Sunday, July 27, 2008

Heaven From Hell

After all the examples of bad practice I've highlighted on this blog, it's a relief to finally be able write about good practice in action.

Last night with Ziggy, his girlfriend BendyToo and her dad I went to watch Australian Pink Floyd at the newly constructed Echo Arena in Liverpool. The band were amazing, but the venue was e
ven more impressive.

I'm so used to having to arrange access for myself that it was really lovely to have someone else do that for me. I was incredibly touched by the efforts made to obtain accessible tickets b
y BendyToo's dad. When I've tried to book tickets for similar events in the past there has tended to be a limit on the number of people able to accompany a disabled person in the restricted seating area, but this venue is newly built and boasts it's full DDA compliance so there were seats for disabled people and their friends in abundance. We got the impression that had we wanted to book a party of a dozen with only one disabled member into the accessible seating it would have been no problem.

There were loads of disabled parking spaces, and an easy route up to the venue by lift. Once we arrived we were directed in to the accessible seating area, all on the same level and we were all delighted to see we had some of the best seats in the place, along with lots of room to move around.

The one minor disappointment was the disabled loos, although there was a well placed large mirror this time, actually at wheelchair height, finally a place to reapply my lip gloss! The only downside was that although perfectly DDA compliant, that seems to mean an awfully small space to try and turn a wheelchair around and to transfer from chair to toilet. Other than that it was all absolutely wonderful and very well thought out.

The wonderful access meant that we could all relax and enjoy the show, the band were fantastic and a great night was had by all.


Casdok said...

Great to hear something so positive for a change. Just a shame that this isnt the norm.

Trixie said...

Oh my brother would be sooo jealous! He's a massive Pink Floyd fan!

Jay said...

It's nice to read a good report! After having cared for my MIL occasionally, I always spare a thought for those in wheelchairs at public events.

The experience seems to vary so much! Sometimes I think, wow - they really got good seats/facilities, other times I think 'how DO they get away with this?'

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Casdok: Isn't it just?! As it is DDA compliant fingers crossed the situation will eventually improve

Trixie: You're not the only person to say something like that ;)

Jay: Absolutely that's one of the biggest problems, people never know whether there will be access or not. I think many of the older buildings are avoiding providing access because they claim it's too difficult or expensive. Sigh