1. Plan well in advance
You can find out about galleries, shows and events on the internet, in magazines or in the entertainment sections of many newspapers. Once you have an idea of where you would like to go, check out the venue's website and call ahead to find out what facilities they have to offer. Make a list of all the things you need to find out about before you call – for example, disabled parking spaces, wheelchair access, disabled toilets and any other special arrangements you and your family will need.
Booking in advance may also save you time when you arrive at the venue, but check first whether you can get a refund if you have to cancel your visit or if you arrive later than expected.
- If you are planning a trip in London, you can visit the Arts Line website and find searchable information of over 1000 arts venues across London.
Concessions are – it seems – widely available, but you always have to ask as it is not generally advertised.
2. Ask about concession prices
Some venues will offer a reduced entry fee for people with a learning disability, and sometimes for their carer as well. Concessions are not always advertised and staff may not be aware of them, so it is always best to ask. Even if your child does not have a physical disability they may still be eligible for a reduced fee.
3. Find the nearest accessible toilet
As well as making sure the venue you will be visiting has accessible facilities, you may also want to find out if there are disabled toilets and changing facilities in the local area. You can find this information on the Changing Places website. You could also think about investing in a Radar key, which allows you to open accessible toilets that cannot be left permanently open.
- Check the Changing Places website to find the locations of accessible toilet facilities.
- Visit the Radar website to find information on the National Key Scheme.
Wherever I go I always make sure I take enough people to help me. On our trip to the zoo I had my mum and my friend because I know what it is going to be like - I would never attempt these things on my own.
4. Make sure you have enough support
Wherever you are going, make sure you get as much support as you can to help you through the day. Day trips can be tiring at the best of times, so making sure you have someone there to support you can make the day run much more smoothly.