External spaces

Consider the external spaces, where people need to get to, and how they find their way to different facilities they will access at the venue.



Routes around external areas should be free from hazards (e.g. litter bins, seating, drainage gratings, signposts, overhanging foliage) and ideally have a clear width of 1800mm. If there are any hazards on main routes, consider what protection may be needed, and visual contrast should be used to ensure any hazards can be more easily seen. Seating at regular intervals can help.

Outside areas

Sufficient shaded areas can help people who find strong sunlight difficult. Seated areas should have provision for wheelchair users including seating without arm rests and varying heights and widths.

Policies and procedures should be in place for assistance dogs and dog spending areas provided.


Steps may be a preferred route for some, but can provide hazards, particularly for people with a visual impairment or those who struggle to judge depth of field. Handrails, highlighted nosing, and non-slip surfaces all help. Open risers can mean there is a risk people trap their toes between treads / risers or feeling insecure when looking through gaps.


  1. Are the external routes throughout the venue clear, step free, unobstructed with good visual clues, logical signage, firm level surfaces, sufficient in width for wheelchairs / mobility aids and dropped kerbs on footpaths?
  2. Are any external steps / staircases accompanied by a ramp?
  3. Do any external steps have handrails, highlighted nosing, non-slip treads and closed risers?
  4. If you have any seated areas, can tables accommodate wheelchair users?
  5. Do you have sufficient shaded areas, and seating at regular intervals along longer routes?

Accessibility statement

Highlight if you have step free or ramped access around the external areas, any provision of access to seated / shaded areas.

Make it clear that assistance dogs are welcome.

Be honest about any limitations

Next - consider whether people can easily use the interior of buildings, without asking too many questions. Look at how people get around, colour schemes, lighting, the acoustic environment and furniture.

Next - internal areas