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Making Events and Venues Accessible for VIP

By Harriet Smith

In early 2020 I was invited to participate in a Disability Advisory And Inclusion group organised by The Stables Theatre, which is a live music venue near Wavendon, Milton Keynes. Among other things, one of the aims of this group was to achieve Bronze status for the venue from Attitude Is Everything. This is a charity who work with music venues and festivals to ensure they are as accessible as possible for disabled people. The group consisted of members who had a wide range of disabilities, including a wheelchair user and someone who was deaf.

I gave advice on how to improve access at the venue in general from a visually impaired perspective, such as using tactile strips across the floor as a way of guiding people, and also advice on altering the website so that disabled people can book their tickets online. Another of my roles was assisting with the Milton Keynes International Festival, an outdoor event that is held every two years that celebrates artists from all over the world. My involvement here included providing advice on such things as audio description and ensuring that information about the festival was available in accessible formats.

Overall, I really enjoyed being part of the group and it was a fantastic experience for me. I was pleased to be able to shape the future of the venue and play such an important part in improving the accessibility for people with different disabilities. I look forward to seeing how my advice continues to move the venue forward in the future.

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