Accessibility for artists in any spaces

A whole bundle of laws and regulations make up the framework governing accessibility for artists – such as the aforementioned accessibility of goods, services or information as well as the accessibility of structural and other installations, means of transport, technical commodities, information processing systems, but also the special regulations at the workplace.

Talking of structural accessibility in public buildings and given the fact that the creation and adaptation of accessible spaces can only be weighed against the factual reasonableness of their implementation, this offer is first and foremost addressed to visitors of public institutions.

But what things looks like behind the stage - for example in the backstage area of concert halls and theatres - is a completely different matter.

Before a tour, for example, you should ask about the venue’s exact spatial conditions and review them against a checklist of your own needs.

For this purpose, you should create a technical rider with the specific requirements, so that these can be queried in a standardised way with external organisers.

If individual structural or other standards cannot be met, it is necessary to clarify with the organisers in each individual case whether and, if so, how and with which concrete help the situation can be resolved.

Here is an example of a checklist prepared by the counselling centre maiz for the area of adult education in a brochure of the Federal Ministry for Art and Culture

Checklist: Is your institution adapted to the needs of persons with disabilities?

Check your institution to see if it is fit for people with disabilities.

This checklist will help you.

For persons with hearing impairments

In addition to their own hearing aids, persons who are hard of hearing need certain methods and specific equipment at the premises so that they can follow what is happening.

·Are visual media/symbols used?

·Is the language used simple, clear and concise?

·Are inductive hearing aids installed in individual rooms?

·Do individual seminar rooms have an acoustic ceiling?

·Are course instructors/speakers familiar with methods and behaviours that best support hearing impaired people?


For deaf persons

Deaf persons depend on sign language. This is their first language. Written language, which is too complex, is often difficult to understand.

·Are visual media/symbols used?

·Are sign language interpreters used?

·Are manuscripts also available in simple language?

·Are the contents of the manuscripts supported by images/symbols/characters?

·Is the course programme available in simple language and supported by symbols?

For persons with visual impairments

Persons with visual impairments need clear/high-contrast orientation aids. Blind persons need guides to help them find their way around the building. Precise explanations and acoustic or digital preparations help in the learning process.

· Are high-contrast adhesive strips attached to all glass doors?

· Are there high-contrast floor markings in the facility that are clearly visible or can be easily felt with a white cane?


Persons with special needs

· Are steps marked with a contrast tape (especially the first and the last step)?

· Is there a tactile guideline from the entrance to the information counter/porter?  

·Are the control elements of the elevator (if available) labelled in Braille or palpable in normal writing?

·Does the elevator (if available) have a voice output?

·Are acoustic media used in the programmes?

·Is the course programme available in digital format?

·Will the manuscripts also be prepared in digital format?

·Are audio recordings of the seminars available or can such recordings be made by the seminar participants?


For persons with mental impairments

Persons with mental impairments (depression, anxiety, etc.) need above all bright, manageable rooms and a friendly atmosphere to strengthen their ability to learn and to concentrate.

 · Is the seminar room well lit?

 · Does the seminar room have a clear, simple interior design?

 · Are manuscripts/documents available in written form?

 · Is there enough time during the seminar for questions, repetitions and breaks?



For persons with impaired mobility

Persons with impaired mobility (users of walking sticks, walking frames, wheelchairs, elderly people with reduced ability to walk) are restricted in their mobility and rely on some – notably structural – prerequisites to be able to visit your facility:


·Are there disabled parking spaces available near the entrance?

·Is the floor surface in the entrance area non-slip and without steps?

·Do the doors in the building have a width of at least 80 cm?

·Do the corridors in the facility have a width of at least 120 cm?

·Are the toilet facilities equipped with handles to hold on to?

·Are the toilet seats at a height of 46-48 cm?

·Is it possible to create passage widths of 100 cm in some seminar rooms?

·Is it possible to set up tables in some seminar rooms which can be used with a wheelchair? (at least 75 cm)

·Can the main rooms of the facility be reached without steps?



Persons with special needs

 Is access to the information counter without steps?

·Is there an elevator in the facility?

·Does the elevator have a minimum size of 110 x 140 cm?

·Is the facility equipped with a stairlift?