Accessible and Inclusive Venues

Many clubs may already be accessible, even if they don’t have any wheelchair users or disabled participants, and making your club more inclusive is surprisingly simple.

What does Accessible and Inclusive look like?

An inclusive and accessible venue can take many different forms, largely depending on which individuals you are aiming to include, as different disabled people have different needs. The best practice isn’t to say you’re accessible or not, as that is for each disabled person to determine for themselves, but to share a good understanding of the club environment and practices, and make that easy to find so people can make an informed choice as to whether your club and facilities are right for them.

It’s really helpful if you have a section on your webpage where you outline the current venue accessibility and maybe also the adjustments you make in your sessions for disabled people to feel welcome. Also helpful is having a phone number for someone who can provide more information and advise on other local clubs if yours isn’t suitable for the participant’s needs.

Here are some basics to consider:


  • Good signage with contrasting colours and clear font
  • Welcoming attitudes from all staff, coaches, and members
  • Easy to find venue access information on your website
  • Images depicting the wide diversity of your community showcased in your marketing


Wheelchair users:

  • Is there level access throughout? – this means no steps or rises at all, if there are multiple floors these need to be able to be accessed via an elevator
    • If there is a stepped or raised area participants need to get to please note how many steps and what height of a raise etc.
  • Keep floor ways clear and unobstructed
  • Do you have a wheelchair-accessible toilet? this is a large single-occupancy toilet space that is designed specifically for use by disabled people, who tend to need more space.
    • Is this toilet free of obstructions and not used as a storage space for facility equipment?


D/deaf or hearing impaired:

  • Do you have a hearing loop system, for those with hearing aids?
  • Do coaches and workforce have an understanding of British Sign Language (BSL)?
  • Does your facility have a strobe light alarm system?


Blind and Visual Impaired:

  • Designate a staff member to do guided orientation
  • Have high-contrast colours on any ledges and surface changes
  • Some smart boxes have a tonal adjustment to differentiate each side of a bout


Neurodiverse and hidden disabled:

  • Providing a calm place to rest, away from traffic flow can be helpful
  • Adaptive coaching styles, giving breaks and adjusting instructions as needed
  • Make sure there is seating available for those with fatigue and pain conditions


If you’d like to see where your club fits on the accessibility spectrum you can download our self-assessment matrix here

Why not now check out our Top Tips page for more ways to be inclusive?

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