Here are some questions you can ask a venue or a service provider to find out if what they’re offering is genuinely accessible:
1) Does your premises have level access from the street?
> [i.e. no step or lip at the front door]
2) If there is a step or lip, is there a ramp available at the premises to allow a wheelchair user to enter?
3) Is there an accessible toilet on your premises?
> Is the accessible toilet and the area leading to it kept clear of cleaning equipment? [Many premises treat an accessible toilet as a broom-cupboard, which means it isn’t actually accessible]
> Is the accessible toilet clearly signed and kept unlocked? [If an accessible toilet is habitually kept locked, it can mean that someone wishing to use it has to “ask permission” to use the toilet, or the key can get “lost”!]
4) If the premises has more than one floor, is there lift or ramped access to every level of the building which is open to the public? [e.g. the Garravogue in Sligo is mostly accessible, except for the “Library Lounge”, which has a few steps to it, and no ramp on the premises.]
5) Is there a member of staff at the front desk who can greet and guide people? [A helpful member of staff who will ask anyone if they would like assistance can make up for a great deal of bad architecture!]
These are just a few questions which will get you a clearer response than just asking “Is your premises accessible?|. By asking these questions any time you are scheduling an event, then more and more businesses become aware of what makes a real difference to people with disabilities, and people who are simply having a bad day!