Millennium Forum opens its doors for ‘Access Open Day’

OPEN ACCESS DAY. . . .The Millennium Forum welcomes guests and visitors to its Access Open Day on Thursday last. Included in photo are Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Michaela Boyle, Lisa Heaney (Millennium Forum), Paul Mason (Millennium Forum), Dolores O�"Reilly (Derry Theatre Trust), Martin Mullan (Derry Theatre Trust), Deirdre Doherty (AAA Board Member), Forum staff and members of Stage Beyond. (Photos: jim McCafferty Photography)
OPEN ACCESS DAY. . . .The Millennium Forum welcomes guests and visitors to its Access Open Day on Thursday last. Included in photo are Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Michaela Boyle, Lisa Heaney (Millennium Forum), Paul Mason (Millennium Forum), Dolores O�"Reilly (Derry Theatre Trust), Martin Mullan (Derry Theatre Trust), Deirdre Doherty (AAA Board Member), Forum staff and members of Stage Beyond. (Photos: jim McCafferty Photography)

The Millennium Forum opened its doors on Thursday last for a special ‘Access Open Day.’

This event was designed to give people living with disabilities the opportunity to learn more about the theatre’s award winning accessible facilities and upcoming events.

The event included tours of the building, informative ‘Question and Answer’ sessions as well as demonstrations.

The Mayor of Derry and Strabane District Council, Councillor Michaela Boyle, officially welcomed guests and participating members of the public who were guided on a tour of the Forum building, highlighting the many accessible facilities that have been put in place including the newly opened Quiet/Sensory Room, the Changing Place facility, courtesy wheelchairs, Access Membership, noise reducing headphones, booster seats, accessible performances.

Local organisations present included Stage Beyond, Specsavers (Access Sponsor of the Millennium Forum), RNIB, Compassionate Communities, Action On Hearing Loss and Alzheimer’s Society.

Lisa Heaney, Access Manager at the Millennium Forum, was delighted with the response.

“Thanks to everyone who took part in our first Access Open Day.

“We are working incredibly hard to ensure that our venue is fully accessible to all our patrons and we fully recognise the importance of the importance of removing barriers for people living with disabilities.

“We couldn’t achieve this without the help of our Access sponsors and funding partners Specsavers, Diamond Corrugated, The Enkalon Foundation, Community Foundation for NI, The Honorable The Irish Society and AAA,” she said.

recognition

The Millennium Forum has been leading the way in terms of accessibility in the Arts for a number of years.

The Forum was the first theatre in Ireland to hold a Relaxed Performance of its Pantomime in 2013 followed by a dementia friendly performance in 2015.

In addition, the theatre has recently been recognised as a centre of excellence in providing accessibility by winning the Change A Little Change A Lot and the Arts & Disability Equality Charter awards.

It also won Dementia Friendly Organisation of the Year 2017/2018.

Last year, a new Changing Place Facility opened which will provide much needed public toilet/changing facilities for disabled individuals who need assistance from one or more carers.

Earlier this month, its new Quiet/Sensory Room at the Millennium Forum was opened which will provide a much needed quiet space for children living with autism and special sensory needs.

Getting involved

For more information on the Millennium Forum accessibility, contact Lisa Heaney, on 71 272779 or email lisah@millenniumforum.co.uk.

For businesses who are interested in becoming an Access Partner for the Millennium Forum, contact Cara McCartney on 71 272785 or email caramc@millenniumforum.co.uk