Midlands Arts Centre is committed to offering a welcoming and accessible environment in which everyone can feel comfortable.
We want to take the worry and difficulty out of your visit, so that you can focus on having a great time. We regularly work with consultants and artists to advise and evaluate what we do.
Audio Accessibility Guide
Accessible Facilities & Services
Getting to MAC
The Queen’s Ride car park, accessed via Edgbaston Road or Pershore Road, provides a large number of parking spaces close to the entrance to mac, including spaces for Blue-Badge holders. It can get very busy at times so we cannot guarantee spaces.
By public transport
Several buses stop within a short distance of MAC:
Bus 1 stops on Edgbaston Road.
Bus 35 stops around the corner on Willows Road.
Buses 45 and 47 stop on Pershore Road.
Buses 62 and 63 stop on Bristol Road, near the Priory Road traffic lights.
Getting around MAC
There is level, gently sloping or permanent ramped access into the building from the car park and from Cannon Hill Park, as well as throughout our building. Automatic doors into the building are available at both entrances. Portable ramps can also be made available if required.
Access For wheelchairs and people with limited mobility
Our café and bar, both on the ground floor, are fully accessible with plenty of room to manoeuvre. We have low counters at the café, bar and sales and information. We have designated wheelchair spaces inside the cinema and theatres, that are kept off general sale. If you require space for a wheelchair, please call or speak to our sales and information team on 0121 446 3232 to book.
There are two lifts in our building. All floors are serviced by our main lift, located close to our bar and cinema, which has tactile buttons and can accommodate a wheelchair, mobility scooter or buggy 80 cm wide. Another lift servicing the Bryant meeting rooms and Hexagon Theatre is located by our café.
Different coloured flooring in contrasting tones are used in various places throughout the building to indicate where the gradient of the floor changes, to emphasise the boundaries.
Help & Assistance
We offer complimentary tickets to companions and carers assisting disabled customers for performances, cinema, talks and courses.
With prior arrangement, we are happy to show anyone around who would like to see our performance spaces during a quieter time, to familiarise themselves with areas, ask questions and to resolve any potential concerns they may have in advance of their visit. We will do our best to make reasonable adjustments so everyone can access MAC.
Assistance dogs are welcome in the public and performance spaces, and MAC is happy to provide bowls of water, which are usually outside in the terraced seating area leading to Cannon Hill Park.
Emergency Call buttons
These are located throughout the building at safe refuge points, and can be used to request assistance from a member of staff in an emergency.
All front-facing staff have been trained to operate ‘Evacusafe’ chairs.
Facilities & Services
Toilets and changing facilities
Accessible unisex toilets are available on every floor, fitted with alarm chords. A toilet with a hoist and shower is also available.
If you require urgent access to a toilet you can make this known to staff at any time and they will ensure that you are quickly taken to the nearest toilet with discretion and dignity.
First Aid room
We have a first aid room on the ground floor if needed, with two wheelchairs for emergency use within mac.
We know that at times MAC is a very busy place and that the public space can be of sensory overload for some people. If someone is distressed or likely to be distressed in this situation, staff will always aim to identify a space that can be used discreetly for short periods.
Services for people requiring supporting accessing visual or written information
Large-print copies of our brochures, café menus and gallery labels are available on request from our sales and information desk, and to download from our website. Audio recordings can also be made on request. Staff will assist in reading short amounts of written material when available to do so.
The induction loop system at MAC has been installed to provide clear, amplified sound to members of the public who may have a hearing impairment, to ensure that they have the best possible experience with us. We have two types of induction loop systems; a fixed loop and an infra-red loop
- Fixed Induction Loop
These are available in the bar, café, sales and information desk, and Pinsent Mason 1 and Deloitte meeting rooms. Anyone who wishes to use the system at the bar, café and sales and information desk must stand between the two blue stickers displayed on the wall and switch their hearing aid to the “T” function setting. The meeting room induction loops are available anywhere in the room.
- Infra-red Induction Loops
These are available in all indoor performance venues and studios, the Bryant, Saintbury, Cole and Roughley meeting rooms, and the Painting and Drawing, Textiles, Sculpture, Pottery, Jewellery and Weston studios. Within these rooms an infra- red hearing loop receiver must be worn in conjunction with the users hearing aid which has to be switched to the function setting “T”. These can be picked up from the sales and information desk.
Artistic Programme & Activities
MAC strives to make as much of its artistic programme accessible to a wide range of customers, by scheduling events and performances catering for various requirements, as outlined below.
We encourage all visiting companies and film distributors to provide signed, captioned and audio described performances, to help their work reach as wide an audience as possible, but the supply of these services is often dependent on the external companies.
MAC also makes an effort to programme work that celebrates the art of disabled artists and the lives of disabled people, and regularly engages artists with disabilities and companies supporting disabled artists. We also commission work that considers access needs, integrating Makaton, BSL, audio description and sensory stimulus.
MAC has formed partnerships with various organisations and specialists to support our work and ambition.
Accessible performance types
Audio Described events
Audio Description is a form of audio-visual translation using the natural pauses in speech or sound to insert a narrative that verbally translates the visual image. The service is available on selected screenings and performances via the Infra-Red Induction loops which can be borrowed from our sales and information desk on arrival.
BSL interpreted events
Some of our performances are British Sign Language Interpreted, where a translator will stand to the side of the stage and interpret the characters’ dialogue for the audience. Please let our sales and information team know at the time of booking if you require this service so that you can be seated in a suitable position to see the interpreter. Talks and tours are also BSL interpreted.
Captioned and Subtitled events
On some of our screenings and performances, dialogue will be displayed above or below the stage, or at the bottom of the cinema screen. Not only are these events useful for hearing impaired people, but people with English as a second language or students studying the text may also benefit from this service.
Relaxed Events and Screenings
Relaxed events are currently designed to improve the experience for people with Autistic Spectrum conditions, sensory, motor and communication disorders, learning disabilities and anyone who would benefit from a more adapted environment.
The main lights remain on, the volume is reduced, and we hope you’ll feel comfortable to remain inside should you need to make noises or move involuntarily. We sometimes offer a pre-show introduction to the venue and performers, signalling anything that may be big, loud, or unexpected. There will also be a quiet area close by for should you need a break.
Accessible Courses - macAbility
macAbility covers a variety of specially-designed creative courses which offer a welcoming space for adults and for children with disabilities or additional learning needs and their families, to enjoy being creative together.
The majority of our courses are accessible to people with disabilities, but we recommend prospective students or someone who supports them speaks to us in advance to discuss specific requirements. Students can be accompanied by their own carer or support worker, who must book a complimentary ticket if attending a course to provide support. We are currently unable to provide one to one support, though courses for under 18s are run with the help of Learning Support Workers who can provide pastoral care for the group. If you are not sure if a course is suitable we can arrange for you to attend a free taster session and meet the tutor to discuss any specific needs.
We have fully adjustable, wheelchair-accessible ceramics wheels, and wheels with lower seating in our accessible ceramics studio.
If you are using a screen reader, a specialised web browser, or other dedicated technology, we want to ensure our website is compatible with your equipment. If you experience any problems accessing our website, please contact us on 0121 446 3232 and we will try to resolve the issue.
Text can be enlarged by pressing the Ctrl and + buttons, or reduced using the Ctrl and – buttons.
Tickets for our performances, events and film screenings can be booked online here on our website, over the phone by calling 0121 446 3232, or by speaking to us directly at our sales and information desk.
If you are booking for a particular service, we recommend calling or speaking to us in person to ensure that you are seated in an appropriate position to best access the service, and that all your needs are met. This helps us to provide you with assistance and avoid disappointment or delays to advertised start times.
Require further assistance?
If you have any other needs which we have not covered please let us know so that we can do our best to give you full and equal access, and improve services for others as well.
Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Our phone number for all information and bookings is 0121 446 3232.
Our address is Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, B12 9QH.