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Helping those with limited mobility to access stages and participate in community events

December 6, 2014

Most of us take for granted the ability to be able to take the stage – whether we are performing, graduating, or taking part in a particular event. Accessibility and mobility is possibly not something that we tend to think about on a daily basis, unless it is us that has the limited access or mobility.

Mobility should be at the forefront of those who manage, own or administer venues that offer a stage presence. The two most significant reasons for this are:

  • Having access pathways to stages provides the ability for those less fortunate in the mobility stakes to participate alongside their more able-bodied peers, and
  • By not having this access availability, this could be the difference between a venue being booked or not booked by a potential client or group

Pandect are aware of the implications of the first point noted above. We were recently delighted to have the opportunity to offer the use of a Pandect mobile wheelchair lift at an event and hear about Marion Hounsome’s experience of sharing the spotlight with her colleagues as part of the Christchurch City Choir.

Marion took the time to write to Pandect and we think it is a great opportunity to share her insights into having the use of having a wheelchair lift at a venue.


“Hello, Pandect!

I am the wheelchair-bound member of Christchurch City Choir, who received the use of the wheelchair lift, for our performance of "Last Night of the Proms" on Friday and Saturday evenings.

I just want to let you know how much I appreciated your provision of the wheelchair lift, without which I would have been unable to participate!  It was two brilliant occasions!  I also want to thank you for providing it for the event… Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!”


The right to celebrate

Pandect believe it is the right of every New Zealander to be able to experience the satisfaction of achievement, no matter the status of someone’s mobility. We advocate that those venues that utilise a stage, such as schools, community halls, and convention centres, look to ensure that they can offer accessibility. Pandect is more than happy to discuss the available options and work through any possible requirements with you. You can learn more about the ease of providing disability access in one of our latest blogs, Providing Disability Access Is A Lot Easier Than You Think.

Are venues required to have disability access?

While there is no lawful requirement for venues to provide disability access, New Zealand does have a Disability Strategy that guides central and local government agencies making policy and services decisions. This strategy is in line of the principles of Article 9 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which guarantees equal access for disabled people to facilities and services provided to the public. 

While central government applies the guidelines in the Disability Strategy to government owned premises, local government focuses on disability access when requests for building alterations are made, or new buildings are constructed.

What are the benefits to property owners or event management companies?

Along with the “feel good” nature of the provision of disability access, the investment in a lift is a sound financial one. Accessibility is one factor that potential clients and groups will look at when deciding on whether to use the venue for any purpose. It could mean the difference between losing out in potential revenue.

With very small ongoing operational costs, the investment in a lift is minimal and a possible competitive edge over other venue providers or conference centres.


What are the benefits to the person and carers?

As previously evidenced by Marion, the benefits of providing accessibility are immeasurable. A feeling of inclusion rather than isolation, achievement and success, self-worth, confidence, and gratification, are all emotional benefits to the individual.

These benefits also spread to any carers of these individuals. Along with the emotional aspects above, lift access alleviates the unnecessary stress, worry, and physical strain of ensuring inclusion as the lifting is taken care of.  


What are the options?

The two main lift options that are available in the market are fixed or portable lifts. Each lift option has its own requirements, advantages and disadvantages. Choose Pandect and give us as call to discuss your requirements and be assured that everything will be taken care of in a professional, timely manner.


Tell us your thoughts

Are you a decision maker on venue hiring for a group or organization? We would love to learn more on how significant the availability of access for all individuals is in your decision-making process. Let us know in the comment area below.

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