Dundee Science CentreGreenmarket, Dundee, DD1 4QB, United Kingdom | 01382228800 | Website
Fun Accessible New Updates
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Powerchair
Level access science museum in the city centre of Dundee, they’ve updated the ground floor of the centre and just reopened at the end of June 2021. I was invited to have a tour around Dundee Science Centre and it was closed to the public the day I visited so my review can’t reflect on the busyness of crowds.
Transport & Parking
Transport & Parking There is a council car park right outside of Dundee Science Centre which is free for blue badge holders but other visitors have to do pay and display, I could see about 3 or 4 disabled parking spaces. Across the road there is also Greenmarket car park which is also a council car park but is indoors and I think there are lots of parking spaces. Dundee Science Centre is located in the city centre of Dundee so there is lots of public transport nearby. The train station is a 5 minute walk away, maybe not even that long, and there is a taxi rank here. The bus station is about a 10 minute walk away and there are also bus stops nearby which go all over the Dundee and Angus area.
As you come up to the entrance of Dundee Science Centre there is an entrance doorway and an exit doorway. These doorways are double doors however they look quite narrow so I think both doors would need to be open for a wheelchair user to get through. When we I arrived the entrance doors were open so I can’t be 100% sure though. There is a button beside the entrance door to open it but it is slanted up the way, if the door wasn’t open I would have struggled to open it myself as I use my wheelchair controller to push the button and this wouldn’t be possible. I’d suggest having a button just straight up and down at the side to make it easier for visitors to reach and push. There is a welcome seating area to the left as you enter which is spacious and has a fun interactive exhibition. The dials that you turn for this exhibition would be difficult to reach for wheelchair users but you would still be able to see what was happening as it is all above you on the ceiling. There are storage boxes under the seating for you to store items whilst visiting but they aren’t locked so it would be at your own risk. The reception desk faces you as you enter and has two levels to it making it easier for wheelchair user to speak to staff and sign any paperwork if they had to. Then there is the gift shop to the right of the reception desk and is very spacious to get around. Everything is very visible from any height however you may need to ask staff members to reach higher items if there is no one with you who can help. You pay for any items at the reception desk and I got shown some items they are selling from local creators, including soap that is made by a local 12 year old girl. Now I’m not going to talk about each individual exhibition as that would be a lot to talk about but I was really impressed with how accessible a lot of them were for wheelchair users. When you first come into the exhibition centre from the gift shop you see a circular table a a big long workspace, here you can build a paper aeroplane and then put it on the circular table that blows air up to see how high your paper aeroplane can fly. Both these tables are at a good height for a wheelchair user. In this area you are also able to build a wall of pipes to see how water flows, blue balls represent water. The storage are boxes for these pipes are below but are low enough for wheelchair foot plates to not hit them and wheelchair users can easily reach the wall. As we went around you notice a lot of the exhibitions are at a good height for wheelchair users. With every exhibition there is an information board to tell you more about it. Each board has minimal text on it so that people don’t have to stand and read it for ages, there is also a QR code on it that you can scan with your phone and read more about the exhibition. I did find the QR code a little small to scan though as I couldn’t lean in the closer to scan it. I loved the disability representation on one of the boards which shows a child in a wheelchair, you can see this in my images below. A new feature that Dundee Science Centre added during their redevelopment was their sensory room. This is to be a calm place for children to come and relax with bubble light tubes and a projector where they can play interactive games that project on to the floor. I must say I did find the room calming and quiet but I was there when it wasn’t open to the public so there were no crowds. There aren’t any doors to the sensory room, instead it is open with soft play tubes hanging from the top of the doorway. I’ve included a photo below of what I mean by this and I have also included a video. I was very apprehensive to drive through these when I first saw them as I was scared to hurt my legs but as you can see from the video it wasn’t as bad as I thought, they were very light weight. I did get told that they can be unhooked from the top of the doorway but I think children would love running, driving or get pushed through these, I would have definitely not have been wary when I was younger. These soft play tubes were also hang in other entrance areas throughout the exhibitions. The sensory room also had seating and I noticed plug sockets which would be good if someone needed to charge a powered wheelchair, any medical equipment or even just a phone or tablet. However, my carer noticed that there were key holes on the plug sockets so I’m unsure if you’re just able to use them. There was a slide near some of the exhibitions and because you have to go up steps to get to the slide this wasn’t accessible for wheelchair users however, there was a little play bit under the slide where a wheelchair user can fit under and still feel included. Now I am not the tallest of people so I’m probably the height of some child wheelchair users and I managed to just fit under. Again please see image below. Beside the exhibitions downstairs there is a café area however due to the venue not being open to the public the café wasn’t open when we visited and some of the tables weren’t laid out. This area has been changed a lot when the redevelopment happened. We were able to see the accessibility of the booths in the café seating area which had a couple of tables that end within the booth which means that wheelchair users don’t feel like they’re in the way at the end of the table. The booths all have wooden screens at either side which is great if visitors would like some privacy for feeding etc. The counter for the café is at a standard height of any counter and doesn’t have a lower level like the reception desk but I cannot comment on how easy it is to view food as it wasn’t on sale when I visited. There is a fun interactive game between one of the tables within the café where you can play pairs and was designed by the service users from Advocating Together. I quickly went upstairs to look at their medical exhibitions. The lift to go upstairs isn’t the biggest, my carer and I fitted in but I feel it would be a squeeze with more people. The exhibition area is very spacious upstairs. This area wasn’t part of the redevelopment of Dundee Science Centre but there are some exhibitions that can be reached from a wheelchair. I found it really interesting that I got told that people who are anxious about getting surgical procedures come to the medical exhibitions here to find out more about what would happen.
There is an accessible toilet however, I do not feel it is very big and I think if someone needs assistance from someone else you could struggle. There is also not an emergency red cord in this accessible toilet but I reported this to staff and they are going to look into it. Luckily there is an amazing Changing Places toilet been installed during the new refurbishments. I was amazed at the size of this room and I think because it has high ceilings as well it makes it feel so much bigger. There is a H shaped ceiling tracking hoist that covers the whole room and there is a bed folded up against one of the walls. You can see from the photo below that there is plenty of space to transfer to the toilet even if you don’t need to use the hoist. The bins were beside the toilet but we said how this can cause problem for people transfer and they moved the bins and said they will put tape on the floor so staff and cleaners know where they need to be placed. There are grab rails at each side of the toilet and the sink is height adjustable. This Changing Place toilet can be accessed by a RADAR key and if you don’t have one you can get it from the front desk.
I was shown around by Rebecca from Dundee Science Centre, she was very friendly and welcoming. She was very helpful in answering any questions we had and any other staff we met were also very friendly.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
There is no entrance fee for carers visiting with someone who has a disability and it is not limited to one carer. Seating areas are also available around the exhibitions for people to rest whilst going around. There are lots of hand sanitizing stations around the venue which are at a good height for wheelchair users. The track and trace QR code was at a good height for me to scan. At the reception desk there were protective screens up and at the café counter. The toilets had a minimum number of people allowed in at a time but there wasn’t a sign on the lift which I feel is needed.
You have to be signed in to leave a comment.Login / Signup