Disabled Access Day: making participation possible

Disabled Access Day is all about visiting somewhere you’ve never been before, whether that’s a coffee shop, cinema, sports centre or anywhere else. Here’s how to get involved…

On 12 March 2016 the second Disabled Access Day will be held at venues across the UK. Disabled Access Day began when Paul Ralph, a power chair user, went to a ‘try it out’ day with a bus company.

Ralph said: “Prior to this I had not used the bus network in my hometown because I was unsure how the ramp operated, how ticketing worked and whether my power chair would fit in. During the ‘try it out’ day I found out what I need to know as a wheelchair using passenger. And I thought: ‘Wouldn’t it be great if there were similar initiatives, happening across the country on one specific day?’” And so Disabled Access Day was born.

More than 150 independent venues across the UK will be taking part: from the Eden Project in Cornwall to the Orkney Story Telling Centre in the Orkney Islands. Here, we discuss a few accessible events to whet your appetitie.

Disabled Access Day events

If you’re in London…
View from the top of the Victoria Tower, the lesser known of the two towers of the Houses of Parliament, towards Big Ben, the River Thames and the London EyeThere are over 30 events going on across the Capital so you won’t be short on a thing or two to do on the day! If you’re a history fan head over to the Royal Air Force Museum where you can try on a World War II RAF uniform or immerse yourself in a silent movie.

If you’re more of a foodie, then Borough Market is calling you! With a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreted cooking demonstration and a blindfolded tasting session it is definitely the place to be if you are a food lover.

If you’re in Edinburgh…
edinburghThere are more than 20 different events in Edinburgh on Disabled Access Day. If you fancy some fresh air head to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and join a guided tour of the Garden. Afterwards you can pop into the newly opened Botanic Cottage for a touch tour to warm up!

If the outdoors isn’t your thing then head to Dance Base and get active by joining an inclusive ceilidh, a traditional Gaelic social gathering.

If you’re in Leeds…
leeds Join Leeds City Council at the Leeds City Museum where there are a whole host of events going on, from touch tours of the galleries to try -it-out sports sessions to craft activities. There’s sure to be something for everyone.

If you’re more a theatre goer, then head to Leeds Grand Theatre where you can watch an audio described performance of Northern Ballet’s Swan Lake and join a touch tour before the show.

If you’re in Newcastle…
newcastleFans of science can visit the Life Science Centre on Disabled Access Day and receive 50% off tickets (terms and conditions apply).

More of a bookworm than a scientist? Not to worry, the Seven Stories, the National Centre for children’s books, is the perfect place to immerse yourself in your favourite children’s stories.

Want to find out what’s organised near you?

But that’s not all that’s happening on 12th March; there are lots more activities, events and offers across the UK, and abroad. Find out what’s on near you on the Disabled Access Day website.

Can’t see something near you? We’d love to hear your suggestions of where has good access, let us know by emailing us ( or by tweeting us using #AccessDayIdea.

So the big question is what will you be doing on Disabled Access Day 2016? Stay up to date with all the developments on the run up to 12th March by signing up to our newsletter.

By Disabled Access Day

Let Disability Horizons know whether you’re getting involved in the day and what you’ll be getting up to? You can message us on Facebook, tweet us @DHorizons, email us at or leave your comments below.

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