15 Jan 2015

Leeds supports Disabled Access Day after landing gold and silver status

Leeds will be supporting national Disabled Access Day tomorrow after the city was recognized for its commitment to helping make local events accessible to all.

Leeds City Council have become the first local authority in the country to be awarded the silver level of Attitude is Everything’s Local Authorities’ Charter of Best Practice for showing continuing commitment in providing access to customers, staff and performers.

Attitude is Everything work in partnership with audiences, artists and the music industry to improve deaf and disabled people’s access to live music.

Leeds City Council have worked with Attitude is Everything for a number of years to improve access at outdoor music events, working on Venue and Festival Charter of Best Practice submissions for a number of individual events and locations including the Leeds Lights Switch On and Millennium Square.

In 2014 Leeds City Council were also awarded the gold level of Attitude is Everything’s Venues and Festivals Charter of Best Practice for Classical Fantasia, which took place in September at Kirkstall Abbey.

This is only the third outdoor event in the country to be awarded gold level, the others being Glastonbury and Liberty Festival.

At the event, facilities included accessible viewing, accessible parking, an access bus from the car parking, accessible toilets, a Changing Places toilet, a hearing loop for hearing aid users and British Sign Language interpretation for the whole performance.

Suzanne Bull MBE, Attitude is Everything’s chief executive officer said:

“Attitude is Everything is really excited to welcome the first local authority onto our charter. By signing up, Leeds City Council has shown that it is truly committed to making sure that their venues, festivals and community spaces can be accessed and enjoyed by everyone.

“Leeds City Council will be implementing new policies and procedures for events organised by the council as well as setting a baseline level of requirements for promoters and producers wishing to hold events in council locations.

"Deaf and disabled people make up 20 per cent of the communities we live in and now Leeds City Council has a fantastic way of publicly demonstrating that everyone is welcome and that they are actively meeting people’s access requirements.

“We look forward to working with Leeds City Council in the coming years.”

The council also works with promoters using Leeds City Council venues to provide accessible events which everyone can enjoy, including disabled people.

The popular Ice Cube attraction, which returns to the square on Friday January 23, will feature dedicated accessible skating sessions which will be provided every Thursday between 9am and 10am.

And over the next year Leeds City Council will continue to work with Attitude is Everything to ensure disabled people can enjoy barrier free access to events including the UB40’s Ali Campbell, Mickey and Astro live concert in July 2015, which will kick off a summer series of concerts and events on Millennium Square.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills, added:

“Leeds is a city where there’s always something happening and we are lucky to have so many exciting and fun events throughout the year.

“I know from personal experience how important it is that we ensure everyone gets the chance to enjoy those events, so we’re really proud to be recognised for our ongoing efforts to make them accessible and welcoming to all.

“This is set to be another big year for live events in Leeds and the council will continue to strive towards making every aspect of life in the city as accessible as possible to all our residents and visitors.”

For more information on Disabled Access Day, visit: www.disabledaccessday.com


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