Manchester Music venues The Academy 1,2,3, Club Academy and the Union Bar were last week recognised for their commitment towards providing an accessible space for deaf and disabled gig goers at an awards event following rounds of improvements to their venues.
Recognition came in the form of the NUS award ‘Access Challenge: Most Improved’, after the University of Manchester Students Union and its venues made improvements under the NUS Access Challenge. The Access Challenge, established to improve access in Students’ Unions, is a partnership between NUS, national charity Attitude is Everything, Disabled Go and the Changing Places Campaign.
University of Manchester Students Union began working with Attitude is Everything, in 2011 to improve deaf and disabled people’s access to music venues. Signing up to Attitude is Everything’s Charter of Best Practice meant venues such as The Academy 1,2,3, Club Academy and the Union Bar were mystery shopped by deaf and disabled gig goers to help venues make improvements in line with customer feedback. The venues were also required to have an Access Survey and write an Action Plan. This demonstrates their long term commitment towards improving access. In 2012, the music venues at the University of Manchester Students’ Union were awarded the Bronze Level of the Charter of Best Practice.
Commercial Director, Martin Laws said, “Over half a million music enthusiasts visit our gigs every year and we are dedicated to ensuring that every one of these people can enjoy the gig to the fullest. We have worked hard to make adjustments and improvements for our disabled customers and will continue to champion the culture of accessibility in our venues, in our community and nationally”.
Gideon Feldman, Project Manager at Attitude is Everything said, “We are delighted to see The University of Manchester Students’ Union win the NUS award ‘Access Challenge: Most Improved’ out of what was a very impressive field of entries. The Challenge is about how the building works, what visitors can expect when they come to it and what the staff’s attitude is like towards them. This is where Manchester SU shines. The correct policies and procedures in getting to, and leaving the gig, along with the right attitude and information provided, makes that gig all the more enjoyable. Everyone at Attitude is Everything is looking forward to working with Manchester SU in the coming months to help them progress to the Silver Level of Charter of Best Practice, and from there, it will be Gold Level all the way.”
The University of Manchester Students Union and The Academy 1,2,3, Club Academy and the Union Bar will be working towards Gold Level in the Attitude is Everything Charter of Best Practice which is the highest achievement that venues and festivals are required to reach.
For more information about the Manchester Academies and their commitment to accessible venues, visit www.manchesterstudentsunion.com/top-navigation/about/accessibility-our-commitment
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