Tips on improving your venue's accessibility


Tips on improving your venue's accessibility

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Accessibility is being talked about increasingly in the industry, and with good reason. According to research by the Blue Badge Access Awards, 25% of people have either a visible or invisible disability, and in these trying times, can any business afford to lose customers?

Why should a business become more accessible?

As well as the obvious - everyone should be able to go out and enjoy a meal with their friends and family - the value of the disabled market is massive and so many businesses, who are overlooking accessibility, are missing out on that. Luckily, now that we're coming out of the acute phase of the pandemic, it's a good time to review and consider the kind of business you want to be, and who your market is.

According to, the spending power of disabled people and their households in 2020 was estimated to be worth £274 billion per year to UK businesses. Here's what different sectors are losing out on:

  • High Street Shops – £267 million per month
  • Restaurants/Pubs/Clubs – £163 million per month

What simple upgrades can be implemented that won't break the bank

Access - Easy access for disabled customers is essential. If the entry isn't on street level, venues could invest in a portable metal ramp that costs less than £100. The ramp doesn't have to be permanent, but could be brought out when needed.

TIP: use a baby buggy to walk through your venue to identify the steps, narrow and tricky-to-navigate areas.

Sound - if feasible, having a quiet corner in your venue would help people that are hard of hearing and those with sensory problems will appreciate less background noise.

Light - some atmospheric lighting in pubs and restaurants can be very dark. It might be an idea to keep a few tables well-lit and your partially-sighted customers will thank you for it.

What's the best way for venues to advertise they are accessible?

The first place disabled customers will look is the venue's website. Saying 'wheelchair accessible' isn't enough, as wheelchair sizes can vary hugely. Disabled customers want to see photos of accessible features so they could decide for themselves whether the venue meets their needs. Have a look at examples at Blue Badge Style here, or if you wanted to promote your accessibility - why not take part in in the Blue Badge Access Awards?

Content on accessibility provided to HGEM by Fiona Jarvis, founder of Blue Badge Style

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