Have you seen those little yellow stars all over Euan’s Guide? Those are the quick way for people tosee how highly a venue has been rated for disabled access! So if you decide to write a 5 star review,you’re telling people that you thought the venue was very accessible to you. In other words, you’resaying it was wonderful!
Your overall rating is one of the first things you’ll be asked to fill in when writing a review, but what ifyou thought this venue was really amazing apart from one small thing? Don’t worry, you’ll get thechance to rate individual access features of wherever you visited too. This includes factors such asaccessible toilets and parking as well as staff helpfulness and getting into and around the building.
Talking about transport and parking
Not everyone has a car, and not everyone is comfortable using public transport; so it’s helpful if youcan remember to note the different ways people were arriving at the venue. Do you rememberseeing a bus stop by the front door? Did you pass through a car park? What was the surface like, wasit smooth and level, or gravelly and uneven? It’s useful to include any helpful tips that you know ofsuch as secondary car parks nearer the building, quiet nearby streets to park on, or whether thebuses that go past can accommodate wheelchair-users.
Going into detail about access
No two people are the same, and everybody will have different access requirements which is whysome venues have greatly varying reviews! The best way to approach a review is to write about yourpersonal experience; so if you are visually impaired, you might write about your experience of anaudio described tour, or perhaps how easy you found it to follow a tactile or model map of thebuilding. However, wherever possible, it is useful to mention other access features you came acrosstoo, such as ramps and wheelchair-lifts. Don’t forget to include subtle notes, such as how easy youfound it to get through the front door or find your way around.
What to say about toilets?
It might seem odd to be describing a toilet as you write your review, but this is often one of the mostrelevant and important details that you can include! The presence, or rather absence, or a goodaccessible toilet can make or break the decision for many people who are looking for somewherenew to visit. Try to write about things such as how easy or difficult it was to approach the toilet door,the space inside the toilet, and whether there was an emergency red cord alarm.
How to write about staff?
People often forget how important staff can be when it comes to disabled access. Many venues havecertain limitations that prevent independent access; this could be heavy doors or a difficultentrance, and it takes attentive and welcoming staff to make the experience of the visitor that muchbetter! Take this opportunity to let other readers know that despite appearances, the venue can beaccessed with the help of friendly and understanding staff.
Saving the best to last – pictures!
Did you know that photographs are one of the most helpful things you can add to your review? Evenif you write very little, a good clear photograph can give readers and impression of what to expect. Ifyou remember, try to collect photos of the venue itself and any cool access features you encounter,such as dropped counters, BSL videos or handy ramps. Don’t forget to snap a quick picture of theaccessible loo for the perfect review!