Access Symbols

Universal Access Symbols should be used to promote the accessibility of venues and services at all arts and cultural events.

These symbols are intended to help you advertise your access services to visitors, audiences and staff. Advertisements, newsletters, conference and program brochures, membership forms, building signage, floor plans and maps are examples of material that might display these symbols. You are encouraged to place these symbols next to the relevant information in all publications and media.

The Graphic Artists Guild (USA) have provided twelve downloadable Universal Access Symbols  to promote accessibility.  Click  HERE  to access the Downloadable Disability Access Symbols

Symbols include:

Audio Description is a service that enhances the live theatre experience for people who are blind or have low vision. Through the use of a small radio receiver, audience members can listen to a description of the visual aspects of the performance during appropriate breaks in the dialogue.

Low visibility or blind

Guided Tours and tactile displays are run prior to some audio described performances to give audiences members who are blind or vision impaired an opportunity to explore the stage, sets and costumes prior to the show. Some performance feature reserved seating close to the front for patrons who are vision impaired.

Sign language

Sign interpreting – AUSLAN interpreters are available at many live theatre performances, guided tours of museums and galleries and visual arts exhibitions.

Assistive Listening Systems

Assistive Listening Systems are installed at many theatres and can be used to amplify or enhance sound quality and eliminate background noise.

Wheelchair accessible

Wheelchair access – specific seating is reserved for wheelchair users and accompanying companions in most venues. Bookings can also be made in easily accessible areas and on the end of aisles for people wishing to transfer from a wheelchair to a fixed seat.


Captioning is available at selected performances. Captions are prepared from the script of the play by highly trained staff. During the performance, the captions are displayed on a screen, enabling the audience to read what is being said, without obstructing the actors.

The Visual Symbol provides an indicator of the level of visual elements in a performance to assist in determining if the event is accessible for audience members who are Deaf and hard of hearing.

100% vision

100 percent – Either there is no music or dialogue or all dialogue is captioned, or scripts/ descriptions are given to audience members before the event.

75% vision

75 percent – Fully subtitled providing access to spoken word but not background music or sounds.

50 percent vision

50 percent – May have music/sounds in the background, or may be partly captioned (or surtitled) or scripts /descriptions are given to the audience before the event on request.

Companion Card

The Companion Card is issued to people with a significant, permanent disability, who can demonstrate that they are unable to access most community activities and venues without attendant care support.

This symbol means that services and businesses are communication accessible. Communication Access means that people with a communication disability are listened to and get their message across.  Please click on the link for more information on Communication Access. Scope Website – Communication Access

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