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Common Access Guide Terms Explained

Below you will find information on how we assess some common access features within venues.


A shallow step is up to and including 10cm
A medium step is over 10cm and up to and including 17cm
A deep step is over 17cm.


Ramps are referred to as:


Easy ramp image

An easy ramp or slope will have a gradient not steeper than 1:12


Moderate ramp image

A moderate ramp or slope will have a gradient between 1:10 – 1:12


Steep ramp image

A steep ramp or slope will have a gradient in excess of 1:10

The surveyors make an informed judgement based on training. They are not measured using a gradient measurer. The information given in the guide is always accompanied by a photograph.


Doors are described as heavy or light. The surveyors make an informed decision based on training. Door weights are not measured with a Newtonometer.


Platform lifts

Platform lift image

Platform lifts are those which a wheelchair user wheels on to, in order to overcome raised areas, steps or level changes.

Standard lifts

Standard lift image

Standard lifts are those which are used by both disabled and non disabled people. If door widths are less than 75cm then this will be noted in the guide.

Chair lifts are those which a person has to sit in (not in a wheelchair) in order to overcome steps. Chair lifts do not qualify as an acceptable means of overcoming steps and wheelchair user and wheelchair user with assistance symbols will not be awarded if this is the only way available to access a venue or service for a wheelchair user.


Receptions and counters are referred to as being high, medium and low.
A low desk is up to 76cm in height.
A medium desk is is over 76cm and up to and including 110cm.
A high desk is over 110cm.

Colour contrast

Consideration is given to the provision of good colour contrast. Surveyors are trained to look at for example, fittings which contrast with the surround and walls which contrast with the floor.

Poor Colour Contrast

Poor colour contrast image

Here is an example image of poor colour contrast

Good Colour Contrast

Good colour contrast image

Here is an example image of good colour contrast

If you have further questions you may like to look at our FAQs or alternatively please feel free to contact us directly at