It’s a card which translates your disability/impairment into symbols which highlights the barriers you face and the reasonable adjustments required. The card can be used to gain access to concessionary ticket prices for example; the theatre or to watch a gig.
I mostly use mine for gigs. As I have a severe to profound hearing loss in both ears, I pay for a ticket for myself and my companion is allowed the ‘free’ ticket. Usually it’s a friend or my partner, who knows / uses BSL (British Sign Language) as I still struggle to understand what is being said in busy environments, even with my implant / hearing aids in. Also, in the event of a fire / emergency, my companion can help communicate this to me so I can get out safely. Even with a mild hearing loss, you may still struggle and need communication help, so you will still be accepted for the Access Card.
You apply for the Access Card online at https://validator.accesscard.org.uk/apply#your-details. You will be asked to provide your medical evidence (mine was a copy of my Audiogram) and answer some questions as to how your disability affects you in your everyday life. It costs £15.00 to buy and expires in 3 years. My card came in 3 working days and I have already used it at lots of music venues, on the train when purchasing tickets as well as when out in restaurants I can show them I need communication help or just for them to be patient with me.
Nuala, Senior contributor