4th October 2019
29th November 2019
Shropshire Council has been working to review the delivery of access arrangements at Theatre Severn and the Old Market Hall in Shropshire.
A review is necessary because Shropshire Council believe that the arrangements currently in place could be inadequate and they are keen to remove any unnecessary barriers to booking their services. If D/deaf, visually impaired, disabled people and wheelchair users cannot book their seats online, they may be disadvantaged and discriminated against by the venues and Shropshire Council’s primary objective is to level this and offer online booking to all.
Are you able to book the seats you need due to physical disability, sensory or hidden disabilities? Are you better sitting on the end of a row and on which side? Are there enough BSL, Audio, Relaxed, Dementia Friendly shows? Is the seating comfortable for you? This is your chance to put forward ideas. Don’t miss it! Using the Sunflower Lanyard scheme will help staff realise patrons may need a little extra help.
This local work is taking place alongside theatres and venues nationally looking at adopting revised access policies.
Before any decisions can be taken or a future access policy developed, Shropshire Council needs to understand the views of individuals and groups who use Theatre Severn and the Old Market Hall, the public and local services and organisations. This consultation is designed to obtain this important feedback.
What this consultation hopes to achieve.
Through this consultation, Shropshire Council aims to collect information that will allow the development of a new access policy which will address:
- Online booking for all
- Equality on ticket price and booking process
- Removing barriers
- Focusing the policy on need, not documents and income.
They are keen to remove any unnecessary barriers to booking services, such as the insistence that documentary proof of eligibility must be provided in person before access is granted to selected concessions. Without access to online booking, disabled audiences also encounter a barrier of booking limited to box office opening hours, and may miss out on popular tickets or preferred seats.
They propose implementing an updated policy in common with many similar venues whereby the first ticket is offered at a standard or concessionary price, and a second ticket for an ‘essential companion’ is complimentary, free of charge. To those who are eligible, total cost to attend will remain comparable.
Eligible customers will be asked to submit a short application, briefly stating why they require an essential companion to access our services. This application could be submitted online, via email, by post or in person. While previous concessions focused on documentary proof and assumptions about income, the Essential Companion Scheme is focused on delivering improved access based on need. The new scheme will therefore be broader and encompass people with less visible disabilities such as anxiety, autism or dementia.
How to take part in this Consultation:
- Feedback surveys for
- Customers of Theatre Severn and the Old Market Hall
- Stakeholders (eg services within the public sector, voluntary sector, town and parish councils etc)
- Public survey
- Email feedback options for more detailed comments
- Meeting, discussion and workshop with Shropshire Disability Network
- Individual meetings with key stakeholders (available on request)
- Provision of BSL interpreter for meetings
Ways to give feedback:
You can complete a short survey by clicking on the ‘How to get involved’ tab on this page. It should take you approximately 10-15 minutes to complete depending on how many comments you make.
To take part in the survey, click this link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/RR6DYX6
You can also provide feedback by email. Please title your email Theatre Severn and OMH Access Consultation and email: TellUs@shropshire.gov.uk
You can also provide any comments or other documents for consideration by writing to:
Theatre Severn and OMH Access Consultation 2019, c/o Shropshire Council, Feedback and Insight Team (1L23), Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY2 6ND
For further information about this consultation click here: https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/get-involved/theatre-severn-and-old-market-hall-access-consultation/