Podcast: Accessible Nightlife and Queer Spaces

The Disability Download

Joshua, Charlie and Arthur to talk about the importance of accessibility and inclusion in LGBTQ+ spaces. Charlie shares his experiences in Manchester and Arthur talks about what he's seen in Edinburgh. So who's doing it right, and who needs to improve? 



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Charlie: I think there’s this kind of ableist idea that if you're disabled, there’s this kind of infantilizing idea that you didn't want to go out and get drunk or that you don't want to have sex or something like that. So places which are more adult, quote unquote, very often kind of aren't accessible. At least that's been my experience.

Arthur: For me, it's I think it's more of a psychological barrier for going out regularly. It's like not only is it because of my worry that I won't be accepted, there will be issues I won't be able to access the place, but also because my autism, being in close cramped spaces it's an issue for me. And what would be better if they had like it was some sort of like quiet room. 

Erin O’Reilly: Hello and welcome to The Disability Download, brought to you by pan-disability charity Leonard Cheshire. I’m Erin O’Reilly and on this podcast, we respond to current topics, share stories and open up conversations about disability. 

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Hi everyone thanks so much for tuning into our final podcast episode for 2022! We’ve had a brilliant year full of interesting guests talking about everything from disabled voices in the media, inclusive fashion, disability and gender identities and so much more. So thanks so much for joining in on the conversation with us! 

To end the year, on this episode we’re talking all about accessible nights out and accessible queer spaces. You know when planning nights out – you know like work Christmas parties for example – too often accessibility isn’t taken into account. And it can leave people feeling really isolated.

This month my colleague Joshua Reeves chats to Arthur and Charlie who talk about their own experiences accessing nightclubs and queer spaces. Arthur is based in Edinburgh and Charlie is based in Manchester, so it’s really interesting hearing experiences from different cities. And it seems a lot still needs to change. 

Joshua’s, Arthur’s and Charlie’s views are all their own. Before we begin, I just want to mention that some of the discussion may be quite triggering, including discussions around queerphobia.  

So, let’s hear from them! 

Joshua: Hello, my name is Joshua Reeves. I’m the Campaign Support Officer for Leonard Cheshire and welcome to The Disability Download. Today I've got Arthur, if you’d like to tell a bit about yourself? 

Arthur: Yes, so my name is Arthur and I'm a volunteer for Leonard Cheshire. I also do journalism and I'm a content creator. 

Joshua: OK, and Charlie we have Charlie here as well! 

Charlie: Yeah hello, so I'm Charlie. I'm currently doing a gap year from university and I'm working alongside doing some youth work volunteering. And I'm a trans man and I also have autism and PoTS syndrome. So that's how this kind of topic is relevant to me. 

Joshua: OK, great and the reason of this Disability Download episode is to talk about night life and your experience accessing nightlife and going out, and as well queer spaces. So can you, can you give me some examples? Can we just open it up to some examples of good accessible nightlife and queer spaces? 

Charlie: So I'm not sure if you mean nightlife and queer spaces 

Joshua: Ah well, a bit of both like as you as you got, have you got both experiences with it in that? 

Charlie: Uh, yeah. So I don't really have many experiences with queer nightlife for various reasons. Manchester is...there have been a couple of transphobic things that have happened in Manchester over the past couple of months, couple of years. And especially around the Gay Village. I know lots of trans people who love the Gay Village, have good experiences there.

So last pride, the transgender memorial in Manchester was actually burned to the ground, and for that reason I don't really feel safe going there as a trans person. And also I do have like some questions about the accessibility of it. So like, so I do have experience with queer spaces that are trans friendly and are accessible and I can talk a bit about those. And I also have like general nightlife experiences that aren't related to queerness. Or I guess sort of are kind of related, 'cause I am queer, but aren’t specifically queer spaces if that makes sense? 

Joshua: OK, so so what is the positives then? 

Charlie: So in Manchester we have a space called the Proud Trust Centre and it's a...it is sort of now a kind of community centre and it was built in the 80s to be a sort of gay man’s community centre. Then it was kind of expanded, expanded. A couple of years ago it was knocked down and re-built to be a lot bigger and a lot better. And one of the things that people building the space really, really wanted was for it to be as accessible as possible.

And so I spoke to the architect Emily Crompton, and she said that she kind of wanted to keep in mind that accessibility doesn't just mean wheelchair accessible. There's a lot of other things that go into it, so they took into account you know obviously people with wheelchairs accessing it, it is fully wheelchair accessible.

And they also wanted to make sure that stuff like lighting could be controlled so that people with kind of photo sensitivity, wouldn't be put off and would be able to come and join in. 'cause that was a problem that some of the other venues that the kind of groups and specifically the centre is mainly used by queer support groups, and people who attended those groups they did have issues with some of the venues with like the lights being too bright, there being too much noise and so those were all things that kind of factored into building and constructing the centre, which I think is really good and I've had a lot of really good experiences with there. And there's a lot of like, there's a lot disabled people that come to this centre. So it is kind of really nice to sort of have that kind of space and to see that actually it can be done. 

Joshua: That's good. What about you Arthur? If you've had any positive life, light, night life experiences? [laughs] 

Arthur: So I'm quite similar to Charlie in that I know of nightlife in Edinburgh, but the problem that I have is that, there's the LGBT area it's called the pink triangle. And there's like two areas in Edinburgh, the pubic triangle and there's the pink triangle. And the problem is the venues as such aren't, so it might be you know, friendly towards the trans community, friendly towards that which I'm part of, I'm non-binary.

But it might not be wheelchair accessible, being Edinburgh. Because it's old buildings which I won't be able to access, which is a problem, it’s a mental block for me as well. So thinking that, well, well they're not bothering to advertise that they're fully accessible, so why should I go? Which obviously it's I've had experience in the past where I've gone to, you know venues like that and there's no, I can't access it. But in terms of queer spaces, and I think it was it, I don't think, I think it might have been you Charlie that introduced me to the non-binary Edinburgh, was it you?  

Charlie: Oh yeah, it was 'cause I sent you a list of like safe..yeah 

Arthur: Yeah. So they did do in person meetings. So it’s a space for your trans, non-binary community to meet in a safe space. But since COVID they moved that virtually. So, what we did we have like a discord safe space. And then twice, once, once every two weeks we have a virtual call. But now that restrictions have ended, we're talking about moving it more, more meet ups so that sorts of experiences I've got. 

Joshua: And when you mentioned that it's in person I guess is that, is that building or place where you meet up is accessible? 

Arthur: Yes, so we are, obviously we want every member to be included, so it's not like a standard venue. It would be moving from venue to venue to venue. Like it's just for us to meet up and have an in person meeting as opposed to a virtual one. 

Joshua: OK 

Arthur: And so they'll make sure that it is accessible for me because there's quite, there's quite a few people with physical disabilities in the Non-binary Trans Edinburgh Group.

Joshua: That's good, that's good. So what I couldn't understand what you mentioned about accessibility is that some places are not accessible, but then it makes you out of place of your community, of the community that you're part of. Because for me I'm a metal head, I love to go to a gig or to a rock club and there is a little bit of non-accessibility there. But then I'm proud to be part of that community.

But then, so I think that sometimes when you're part of the community, you want things to go smoothly and because you feel like that, that is me and I wanna join everyone and I feel like with in terms of equality and having non-binary and like queer spaces is that they're bringing equality but they're not thinking about the whole of equality and disability. And they think about gender and queer spaces. But they're not thinking about disability as such as being equal as well? 

Arthur: Yeah, absolutely. And I read I read recently, I think it was on a Facebook group, somebody was booked, a wheelchair user was booked to do it, it was like LGBT, but also it was about equality. And the venue that was booked wasn't wheelchair accessible. So they're talking about different people of different races, equality for people you know for different religions or different genders or LGBT, but they weren't thinking about disability. So they couldn't go to this conference.

Things like that, you mentioned about equality and about making these safe spaces. They don't think about the community as a whole. Which I think is a big problem, so they don't think that people with disabilities, like physical disabilities who use wheelchairs, where they could possibly want to access these spaces. And they don't make an effort to advertise the fact that they are accessible. 

Joshua: But with these places that are non-accessible, what are the main challenges for you as you've been? Have you turned up to an accessible nightlife venue or queer space, and then been denied access because of your disability? 

Arthur: I do research before I go to avoid that from happening, so I check if that venue has wheelchair access and nine times out of ten it doesn’t. It's either like upstairs or downstairs in a basement or something like that. It's because we don't use the more modern buildings in Edinburgh. 

Joshua: What is the excuse? Is it, do they usually say it's a council listed building? We can't change it yeah and that's what tends to happen with me. It's very frustrating. To have something down in the basement, I'm just thinking that if you're gonna have an equality evening and with people allowed to be who they who they are, then they should allow access no matter the disability or the reasonable requirement, 

Arthur: So I would say if people are doing it right though, would be LGBT Youth Edinburgh. So they're in an old building. So their meetings are in...one of the LGBT Youth meetings is in an old building. It’s like a church in the Leith area, but they've made sure that they've got access for everybody. 

Charlie: That's really good. 

Joshua: That’s good! 

Arthur: Even though it’s like a very old church that's it in, they’ve still made sure that anybody can access it. 

Charlie: Yeah, I mean, I'm just so sad that Britney couldn't make it [the podcast], 'cause we once had a really interesting conversation about this. 'cause she was doing another project about the accessibility of some queer nightlife venues in Manchester. And one of the things she was saying is that for some of these venues, specially sort of some in the in the Gay Village they were kind of designed to be difficult to access. Because they were sort of built and sort of used by queer people in a time where the time was very queerphobic, times when it was, you know, illegal.

So for instance a venue having for instance a flight of stairs, I remember if there was a police raid people who were in drag would run upstairs and they would all change as quickly as possible so they wouldn't be you know, arrested and that kind of....And venues having a place that was difficult to access was for a lot of people really, really important.

And she was kind of saying that sort of going and talking to people about, “hey, I know that you needed this, but things are different now and you're excluding people,” having those conversations with people was sometimes quite difficult. Because even though things are different now when they are excluding people, they still have that kind of built-in gut reaction that, “no, what if something happens and we don't have anywhere that we can kind of go to escape to.”  

But again, like it's one of those things where things should still be accessible because it is still more important. I think, for people to be able to go, who otherwise wouldn't be able to you know?  

And a bit more about kind of my personal experiences. So for me because I have PoTS that means that I can't stand up for long periods of time without and having a lot of discomfort, and without and sometimes kind of....I haven’t passed out in many years, 'cause I've like restricted things that would cause me to get to that stage. And for me, what often happens, especially one of the reasons why I kind of try to avoid sort of nightlife stuff is because you have to stand up quite a lot.

And they don't always, they don’t always have seating and you have to sort of do a lot of walking and stuff like that and for me it's sort of, it depends, sometimes I can do that, sometimes I can't. And for me, what kind of makes me feel safe going out in public is when I bring my fold up chair with me. So I have a cane see that sort of is, it's sort of like a sort of cane with a chair on it and it's very easy to carry around. I can just bring it with me wherever. And for me it's like a really important thing. 'cause it means that I can go to things that I otherwise wouldn't be able to go to 'cause I would be like really uncomfortable the whole time and I wouldn't feel safe or comfortable.

And what I've had happen to me in quite a few...in some queer spaces, and also just kind of like in general, is that people will sort of approach me about it and they'll sort of like demand to know why I have that and they;ll sort of question me about it. 'cause they see that I'm like a bit different 'cause I have this thing that they, that no one else has. And I've kind of spoken to people I know who are cane users who are also queer, and I’ve asked well have you had this happen to you as well? And they say yep. And so it's kind of a thing as well sort of culturally where even if a venue isn't, even if I can physically access a venue, there's still a sort of culture there of exclusion. 

Joshua: You mentioned that there's a lot of people that look at you and say why are you using that and that? I feel like that, but that's I think, do you reckon that there's an issue around that as a whole one in terms of we obviously go into a safe place about into the community that treats, you know different, then still treats you different because of your disability.  

Charlie: Yeah 

Joshua: Does that make you feel upset? What can you think that society could do to make that better for you? 

Charlie: Yeah, I mean what you're saying about kind of like is it more painful when it's sort of is in a sort of space that's supposed to be safe. It definitely is. And the other thing as well is because you know Manchester it's a fairly it's, I mean it's a big city, but it's not so big that the queer community isn't made of people that you probably are gonna know for quite a while because of the kind of nature of intimate communities like that.

So it's it feels very different to when people just approach you on the street and you don't know them and they're gonna see them again in their life. So, so for that reason it is kind of a bit painful and it is a bit more otherising. But the way I think would make it better, I kind of feel like if people could be more educated that'll be really appreciated. And if people kind of just sort of leave us alone, that would always be really nice.

And I think specific things that venues could do is if... I feel well, firstly I feel like venues should, well I’m not kind of sure how to put it, but I feel like people should already have that kind of conversation going in a space, where you know this is something that we're doing to be accessible, or you know this, you know, we've removed this, we’ve removed these flashing lights because they cause these things. Having that kind of be stated explicitly so people are kind of aware that actually there are disabled people coming in. And some venues that I’ve been into they have things on the wall that says stuff like “we don't tolerate like homophobia etc here”, but they very rarely say we don’t tolerate ableism.  

Joshua: Yeah and I think sorry, sorry [to interrupt] I think that's the, that's the hard bit is that, like you mentioned that it was, it was like stuff has changed over the years and now that it's not against the law to be in in a in a queer relationship, but I feel like and I feel like it's a lot better now. But then I'm worried about that people, if people want to fight for rights that way, why are they still discriminating against disabled people? Do you get what I mean? 

Charlie: Yeah 

Arthur: Yeah, like for me for me I think like disability is the forgotten equality group.  

Charlie: Yeah yeah for me... 

Charlie: So for example, well for for me, sorry Charlie, a good example was that at the the Oscars, I don't know when it was about maybe it was about five years, five or six years ago, when they didn't have a single black actor nominated for an award and then  the director of the Oscars apologised. And he apologised to the LGBT community. He apologised to women. He apologised to people who are black, but who he didn’t apologise to was disabled people. That's why I keep saying disability is a forgotten equality group. 

Charlie: I mean, I'm not sure if I agree with that because I feel like unless you're affected by racism you don't, you can't, you can't understand the full depth of that experience and because you're not kind of affected by it, you only see the times it's brought up. You'd only see the times that it’s acknowledged you don't see the millions of times that it isn't talked about and it's that it isn't brought up. 

Arthur: Yeah, absolutely yeah. 

Charlie: So I don't, I don't really feel like it's, I mean, but like I do think that disability does have some kind of like ableism in a lot of ways. And there are kind of many things that we have to go through that people don't. But there's also things that I don't have to go through that people do, so I don't really feel like it's my place to kind of, to look at anything else and say, well, I have it harder than you, you know?

And and I know that’s not what you’re saying. You're trying to kind of say, well, let's say there's a bit of a double standard in this situation. And I agree with you, there is a double standard in that situation, but I don't really think that that's kind of holistically, that people that are coloured are acknowledged better than disabled people on the whole. 

Arthur: Yeah, it's my, no, you know what my point was saying was that director apologised to every equality group apart from people with disabilities. Which is, that was, that was the main point. 

Charlie: Yeah, yeah and I mean I agree that that’s wrong. 

Joshua: How often do you do you guys go out in the night? Do you like, do you like, is it like once a month, once a week and what is it, do you like get quite nervous going out?  

Arthur: Do you want to take this one Charlie, first? 

Charlie: Yeah I mean so recently I have been going out a bit more. And I've started slowly going to a couple of bars in Manchester, not any ones that are like specifically for a kind of a minority. And a lot of other places that I go to are not wheelchair accessible. And that is really, really bad. It is something that I want to bring up too. Like I often go to it, so I mean, I, I say I often go to, I've been there I think twice. And it's, and it's pretty if it's pretty affordable and the stuff they sell is quite good.

But there are like, there's a downstairs that you really can't get to if you're in a wheelchair. Or if you can't take the stairs for a different reason. There's the entrance isn't accessible either, and yeah, that is quite a problem and I feel like that's kind of the case with most kind of bars, and I think that one thing that disabled people often kind of end up against is there are kind of like government mandated things that say that some places should be accessible. So sometimes, for instance like shops or cafés are accessible. But I think there’s this kind of ableist idea that if you're disabled, there’s this kind of infantilizing idea that you didn't want to go out and get drunk or that you don't want to have sex or something like that. So places which are more adult, quote unquote, very often kind of aren't accessible.

At least that's been my experience or my on my observation, but obviously I'm not a wheelchair user, so maybe it is a bit different. But that’s just kind of been my observation, kind of going out recently and I haven't been to the Gay Village, so I don't know how accessible it is. But people that I know who are wheelchair users who have been, say that they had issues with access and that they kind of dealt with kind of some unwanted attention, so... 

Joshua: What about you Arthur? 

Arthur: Yes, so I'm pretty similar, in that for me, it's I think it's more of a psychological barrier for going out regularly. It's like not only is it because of my worry that I won't be accepted, there will be issues I won't be able to access the place, but also because my autism, being in close cramped spaces is an issue for me.

And what would be better if they had like it was some sort of like quiet room I could access to escape from. To get like a, not escape, but more like get like a break from being in such a high intense area. Which would be nice, but I have to be able to access the venue first and that's an issue. And that's what's preventing me from going out as much as I'd like to. 

Charlie: Yeah definitely the, that’s something that I've definitely had happen to me. Like I can deal with loud noises for a certain amount of time. But it's very, very stressful for me, and sometimes I don't know I'm going to be able to handle it, and I have had meltdowns in the past. It's a horrible humiliating experience. I sincerely hope I never have to have one in public again, but probably not realistic. And I'm quite fortunate in that another of my friend’s is also autistic, so if we kind of walk in somewhere then it's kind of implicitly understood that, OK, we're going to try and find the quietest spot that we can, and we're not going to sort of stay in place for a long time.

So if we if we can sit outside, we’ll sit outside. Which which is really really good. But a lot of people don't really have that, and also it's sort of like there's something that is on us to do. It's not like hey, there's a kind of mandated quiet space where you can go or you know it's not like venues, they don't do things like you know, quiet nights where there's no loud music playing. 'cause I know that in some, I have heard ,I've never seen it happen in real life, but I have heard that in like some like supermarkets and like shops they sometimes do kind of like low sensory days where they turn off like their music that they have playing in the background. And but like little nightlife and music venues they don’t do that.

And if you were trying to say well why don’t you do that? They would say it's so unprofitable because you know everybody kind of comes to listen to music. But the thing is though, I kind of feel like, I feel like if you were to do, if you would like the only bar in the city but there's like an accessible night where there's no loud music playing, every single disabled person would go. So you wouldn't see, like, you wouldn’t see like a loss in finance. At least that's what I think personally. 

Arthur: Yeah, they're excluding a whole community by not making things accessible. 

Charlie: They're excluding customers to tie it all with money. 

Arthur: Yeah 

Joshua: Yeah, I feel like that's why when I go out, I don't tend to see a lot of disabled people and especially people that's on the, that that is more learning than physical. Because they don't feel like it's a safe environment for them. With me I find that as a wheelchair user, I think I struggle to get access back, back to my house. But I'm lucky that I live near the centre of town. What is the taxis like for you being a wheelchair user Arthur in Edinburgh to get to get back home and to go to get to the nightlife, experiences? 

Arthur: So I've not... in terms I've had experience of trying to get a taxi at night, not in terms of nightlife as such. I was coming back home from I think it was like a Whizzkids event possibly or it was, I can’t remember what it was, it was late at night and taxi just saw that I was a wheelchair user and just kept driving away, they wouldn't stop for me. 

Charlie: Oh that’s awful. 

Arthur: So I had to actually physically hide behind a barrier so they couldn't see me until he stopped in there. And then I showed myself basically, a bit impractical. But I've had issues like at the festivals, for example this year, a taxi driver refused to take me. Said we're not allowed to take your kind of wheelchair and I’m thinking it's a power wheelchair. You're allowed to. He kept calling it a scooter. I said it's not a scooter, it's a power wheelchair.

And so I had to report this this person and apparently spoken to, was disciplined for that. Which is good in a way, but also needs to be educated to know this is not, uh, you know, not a scooter, it's a powered wheelchair and you can't just refuse access. But also another recent experience trying to get taxis in general was I was at a shopping mall just near my house and 8 taxis refused to take me. They all waved this “I'm exempt from taking a wheelchair user” card because of their quote unquote bad back. 

Joshua: Well these eight people did they have accessible taxis then? 

Arthur: All of them did. Yeah, they're all accessible. 

Joshua: So why so why are they, why are they driving taxis if they are ableists.

Arthur: Yeah.

Joshua: I just don't get that. I just I just don’t get it. 

Arthur: Yeah they're allowed to apply to the Council if they've got a medical condition that can exempt them from taking a wheelchair. 

Joshua: Yeah, but that's that's not fair. If they're gonna drive a, if they're gonna drive an accessible vehicle, why? Why are you driving an accessible vehicle if you're gonna refuse people that need the access to get into that taxi? 

Arthur: Yeah, that's exactly. 

Joshua: If they were gonna, if they were gonna say ah, I'm exempt because I got a bad back then they may as well just drive a standard taxi rather than an accessible one. 'cause that's just that's just, that's just taking the mick that is and it's just anoying to see that that happen. 

Arthur: And it's things like that which is also preventing from doing things, going out at night because of this knowledge of how am I gonna get back home because am I gonna have to wait two hours to try and get a taxi. Like that's no fun at late night, yeah? 

Charlie: Yeah, especially because when you're visibly disabled you're much more likely to get harassed. 

Joshua: yeah 

Charlie: So, it's a safety issue. 

Arthur: Exactly. 

Joshua: Charlie, you said that you bring your chair now and again to like nightlife and stuff. Is there any problems of people saying oh you can’t bring in that chair. And why are you brining in a chair? I just know what people are like. Is there any, is there any issues around that? Because I could just see people just being really picky about it. 

Charlie: So I haven't brought one out yet because the bars that I go to I was told they would have seating and I haven't been doing anything that would like require me to. I mean, I've I've been, I've been playing it very, very, very very safe because specifically because I don't want to bring my chair because I know that that's gonna be exactly what happens.

So I mean like, it is something I mean that I do want to bring with me though. Because I don't feel like comfortable and safe in public 'cause I'm very scared of having a flare up and of having a heart palpitations and of having to sit down when there's no seating and that's like my worst fear. So it is something that I do want to like become more comfortable with bringing and kind of bring into these spaces. But that also means having time to like mentally prepare myself to deal with kind of bouncers at the door, saying “oi what’s that”. And sort of like saying, isn't it like “you could use that weapons so we can't, we're not gonna let you in” or some bullshit thing like that. I have to sort of prepare for that. And yeah, that is, especially because I can't, I can't like fold it up and hide it.

It is very clearly a chair. Yeah, I mean and the other thing a well, is that I'm kind of...cause people that I know who are disabled and they are kind of visibly disabled whenever you say I need this 'cause I'm disabled, people often sort of look at me and they sort of they don't, they don't believe me. Because they have a kind of very narrow opinion of what a disabled person looks like. So that is kind of something that is stopping me from kind of going out more. And it’s also specifically stopping me from going out in a way that would be most comfortable for me. 'cause like I'm kind of pre-emptively worried about that kind of harassment. 

Joshua: I, I think that people see nonvisible impairments and they just they just ignore it because they just see disability as what they see through their eyes. They don't, they don't, they don't understand that it’s, all disability is different impairments. And that they just see what they see on this old logo which is, uh, someone in the wheelchair and that's pretty annoying. Like they haven't changed the toilets for years where it's just a standard wheelchair user on the toilet.

So then that makes people just think about that's the only disability out there. With toilets, matter of fact, Arthur as a wheelchair users do you struggle with toilets in nightlife. Because one of my examples is that they've used, a pub that I went to in Cardiff, used their disabled accessible toilet as a barrel store. So they all keep all their beer barrels in the toilet and it's very small and I can't even shut the door behind me. Is there anything like that that's happened to you in Edinburgh? 

Arthur: Well, the bars that I’ve visited they don't tend to have an accessible toilet. Which is not very good. Like the older buildings, the newer ones that I have been have been accessible toilets. But for me a standard disabled toilet isn't that accessible to me as such. Because it's so cramped and I can't get in. I need more space. Which is why I prefer going to Changing Places when I can find them. 

Joshua: And have any other? I know that you've got way more I'm in Edinburgh than we do in Wales. But I guess for you that is very frustrating. Do you need, I guess you need the hoist then and stuff do you? 

Arthur: Uh, yes. It's more, for me it's the uh, usually Changing Places toilets have Closomats. A lot of them do, so I need the Closomat. But also I do need the use of changing benches at times as well, which is why it's impractical having a smaller space and because I have help from a support worker, it's if it's if it's, if bathroom toilet is is quite cramped, it's hard to get help from them to have my chair as a space where they can help you transfer. But also the language as well I would say for accessible toilets and because I hate the word disabled toilet.

A good example of how one venue or place can have, be good with some areas and bad in others. I was at, and this is no word of a lie, I was at actually at a hospital and this bearing in mind this was the same corridor, there's a, there's an accessible toilet that said ‘accessible toilet, not every disability is visible.’ And I thought fantastic and then halfway down the corridor there was a toilet that said, ‘toilet for the disabled’. In the same area I was like, wow, it's like how can you be good in one area and like so bad in another? 

Joshua: It's just shocking and we're in what 2022 now and yeah, still that there’s buildings that is not accessible for nightlife and to go out and at night and have a social life. 

Arthur: Yeah, what I was going to say was when we're talking about like say like quiet spaces or what we mentioned earlier about quiet spaces for people with autism. And I know this isn't nightlife and this is a completely different country, but SeaWorld Parks, they're very good for that. So they all, all their like their water parks, Discovery Cove and also their theme parks, they have a quiet space for people with autism to go to. So if people that have venues like nightlife could learn from them and see how they're doing it right and things will be a lot better. 

Joshua: Yeah, maybe we should chuck everyone to go to Florida. Uh, the government needs to give them the money and maybe I work for someone that nightlife then. But yeah, it's just, it’s just basic training people need and I think that they just they just can't be bothered for it. And that that's the trouble. And is there, is there anything else that you would like to add before I wrap things up? 

Charlie: I'm not sure if I have anything to add, I guess that things won't change unless you force them to. So if you're disabled, you have to be a very angry and evil disabled. [laughs] 

Arthur: Yeah, we need to have some sort of loud voice that can get things done, but also venues themselves have to, if they are accessible, promote the fact that they are and they also have to help people get over, like help people through mental health get over that barrier, because some people like, like simply can’t. Like my mental health is preventing me from even finding out if these places are accessible. So they should be doing work to combat that and promote the fact that they are accessible. If they are accessible. And what they're doing to help make their venue welcoming and accessible. 

Joshua: There there's a lot I know that we could discuss more widely on this issue as well, but I'm afraid that we are running out of time for this Disability Download. Do you want any plugins? Any shout outs before we go? 

Arthur: If I can, then as I said at the start I’m a content creator. And I upload v-logs on YouTube. My channel is Arthur’s Rolling V-log and a personal link is just a simple one to remember: youtube.com/ArthursRollingVlog 

Joshua: Awesome I’ll check that out. What about you Charlie? 

Charlie: I don't think I have anything to plug. I mean, if you're in Manchester and you're a student, the University of Manchester has a disabled society and our events are for all people. So if you wanna like look for local service and you can sort of try and see if you want to come to similar things so that would be nice! 

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Joshua: That's cool if I ever get to Manchester one day I'll give you a shout, Charlie. I wanna go to HorrorCon one day. So yeah, that's in Manchester. Thanks for listening everyone and we'll see you next time on The Disability Download. Bye! 

Charlie and Arthur: Bye! 

Erin: Well it was so great to hear from Joshua, Charlie and Arthur about their different experiences – although disappointing to hear that accessibility is still such a challenge. Thanks so much to the three of them for joining us on the podcast and sharing their views.  

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We would love to know what you thought about the episode – are there any venues that you think are nailing it when it comes to accessibility and inclusion? What have your own experiences been? Let us know by getting in touch on Twitter or Instagram @LeonardCheshire or by emailing us at disabilitydownload@leonardcheshire.org. And if there's a guest in mind that you really want to hear from, tag them on social, tag us and let us know. And as always please do remember to like, share and subscribe to the podcast. 

Before we go, I wanted to give a quick shout out to our editor Sally Raper, who edits the podcast for us – thanks Sally! 

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And thanks so much for listening everyone, until next time, I’m Erin and this has been The Disability Download! 

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