Inclusive access checklist

Summary of Design Considerations

Arriving at the facility:

  • One accessible parking space for each disabled employee who requires one plus 8% of total provision for new sports facilities and 6% for existing, smaller venues such as pavilions and clubhouses; 
  • accessible spaces to be as close as possible to main entrance and where possible no more than 45m; 
  • setting down/pick up points to be as close as possible to main entrance; 
  • setting down/pick up points preferably covered to provide protection from the elements; 
  • cycle parking available close to main entrance in a location that does not impede circulation.

Access routes to the facility:

  • Access routes to the main entrance should be no longer than 45m; 
  • minimum width 1.8m and clear to a height of 2.1m; 
  • cross fall for drainage no steeper than 1:50; 
  • a gradient of 1:60 is considered level with a gradient of between 1:60 and 1:21 considered gently sloping; Some manual wheelchair users struggle on gradients steeper than this.
  • ramps have a gradient of between 1:20 and 1:12 with 1:20 preferred; 
  • the preferred minimum effective width of a ramp (between handrails) is 1800mm; 
  • rise of a step between 150mm and no greater than 170mm; 
  • going of a step preferably 300mm (and no less than 250mm); 
  • maximum 16 risers in a single flight with 12 preferred; 
  • stairs should have a minimum clear width between handrails of 1000mm; 
  • the top surface of handrails should be between 900mm and 1000mm from the surface of the ramp or pitch line of a stair and between 900mm and 1100mm from the landing; 
  • handrails should extend 300mm horizontally beyond the top and bottom step and finish in a positive end.

Assistance dog spending areas:

  • Easy to locate; 
  • have areas of grass as well as hard-standing; 
  • provide seating and a water supply; 
  • provide a dog waste bin and waste bags where appropriate to do so.

The entrance:

  • The main entrance to be accessible for all users; 
  • Be clearly identifiable on approach; 
  • provide weather protection; 
  • have a clear line of sight through to the reception/foyer area; 
  • automatically power operated sliding double door sets are preferred at the main entrance; 
  • lobbies should be a minimum of 1600mm deep clear of door swings and any other obstructions.

Reception and foyer area:

  • Reception should be clearly identifiable from its surroundings; 
  • clear route to be maintained from the main entrance to the reception counter; 
  • a variety of movable seating to be provided in the foyer including seats with both back and arm rests; 
  • reception counter should be at a height of between 950mm and 1100mm to accommodate people standing and 760mm to accommodate wheelchair users and people of short/small stature; 
  • reception desk to be accessible for both disabled staff and visitors; 
  • background seen behind the reception desk should not be patterned or brightly lit; 
  • an induction loop should be provided at the reception counter and indicated appropriately;

Internal circulation:

  • Main corridors should be a minimum of 1800mm wide with secondary corridors (i.e. staff only) a minimum of 1200mm wide. This can be increased to 2m for large arenas and stadiums; 
  • corridor surfaces should be non-slip and not produce high levels of glare or reflections; 
  • doors in areas where people may use a sports wheelchair should have a minimum effective clear opening width of 1000mm; 
  • doors in areas where people will not be using a sports wheelchair should have a minimum effective clear opening width of 800mm; 
  • manually operated doors should have a clear space of 300mm between the leading edge of the door and the return wall (where people may be using sports wheelchairs this should be increased to 500mm); 
  • passenger lifts should have a level, clear space 1500mm x 1500mm at the entrance to all lift doors;
  • minimum lift car size for new sports facilities to be 2m wide x 1.4m deep; 
  • lifts for use by people in sports wheelchairs should have a clear door opening width of 1000mm;
  • evacuation lifts should be provided as appropriate; 

Sanitary provision:

  • Toilets should be flexible to provide choice for disabled users; 
  • standard (single sex) toilets should provide at least one ambulant disabled cubicle, an enlarged cubicle and a lowered urinal; 
  • unisex accessible toilets should be provided wherever standard toilets are provided; 
  • unisex accessible toilets should be provided according to the anticipated need depending on the nature and anticipated use of the facility; 
  • no one should have to travel further than 45m horizontally to the nearest unisex accessible toilet; 
  • changing places layout WC to be provided in larger new sports facilities; 
  • toilet provision should take into consideration local demographics and possible multi-faith toilet requirements.

Changing facilities:

  • All changing facilities should be accessible for all users, including disabled people; 
  • main changing areas should provide good clear manoeuvring space and areas of privacy for people who require it; 
  • main changing rooms should be capable of accommodating a ceiling mounted fixed track hoist; 
  • there should be a level threshold between the changing area and shower area; 
  • at least one accessible shower cubicle with drop down shower seat and drying seat to be provided in main changing areas; 
  • space should be available to accommodate a height adjustable changing bench in main changing rooms 
  • unisex accessible changing rooms to be provided where there are main changing rooms in addition to any accessible facilities located within main changing areas; 
  • accessible changing room for independent use to provide a fixed changing/drying bench in close proximity to the drop down shower seat to allow ease of transfer; 
  • larger accessible changing rooms for assisted use to provide a wall mounted, drop-down, height adjustable changing bench.

Family requirements:

  • Separate baby feeding and baby changing facilities to be provided that are accessible for all people with young children; 
  • baby changing facilities have not to be located within accessible facilities (including toilets) as this reduces the provision for disabled people;

Spectator facilities:

  • minimum row depth in areas of general seating 650mm; 
  • at least 1% of total seating provision to be amenity seating; 
  • at least 1% of total seating provision to be wheelchair user accessible with clear sightlines of activity areas; 
  • wheelchair user accessible seating spaces to be a minimum of 1400mm long x 900mm wide with clear manoeuvring space 1200mm deep at the rear; 
  • where a super riser is required to achieve suitable clear sightlines, a height of 1200mm is recommended.

Social areas:

  • Main circulation routes between tables and chairs should be a minimum clear width of 1200mm; 
  • all bars and servery counters to be accessible for people in both a seated and standing position and provide an induction loop; 
  • furniture to provide a good visual contrast with its surroundings in all light conditions.

First Aid rooms:

  • Where sanitary accommodation is provided within first aid rooms it should be accessible; 
  • where sanitary accommodation is not provided within first aid rooms they should be located in close proximity to a unisex accessible toilet; 
  • provide a ceiling mounted fixed track hoist;
  • provide an ice dispensing machine for swelling injuries.


  • Good acoustics to limit reverberation and help diffuse background noise; 
  • induction loops to be provided at all service counters, areas using a PA system, where commentaries are provided and rooms with a floor area more than 60m² that is used for meetings, lectures, classes or presentations.

Emergency escape:

  • Evacuation routes to be kept clear at all times; 
  • evacuation lifts to be provided as necessary to facilitate ease of emergency evacuation; 
  • appropriate number of refuge spaces to be provided in fire protected zones with a two-way communication device; 
  • both audio and visual fire alarms to be provided throughout the building.

Checklist of Key Management Issues

The following key management issues are important factors in ensuring that the sports facility is accessible and can be used easily and comfortably by all users, including disabled people.

Reference has been made to BS 8300 Annex A – Management and maintenance issues:

  • Maintain external access routes to ensure they are free from debris and obstructions; 
  • ensure that accessible parking and pick up/drop off spaces are not misused by non-disabled users; 
  • all front of house staff (in particular reception staff) to have appropriate disability equality and awareness training; 
  • keep circulation routes (including emergency egress routes and fire refuge spaces) free from obstructions at all times; 
  • ensure that cleaning and polishing does not produce a slippery surface or a surface that produces glare and reflections; 
  • ensure clear access routes are maintained between movable furniture including seating and tables and chairs (this will be particularly important in social areas i.e. cafe spaces); 
  • ensure that appropriate instructions for use are provided in all Changing Places facilities; 
  • regularly check accessible sanitary accommodation to ensure that it is not being misused and that the transfer spaces are kept free from obstructions at all times (including sanitary bins); 
  • ensure mobile equipment (i.e. shower seats, hoists, changing benches, wheelchairs) is not misused and is always available and operational when required; 
  • where emergency pull cords are used, ensure that they are fully extended and in working order at all times (as they are often tied up by cleaning staff); 
  • ensure that a procedure is put in place to respond to emergency alarm calls in accessible sanitary accommodation (this will also require appropriate staff training); 
  • ensure that suitable arrangements are put in place for assistance dogs while their users are participating in sport; 
  • regularly check and maintain any door closing devices around the facility to ensure that the opening forces are accessible for all users; 
  • ensure staff are trained to use and test any audible communication devices used around the facility including induction loops; 
  • provide adequate levels of pre-visit information in a variety of accessible formats (this includes facility web sites); 
  • regularly review the number of disabled people attending the facility and making use of the sports facilities and update this information regularly to inform any proposed improvements; 
  • have in place a feedback system where disabled users can comment on the facilities and make any suggestions for improvement; 
  • have in place back up procedures for example, in the event that a passenger lift breaks down; 
  • ensure staff understand the management issues relating to disabled people, including emergency evacuation procedures and are receive appropriate training accordingly; 
  • regularly review all policies, practices and procedures in place.
Date published: 29 March 2023
Date updated: 23 August 2023


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