Incredible Time with Incredible Support
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Long Cane, Hidden Impairment
I went to see The Soweto Gospel Choir at the Assembly Rooms just off the mound at the weekend. I had the most amazing time - the choir were incredible and the support that I got from the venue was incredible. I am registered with a charity called Artlink, who find fully able-bodied volunteers to assist people with any form of disability to access art performances across the whole of Edinburgh. Artlink Unfortunately, because the festival time is so busy, they weren't able to find a volunteer to go with me... So, I decided to take matters into my own hands... I contacted the Assembly Rooms and explained my situation to them. I also explained about Artlink and the job that they do. I then went onto explain that I didn't require someone to sit next to me throughout the entire performance, but that it would be nice to have someone to help me find my seat when I first arrived, then to be around during the performance if I needed them and to support me at the end of the performance. You have never known a group of people to be more helpful - the lady who I talked to changed my booking into an accessibility booking and asked me to be there 20 minutes before the performance. Unfortunately, I was a bit late, but this could not have mattered less. When I arrived, I explained my situation and the person I talked to was so relaxed - they radioed for someone to come and collect me. Someone from the hall where the performance was being held came down to collect me, guided me to the hall and helped me to find a seat. They then said that someone would be around for the whole performance if I needed anyone. Then, at the end of the performance, the same person came back to collect me and helped me to get to the door to get out into the street. The performance was incredible and bright - and to top it all off the support that I got was totally magical. I had the most amazing time and felt so happy.
Transport & Parking
I managed to walk to the Assembly Halls and find my own way there.
The access was okay for my needs - to get into the Assembly Halls, I had to go up some steps, which were fine to go up, but on the way down, I had to have some assistance. Once I was inside the building there were a number of lifts that I could take. Once I was in the hall, I had assistance to navigate my way around the hall. The staff were so helpful and kind to me. They understood my needs.
The accessible loos were easy to find and clearly labeled. They were very spacious and easy to move around. However, the accessible loo did have a changing mat babies in it.
The staff were incredible. When I phoned up to inquire about the accessibility and told them about the help that I needed, the person who I spoke to, was particularly helpful. They changed my ticket into an Access Booking and got everything organised for me. When I arrived at the venue, I wasn't sure where to go, so I managed to see someone who looked as though they worked there. I went up to them and explained my situation. They then helped me to get to the auditorium, where I was met by another member of staff who helped me to get to my seat. I could see staff around the hall for the entire performance, who were happy to help me at any given moment. At the end of the performance, the member of staff who had helped me to get to my chair when I first arrived, came back to where I was sitting and helped me to get out of the building, down the steps and onto the street. The Staff were incredible.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
I didn't see any covid precautions - however, there is certainly absolutely nothing I would do to change this experience, I would definitely go back to the Assembly Halls again and I would definitely recommend it to others.