Reopening your Escape Room as COVID-19 lockdown restrictions ease
Regardless of location, style or puzzle, escape rooms should accommodate everybody, including those with disabilities. Here’s how to ensure you’re doing everything you can.
As an escape room owner, you’re probably used to encouraging anybody and everybody to try an escape room. They can be complex, multi-roomed, maze-like, and logical. It makes sense that everybody should be able to enjoy the escape room experience, including those with disabilities.
Yet many disabled people have very real trouble trying to find an escape room which can accommodate them. One TripAdvisor reviewer said he found the search for a wheelchair-accessible venue ‘extremely difficult’.
It’s often among the frequently asked questions for escape rooms to answer and one you should consider tending to with more urgency than ever before. Accommodating those with disabilities doesn’t just allow for more business. More importantly, it allows those with disabilities to take part, be involved and enjoy the shared experience. It also shows that you are responsible, genuine and can be trusted upon to deliver a high-quality service. People believe that you are not just in it for profits and want to help invigorate this niche entertainment sector by making it inclusive of all.
So what can you and your team do to give the best experience for those with disabilities?
- Use ramps instead of stairs and consider wheelchair users from the off when you’re coming up with designs of new or existing rooms.
- Return to the layout, design and logistics of each one of your rooms. Are there clear stumbling blocks? What might a disabled person find too challenging an obstacle?
- Look to re-design any rooms which are not fully accessible
- Ensure the rooms are spacious and players can comfortably participate
- Ensure obstacles are out of the way and possible restrictions are safely marked
- Offer days or times which specially cater for those with disabilities; this could include quieter days or the use of dimmer lights
- Train your staff appropriately to ensure they can identify and cater for specific disabilities
- Be clear about the experience if you feel it is necessary; if somebody with partial sight wishes to play a room that is very dark, make sure they know before they enter
- Don’t spoil anything!
Just because your player may need special requirements in place, it doesn’t mean the player is any less excited about experiencing the fun!
Raising awareness in the industry is important. Even if only one of your rooms is accessible to disabled players, it’s better than them missing out on the fun altogether. In time, you could help push the escape room industry towards a more inclusive, more accessible and ultimately more fun activity.
Own an escape room? Whether you already have insurance or need to take some out, contact our team on 01524 848506.