access2go

FREQUENTLY (AND NOT SO FREQUENTLY) ASKED QUESTIONS

Updated: 15/10/01

QUESTION

SMALL HISTORIC THEATRE

We are a voluntary theatre group, a registered charity, owning our own theatre with an annual gross turnover of approximately 15,000.

The building was converted from several early victorian buildings and is listed. Facilities are on several levels.

There is currently no wheelchair access. Internal stairs and passages are too narrow. Internal walls are structural. It seems unlikely that we can improve accessibility due to the listing and our restricted means. We cannot be the only organisation unable to meet the terms of the DDA. What provision, if any, has been made for such cases?

ANSWER

The DDA does refer to what is 'reasonable' and takes into consideration the circumstances of a service provider.

There are disabled people other than wheelchair users and you can show reasonable action by making provisions for vision and hearing impaired customers, employees and volunteers.

Arts lottery funding or similar may support some funding, including a platform lift to serve some of the levels. Even this may be ruled out by the historic nature of your premises. Even if wheelchair access is not possible everywhere, perhaps it can be achieved in some core parts of your activities. The performances are the key ones.

It does sound as if you need help from an access consultant from the National Register of Access Consultants. Their contact details are under the 'DDA and Sources of Information' section of this web site.




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