advance to make sure that you will be able to do everything you want to.
Some larger shops or entertainment venues may also offer additional services such as an audio guide, personal shopper or mobility equipment to help you get the most out of your visit - often these aren't advertised in advance but are available on request, so don't be afraid to ask!
And if you want ideas on things to do and places to go, but want reassurance that they will be accessible when you get there, then the various websites listed below should help you find out what you need to know.
Visit London has details of accessible transport, venues and shops across London.
Tourism For All is a national charity dedicated to making tourism welcoming to all. They have a searchable directory of accessible tourist attractions and other resources around the country.
The DisabledGo website has a searchable directory of all kinds of facilities and services in the community, with details on whether they have been adapted to suit people with mobility problems or other disabilities.
Shape Arts is a disability-led arts organisation which works to improve access to culture for disabled people by providing opportunities for disabled artists
Euan's Guide features disabled access reviews from disabled people and their friends and families on accommodation, leisure facilities, restaurants and bars, tourist attractions and more .
The Official London Theatre website provides information on theatre performances which are intended to be more accessible for people with disabilities, and especially those with sight and hearing impairments.
The site also links to other organisations which can provide advice on accessible activities for people with disabilities.
The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain provides a free guide to tourist attractions and activities around the country which are more accessible for people with disabilities.
The National Trust have information about the accessibility arrangements at all of their attractions and their concessions.
Historic Scotland use an accessibility rating scheme for all of their attractions.
Blue Badge Style offers a variety of information, including a blog with reviews of accessible (and not so accessible) places to go out.
The Cinema Exhibitors' Association (CEA) Card enables people with disabilities to obtain a complimentary ticket so that someone can go with them when they attend the cinema. 90% of national cinemas participate in the scheme.