Wheelchair Accessible Events- Guidelines for Event Organisers


Wheelchair Accessible Events- Guidelines for Event Organisers

Making your event wheelchair accessible is of the utmost importance.  A little consideration at the planning stages will ensure that your event can be attended by the widest audience possible and will allow everyone enjoy your event safely and comfortably. The following are key considerations in making your event wheelchair-accessible are:

  • All event accessibility information should be available both in print and online. Please ensure that your listing on this Site InspireMe Ireland has accurate and complete information on all the facilities you provide.
  • Accessible car parking, setting-down points and public transport options should be available for arrival at the event.
  • Level pathways to all event facilities. Accessible marquees and exhibition tents.
  • Provide large size accessible WC cubicles (sized1800mm x 2500mm with door opening out).
  • Provide raised viewing platforms.
  • Disability awareness training should be provided for staff and volunteers.


Accessible Parking

  • Locate as close as possible to the main entrance – maximum distance 25m.
  • Signage for easy identification.
  • Minimum of one accessible bay, then one accessible bay for every 15 parking bays.
  • Firm level surface with white markings on blue background. Dished kerb to access pavements.
  • Size of standard accessible bays should be 4800 x 6000mm. This includes 1200mm wide access zone on both side and rear.
  • Size of bay for multi-purpose vehicles should be 5400 x 7800mm. This includes 3000mm access zone to one side and rear.
  • On-street parallel parking bay should be 3600 x 7800mm. This includes an access zone of 1200mm to one side and 3000mm to the rear.
  • Minimum 2600mm height clearance to be maintained throughout.


Pavement Crossings and Approach Routes


  • A 2000mm pavement width allows two wheelchair users to pass each other safely.
  • Create a firm and level surface, with no gaps of more than 10mm and paired dishing at all pedestrian crossing points.
  • Provide 2300mm headroom clearance.
  • Use tactile paving as follows: red blister-type for controlled crossings; buff, yellow or grey blister-type for uncontrolled crossings; and corduroy type for hazard warning.
  • Provide seats intermittently along long and sloping routes. Circulation route must be kept clear of any shop displays, bins, seats, etc.


External Ramps

  • Shallowest possible gradient for any sloped approach.
  • Gradient 1:20, maximum rise 500mm and maximum length 10m.
  • Ramp width 1500mm, with an 1800 x 1800mm level landing at top and bottom.
  • Non-slip surface, with 1:50 cross-fall to ensure drainage, and 150mm high edge protection.
  • Provide a continuous handrail on both sides at a height between 900–1000mm, extending 300mm beyond the ramp and terminating in a closed end.


External Steps

  • Steps should be provided in conjunction with a ramp. Avoid single steps.
  • 1500mm stairway width recommended. Tapered treads and open risers to be avoided.
  • Consistent step design is critical. Risers to be between 150–180mm and goings between 300–450mm.
  • Provide corduroy tactile warning on top and at bottom of the staircase running across full width of steps.
  • Provide a continuous handrail on both sides, at a height between 900–1000mm, extending 300mm beyond the last step and terminating in a close end. Central handrail required when stair width more than 2000mm.
  • Step edges should contrast with the rest of the surface. Provide adequate lighting. Avoid confusing shadows.

This information has kindly been provided of the Irish Wheelchair Association. Their website, www.iwa.ie, has fantastic resources available to all. Not all suggestions will be possible for your event but even taking some of the recommendations from IWA on board will help make your event more wheelchair accessible, are benefit all.