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Case study: Sadler’s Wells

31 January 2011

What Sadler's Wells has achieved, in terms of its access and ongoing commitment, is huge, says Sarah Howard, Access Officer, Sadler's Wells, London.

"Being accessible is about physical access but it’s also about attitudes – being open, welcoming and pro-active. And it’s about access for disabled artists to create and present work, as well as access to arts experiences as audience members.
Our building is incredibly accessible for everyone: staff, audience members and performers. I can get just about anywhere in the building in my wheelchair – even on to the lighting grid above the main stage.

"Staff attitudes at Sadler’s Wells are excellent and most are very pro-active. Survey findings show that the biggest barrier for disabled people in the UK is attitude. You can have all the gadgets but if people don’t want you in the building, you won’t come.

"We have a large audience of disabled people who come here regularly because they feel very comfortable. We offer a 50 per cent discount on each ticket when a disabled patron has to have a companion. At first, we offered big discounts to get people to come here but over the past three years, our concession rate has actually gone down. That’s because we offer good service."

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