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Access

The Whitworth is committed to making you to feel invited, welcome and valued when you visit. To us, everyone has the right to experience and be inspired by our collections, building, spaces and surrounding park. The following information is aimed to accurately describe our facilities and commitment to making your visit as enjoyable as possible. We see access and accessibility as a staring point for discussion, not an addition or after thought and this is reflected in everything we do.

Facilities

Our facilities include:

  • Assisted toilet facilities
  • Wheelchairs available for public use.
  • Adequate seating with arms throughout the gallery.
  • Light hand held portable stools.
  • Ear defenders
  • Our Grand Hall, which hosts conferences, talks and workshops is fitted with hearing loops. 
  • 4 baby changing areas
  • A family room
  • Coin-operated buggy locks and lockers
  • Large print information about exhibitions
  • Disabled parking on Denmark Road


The lighting levels can often be low due to the vulnerable nature of our collections.
Guide dogs are welcome. 

Our Visitor Team is trained to help and support any additional needs you may have.  

 

Disabled Parking 

Denmark Road is directly adjacent to the gallery, it has step-free access to both our Park Side and Oxford Road entrances. There are a total of 5 disabled bays, 9 spaces for car/bus drop-off and 7 double yellow line areas, which can be used by blue badge holders.
Parkside Entrance: Our 3 gallery designated disabled bays are directly beside our park entrance along Denmark road. There is a short step-free path from our park gates that will lead you to our entrance. 
Oxford Road Entrance: There are an additional 2 disabled bays further along on Denmark Road for the surrounding buildings. If using these you can enter through our main gates (across the bike paths) and up shallow gradient ramps leading to our automatic doors, which open inwards. 

If you need any assistance when arriving, please contact our Visitor Team on 0161 275 7450 who are happy to help.
Find out more about our location and how to get here.

 

Visitor Team Welcome

The Visitor Team plays an integral part in bringing our collections, exhibitions and spaces to life. They are continuously trained in areas such as disability awareness, Dementia Friends/Champions and mental health first aid, and Audio Describing, which are all tailored around working in a gallery environment. We want you to feel at home with us and our Visitor Team is happy to assist you at any point during your visit. 

Visitor Team Training:

  • Dementia Friends
  • First Aid
  • Mental Health First Aid
  • Autism Awareness
  • LGBTQ Awareness
  • Refugee Awareness
  • Manchester Public Transport

 

Services

Please book in advance for:

  • BSL interpreted events and tours
  • Audio+ Tours
  • Special Live speech-to-text captioning provided by STAGETEXT

To book, please contact whitworth@manchester.ac.uk

 

Audio Support Resource

The Whitworth has commissioned Anne Hornsby, Director of MindsEye to be the voice of the gallery. Anne has written audio descriptions for the gallery, building and spaces. These audio clips are designed to help us engage with our visually impaired visitors who may want to hear about the spaces before their visit as well as on arrival. The audio files can be listened to or downloaded via our Soundcloud

 

Autism Friendly

We are currently working on a welcome guide, which will have photos of our gallery as well as useful information to help you plan your visit.

  • Ear defenders can be borrowed from the Oxford Road desk.
  • We can provide quieter spaces, please ask a member of staff.
  • Our Quieter Hours are normally after 3pm on a weekday and from 10am - 11am on a Sunday. 
  • We hold a monthly creative dance workshop, open to all children and families with additional learning needs. Our Mossa Movement class encourages all to explore their own ideas as well as learning simple movements in a safe and encouraging environment.
  • From April 2019 we will have a monthly Autism Friendly Art Sunday for autistic people and their families. An artist led workshop in our learning studio with activities and access to a range of playful materials to help encourage everyone to get creative.

 

Families

We know it’s the little things that make a big difference to a family day out. We’ve tried our hardest to think of everything to make your visit just that bit more brilliant.

  • Free nappies and wipes
  • Pushchair access at both our entrances. 
  • A coin-operated buggy park situated on the lower ground floor
  • Coin-operated lockers
  • 4 baby change areas
  • An emergency baby supplies kit at the Oxford Road reception desk which includes nappies, wipes and other essentials. 

You are welcome to breast or bottle feed babies in our gallery spaces, where there is plenty of seating. If you would like somewhere a little more private then please ask a member of staff for some suggestions.
Food cannot be consumed anywhere in the gallery spaces, however if you fancy a snack then you can eat on the Lower Promenade, visit our Café in the Trees or enjoy a picnic in the Art Garden.

For our line-up of family events, click here.

 

Digital Access

Our website and social media channels are the quickest and easiest way to access our collection, events programme and other useful information about your visit. We aim to ensure online content is accessible in many forms.

  • Short films and videos
  • Subtitles and British Sign Language (BSL)
  • High-resolution images
  • Clear and user friendly written content
  • Audio descriptions of our spaces and building layout
  • Useful links to all our partners


Online and digital content is reviewed regularly. Audience requirements are obtained through research, testing and feedback.

 

Safety in the building

The safety and well being of our visitors is our main focus. Our Health & Safety policies and procedures ensure spaces are risk assessed on a regular basis and the Visitor Team are fully trained in First Aid, Fire Marshal and full evacuation procedures. All team members are identified through uniforms and name badges to help assist all our visitors.

 

Assessments

We continue to work with people with diverse abilities and support needs along with specialist organisations to continue to improve our visitor offer. An internal Access Group also meets regularly to keep us on track and moving forward.

 

Do you have any questions about your visit to the gallery?

We are always trying to improve our offer and we’d love to hear about your visit and any feedback. 
Please call us on 0161 275 7450 or email the Visitor Team
Thinking of bringing a group to the gallery? Read more about group visits
Are you a school teacher or educator? Head to our Learn section to find out more about bringing schools groups, self-guided visits and teacher resources.