Selecting a venue

Selecting a venue for an event should be chosen with careful consideration.  Always visit the venue before booking it and consider certain key access points.


Access point

Things to consider and examples…

Accessible toilets

Consider distance between entrance, meeting room and toilets. is there enough room for people to manoeuvre easily whatever their impairment? Ensure disabled toilet is open, is there a gender-neutral toilet available?

Background noise

When inspecting a venue be aware of any background noise such as heavy traffic, sirens, kitchen noises.

Entrance and signage

Entrances should be well signposted to avoid confusion, as should any alternative entrance for wheelchair users.  Any entrance should be level or ramped.  Do any steps have a handrail?  If lifts are to be used, ensure they are in working order.  Consider the entry doors – eg. revolving doors are not suitable for wheelchair users, Guide Dog owners and many with walking difficulties.

Food and dietary requirements

When providing food, the organisers must ensure that dietary requirements are catered for.  This should be asked at the time of registration.  The organisers must ensure that everyone has access to food (if offered as part of the event)  and assist if appropriate.

Hearing loops/British Sign Language Interpreters

Many university venues are fitted with infrared hearing support systems.  Advice on this can be found from Audio Visual Services

The hearing loops must be checked on the day and it is possible that people may need to sit in a particular place if they want to use the loop.  It’s worth noting that hearing loops do not work for all people with hearing implants.


The university should offer a BSL interpreter for attendees who are deaf or hard of hearing.  This can often be picked up at the point of registration.


Is there enough natural light?  Are there blinds if the light is too strong? Different light levels suit different people so a venue should ideally be well lit with no changes in light levels in different areas.

Meet and greet

In some circumstances, it helps to arrange to meet and greet attendees at the entrance to assist them to the venue or a special seating area.

Moving around within the venue

Ensure that the venue is clutter free, corridors are clear, and signage is easy to follow.  Make sure lifts are in working order and accessible for wheelchair users.  

Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan

The event organiser must familiarise themselves with the evacuation procedure for those with mobility impairments and/or wheelchair users.  Each venue in the university will have a difference evacuation point.  Details of such arrangements should be read out to participants at the start of the event.

Parking, drop-off points

Are there sufficient disabled parking spaces near to the venue?  Can these be reserved?  Room and Parking services can assist with this.  Is there a safe drop off point close to the venue?

Quiet room or faith room

Offering a quiet room or faith room is important for making an event accessible.  These rooms provide space for people to take a break or practice the requirements of their religion whilst still being able to attend the event.

Special seating

It is important to offer attendees an area where they may need to be close to the entrance/exit.