I'm taking a trip down to St Ives for a few days next week, and one of the things I really want to do is visit the Tate gallery
. As with a lot of organisations, they have a web page dedicated to 'accessibility'
, which mainly focuses on access for people who use wheelchairs and/or who have sensory impairments. As usual, at the bottom of the page, there is an invitation to 'just ask' if you need any further information (and we all know that usually works out SOOOO well
If you have any access questions please contact us:
Call: +44 (0)1736 796226
As it happens, I do have a few access questions, so on Wednesday I emailed them the following:
I'm intending to visit Tate St Ives next week (week commencing Monday 28th June), and I have a disability which means I cannot walk far or stand for more than a few minutes.
I have looked at your website and found some of the information there very helpful, but I'm hoping you can provide me with some additional information to help me plan my visit.
1. Please can you provide me with a map or floor plan of the gallery (.pdf would be the best format), or failing that, can you tell me how many floors it has, and how many rooms on each floor?
2. I note from your website that you provide stools for disabled visitors. Unfortunately these will be of little use to me. Are there any areas in the gallery, other than the cafe, where proper seats are provided?
3. I note that the cafe has both a 'lunch menu' and an 'afternoon menu'. Can you tell me the times between which the full lunch menu is available?
4. Depending on the size of the gallery, it may be necessary for me to split my visit over more than one day. Does your normal admission ticket allow me to do this? (Many visitor attractions - e.g the Eden Project and the SS Great Britain - offer this facility when patrons gift aid their ticket price.)
I look forward to hearing from you.
Now, I don't think these are particularly difficult questions, although none of this information is provided on the website, at least as far as I can see. They're the kind of questions any
visitor might ask, and I'd expect any member of staff to be able to answer them off the top of their head.
So, four days later, what response have I had?
Nothing. Nada. Sweet Fanny Adams.
So what exactly is the point of telling people to 'just ask' for access information, IF YOU'RE GOING TO IGNORE THEM WHEN THEY DO?
[I was going to phone them this afternoon, even though it's not my preferred method of communication, but unfortunately my Mum called for a chat and I missed my opportunity. I may still do it tomorrow. But I shouldn't have to.]