How to Tag Guide

Entrances & Exits

Introduction

Entrances are perhaps the most important areas to tag, as they often determine whether a venue is accessible or not. When tagging an entrance, there are several factors you need to consider.

After selecting Entrances & Exits, you need to choose one of the following sub-areas:

  • Main Entrance: This is the main entry point to the venue – whether it is accessible or not. The main entrance may have multiple access features – for instance, there might be stairs and a lift within the same entrance. Your tags, images and alt-text should accurately describe each of these accessibility features to provide a clear understanding of what to expect.

  • Alternative Entrance: A separate, secondary entrance to the venue that offers better accessibility than the Main Entrance. When tagging an Alternative Entrance, it is important to highlight its location and any specific features that enhance accessibility, like ramps or automatic doors. If there are multiple Alternative Entrances to the venue, tag the one that is most step-free.

Note that you can only tag an Alternative Entrance once you’ve added information about the Main Entrance.

Illustration of a person with a purple backpack holding a phone in front of a tall door
Illustration of a person with a purple backpack holding a phone in front of a tall door
Illustration of a person with a purple backpack holding a phone in front of a tall door

Step-free Access

Step-free access refers to an entrance or area that can be accessed without encountering any steps or stairs. This means a smooth and level surface that facilitates easy entry for everyone, including those using wheelchairs, pushchairs, or any other mobility aids.

Should I map a venue that doesn’t have step-free access?

Definitely! Please map venues even if they lack step-free access. Lots of disabled people might still find these venues accessible. Providing this information allows everyone to make an informed decision about whether or not a venue fits their needs.

This is a step-free entrance and double set of doors.

This is a step-free entrance with a manual, glass door.

There are no steps, but there is a small bump – does it count as step-free access?

No, step-free access should be completely smooth. If there is a minor obstacle – like a small bump, a raised edge, or a carpet runner – please tag this. Even though these might seem minor, they can pose a challenge for some disabled people, so it is important to tag them accordingly. Other examples of non-step-free access might include raised door thresholds or uneven floor tiles.

Steps, Ramps & Lifts

When assessing steps, ramps, and lifts in a venue, it's important to consider their presence, type, and accessibility features. These elements play a critical role in ensuring accessibility for all users.

Steps: Be sure to describe the number of steps, their height, and whether handrails are available. This level of detail helps users anticipate potential challenges, and assess whether the venue meets their accessibility needs.

If there are different-sized steps, tag the size of the biggest one (as this is the greatest obstacle to a user) and select the ‘Different Size Steps’ tag

Ramps: Note the presence and type of ramp(s) available. It's important to distinguish between permanent ramps, like built-in slopes, and portable ones that a user may need to request from staff.

View of a pathway with a permanent ramp
View of a pathway with a permanent ramp

This is a built-in ramp up to the step-free entrance.

View of a pathway with a temporary ramp
View of a pathway with a temporary ramp

This is a portable ramp available upon request.

If you're unsure, ask!

If you encounter a venue with a wheelchair-accessible bathroom inside, but steps at the entrance – ask if there is a portable ramp available. Venues may often have such facilities available, even if they fail to signpost these for customers.

Lifts: Knowing about the availability and type of lifts is crucial for many users – especially those who rely on wheelchairs or have limited mobility. There are a few different types of lift to be aware of when adding this information to the app.

  • Conventional Lifts: These are the common lifts found in most buildings that many people use and access. They will have sliding doors and are like a small room that goes up and down a building.

  • Stair Lifts: These require the user to transfer onto a seat from their wheelchair. The seat rises along the staircase and someone needs to carry the user's wheelchair to the top of the stairs.

  • Platform Lifts: These allow the user to roll onto the platform directly in their wheelchair and the platform will go up and down. These are similar to a conventional lift, but often open (eg. no roof).

A conventional lift
A conventional lift

This is a conventional lift.

A stair lift
A stair lift

This is a stair lift.

A platform lift
A platform lift

This is a platform lift.

If there are steps but also a lift or ramp, does it count as step-free access?

No. If there are steps, you should not tag the entrance as step-free – even if there is a lift or ramp available (built-in or portable). You should add details for the steps and for the lift or ramp. Sometimes the lift or ramp may be out of order and, in this case, it is crucial that the user knows the alternative route is via steps or stairs.

Doors

Doors can play a determinative role in assessing the accessibility of a venue. For many people, doors are a significant challenge when entering a space. When tagging, please ensure you identify the type, width, and specific features of the door(s). In particular, it is important to note how the door opens (eg. manually, automatically, or with a push button) as this important fact can often be overlooked.

Widths:

The width of a doorway is particularly important for wheelchair users. A doorway that is too narrow may prevent certain wheelchairs from passing through.

A typical doorway is usually around 75cm (just under 2.5ft). For a doorway less than 75cm, we will tag it as ‘narrow' while for one greater than 75cm we’ll tag it as 'wide'. Familiarising yourself with these dimensions will make it easier to accurately tag doorways.

View of a doorway
View of a doorway

This is a narrow doorway.

View of a doorway
View of a doorway

This is a standard-width doorway.

View of a doorway
View of a doorway

This is a wide doorway.

Door Types

Describing the type of door helps users better understand the accessibility of the venue's entrance. A common confusion concerns the tags: 'Two Sets of Doors' and 'Double Doors'. Let's clarify these terms now:

  • Two Sets of Doors: This is where an entrance requires passing through multiple doorways to access the main area of the venue. The space between the two sets of doors can vary, ranging from a small hallway to a long corridor.

  • Double Door: This refers to one doorway that has two doors side by side, usually with a handle in the centre. Technically, this is called a doorway with two leaves. With double doors, opening both doors simultaneously provides a wider entryway – which can be particularly helpful for wheelchair access or others who require more space.

View of a doorway with two sets of doors
View of a doorway with two sets of doors

This entrance has two sets of double doors.

View of a doorway with double doors
View of a doorway with double doors

This entrance has two sets of single doors.