People with disabilities dot com

Is nightlife accessible?

People with disabilities enjoying nightlife
People with raised hands at a nightclub.

I used to go to nightclubs however barriers exist for some persons who have disabilities and go to nightclubs.


Before you get to a nightclub an issue people with disabilities may have is getting transport. It's possible that taxis may not be available in your area.

Scheduling taxis could be an option however this is extremely limiting. This is not convenient if a group of friends want to go out suddenly. If the person with a disability wants to stay at a bar/club later, they can't do this if a taxi is scheduled.

Someone with their own vehicle could be in a better position to go out. Sometimes my drivers struggle to find parks but normally this is only a minor inconvenience.

Accessibility of nightclubs

Some nightclubs are more inaccessible than others. A person in a wheelchair may not be able to get into some clubs.

I liked going to a nightclub but it was upstairs and it didn't have a lift. I had to stop going because I couldn't find willing assistants to take me upstairs.

Floors may not be flat at nightclubs. If there's a dip to the dance floor then wheelchairs can fall down it.

Nightclubs may be inaccessible to people who have invisible disabilities such as anxiety and people with sensory sensitivities. I don't believe that nightclubs can do much about this.

Many nightclubs don't have handrails on the walls but this could be helpful for many people. I believe that they should strategically place them around the place so people can use them.

The nightclub should have enough seating for those who need to sit. Many seats in clubs don't have sides and this could be a problem.


Even if a nightclub is accessible some people may not be let in because the staff believes it's too crowded. Some staff of venues would claim that they can't let people with disabilities in because of safety regulations; but many who claim this would be incorrect.

I normally find the staff of a nightclub helpful but not everyone has this experience.

I remember a time when the bar staff refused to put a drink in a sipper bottle. I can't drink out of a glass so I left the nightclub.


If you need a straw to drink you may want to bring your own. There's a chance that some bars won't supply them.

Assistants (carer) and care homes

I refer to carers as assistants; I believe the word just sounds better. I struggle to find assistants to take me to nightclubs. If I do find one they can quit after a few weeks.

It's possible that an agency may find you one, but it's possible that they won't.

Some assistants may prefer to wear ear plugs.

Some care homes could have a specific time that they lock their doors; I believe that this is wrong. If this is the policy of your care home and you can't work around it then perhaps you should find another care home.

Similarly it may be impossible to have late night parties at care homes. I think that they should have a specific area for people to drink and play music.


Many clubs in the U.S. have a cover charge and drinks can be expensive. Taxis could be another cost. These costs can be a barrier since many people with disabilities are on low incomes.

Getting on stage

If the bar or nightclub has a stage it's probably not wheelchair accessible. This could be a problem if you want to enter a competition etc.

If someone takes a manual wheelchair then it could be possible to lift it up. It's not so easy for electric wheelchairs. Maybe the nightclub could use a portable ramp for wheelchairs.


Drunken people can be annoying in my experience. It's possible you have more tolerance for people than me.

On the other hand some people shout you drinks. Many people would have concerns about random people giving you drinks. I don't go to the bar with them when they purchase drinks for me, but doing this could be safer.

I remember a time when a stranger argued with my friend about whether I could drink alcohol. My friend found it funny but I was less amused.

Some people will try to push wheelchairs, even if the wheelchair is electric and heavy. If a wheelchair has a tray people will put their drinks on it, I always get people to take their drinks off my tray as the cups will move around when I dance.

Enquiring about access

You can usually Email, Facebook message or phone to inquire about access. This is not always convenient and sometimes you won't get a response. It'd be helpful if venues include accessibility information on their website.

If you're buying tickets for an event then you could ask the ticket seller if the venue is accessible. However I wouldn't recommend this option as the ticket venders sometimes have the wrong information.

Moving wheelchairs in crowds

I find that if you go slow people will eventually move. Many times people will move others so you can get around.

I do go in mosh pits but this could be dangerous for some.

If you have an electric wheelchair you have to make sure that it doesn't turn on suddenly. Some wheelchairs have a mode which doesn't move it even if it's switched on and the joystick is pushed. I use this mode.


If you have trouble sleeping then you may have trouble sleeping after a night out.


Alcohol can be problematic for some people on medications. Usually packaging of medications would say if the medication can't be taken with alcohol.


The website of a nightclub needs to be accessible.

It'd be helpful if the website has information on what people can order at the bar as well as information on the accessibility of the venue. It could be helpful for the venue to have more information on the website because it may result in fewer questions to their staff.

Read more about how to make a website accessible.

Thanks for reading

This page was originally published at 04/09/2021 02:01:22 UTC

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