Families in the Sky Room watching out the window at the fireworks display

Accessibility

This page has details of MK Gallery’s facilities and services, to help you plan your visit and ensure your time with us is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. 

We have a dedicated in-house Inclusive Practice in the Arts Team:  

Sophie Bennet, Producer of Inclusion 

Rosie May, Inclusion Coordinator 

If you have any specific access questions which are not answered in the information below, or would like to talk to someone about your visit, please contact Sophie or Rosie at access@mkgallery.org or phone our friendly Front of House team at 01908 676900

We aim to respond within 1 week of receiving your enquiry.

You can also sign up to our monthly Access newsletter to receive all the latest information about our accessible events. Scroll to the blue arrow symbol at the bottom of the page and select ‘accessible events’ under Interest Groups.   

You can change the font sizes on most web pages by using the controls integrated in your web browser. AbilityNet also has advice on how to make your device easier to use if you have a disability. 

We’re constantly looking to improve the accessibility of our website, programmes and buildings and are always grateful to receive feedback. Please contact us with your comments.

Access at MK Gallery

Arriving at the Gallery

There is step free access to our main reception, café, shop, galleries, Project Space, Event Space, Learning Studio, Sky Room, and Changing Places Toilet. 

The main entrance is located on ground floor, accessible via street level. The lowered help desk can be found through the automatic double doors where there is always a friendly member of the MK Gallery team to assist you. Our staff receive regular training to ensure they’re confident in welcoming all visitors and are readily available for any questions you might have. 

Personal Assistant/carer tickets can be requested at no extra cost for all ticketed events by visiting our main reception or contacting us on 01908 676900. 

Access for wheelchair users and visitors with limited mobility

Our building is wheelchair friendly. We have 1 wheelchair for use onsite. You can request a wheelchair at the help desk, or email/call to book in advance. If you might like someone to lend a supportive arm during your visit, please contact us in advance and we will do our best to find a volunteer who can assist.  

There are four disabled parking bays directly outside the front of the Gallery which are shared with Milton Keynes Theatre. Unfortunately, they cannot be reserved. 

Our galleries are all based on the ground floor of the building and staffed by our team of experienced volunteers. Doors to enter and exit the galleries are power assisted. 

Due to fire regulations our Sky Room auditorium can currently only accommodate two wheelchairs. Front row seats are also suited to people with limited mobility. Please book in advance to reserve these for seated performances. All other seats lead off stepped aisles.

For non-seated performances chairs will be made available for those who request them. Please ask a member of staff on your arrival or contact us in advance of your visit. 

For specific queries about the accessibility of our buildings, please contact access@mkgallery.org

Access for Neurodivergent visitors

We have a range of ‘Relaxed’ events on offer at the Gallery. They include Relaxed Exhibition viewings, and Relaxed Cinema Screenings. These events have sensory friendly adjustments which aim to reduce overstimulation and create a relaxed and welcoming environment. They are particularly suited to individuals with sensory sensitivities and their families, and anyone who feels they would benefit from these spaces.

Relaxed Cinema Screenings

We have a regular programme of relaxed cinema screenings, primarily for family films. Adjustments to the cinema and film screenings for these events include:  

  • Reduced sound and lighting 
  • No trailers 
  • Freedom to move around 
  • Take your own food and drink 
  • Personal assistant / carer tickets available 
  • Social Story document downloads 

To find out when the next Relaxed Cinema Screenings are taking place, please visit the ‘What’s On’ section of our website and select the ‘Cinema’ and ‘Accessible Events’ filters.

Relaxed Exhibition Viewings

Relaxed Exhibition Viewings take place one Sunday a month during each of our exhibitions. These quiet hours are tailored towards visitors with neurodivergence, inclusive of communication or sensory needs, autism, and learning disabilities.  

Tickets are limited during this time to reduce the number of people in the Galleries, hand driers are switched off, and Sensory Scout Kits (inclusive of ear defenders and sensory aids) and Sensory Menus are available in the main entrance. 

Social stories for these events are available to download from our website.  

To find out when our next Relaxed Exhibition Viewings are taking place, please visit the ‘What’s On’ section of our website, and select the ‘Exhibitions & Accessible Events’ filters.

Visiting our exhibitions

Exhibitions may contain sound, film, flashing lights or other sensory experiences which may not be suitable for all visitors. Please speak to a member of our team on the day or call/email us for any queries you may have about an exhibition. The gallery will always provide signage and warning should there be any flashing lights used. 

Sensory scout kits are available at the main entrance subject to availability. These contain a range of sensory aids including ear defenders and are available for anyone who may benefit from this equipment as they explore our exhibitions and wider Gallery site. 

Social stories can be provided in advance of your visit, for anyone who would find this supportive. Please contact access@mkgallery.org for more details.

Access for visitors with sight loss

Assistance dogs 

We welcome accredited assistance dogs, with water bowls available on request.  

Visiting our exhibitions 

All exhibition guides and floor maps labels are available in large print format at the front desk. As our exhibitions are continually changing, certain gallery spaces may have low lighting or different environments. Please speak to a member of the front desk team if you have any queries before entering.  

Audio Description for cinema

Audio description is a special service for visually impaired cinema goers. For most films a narration track is available which can be accessed through special headphones only. This fills the gaps between dialogue by describing what is happening on screen and doesn’t affect the experience of other audience members. 

If you would like to book an Audio Description headset in advance of your visit, please contact our Front of House team on 01908 676 900 or info@mkgallery.org. You can bring your own headphones with a standard 3.5 auxiliary connection if you would find this more comfortable. 

Please note this service is not available for Event Cinema e.g. NT Live or Royal Opera House screenings. 

Audio Described Exhibition Tours

These artist led tours take place twice per exhibition and provide in depth visual descriptions and tactile interactions that bring key artworks in each exhibition to life. MK Gallery volunteers are on hand during these events to act as sighted guides for visitors who may need it. Companion tickets for these events can be acquired free of charge.  

To find out when the next Audio Described exhibition tours are taking place, please visit the ‘What’s On’ section of our website and select the ‘Tours’ and ‘Accessible Events’ filters. 

Volunteer-led Audio Described Exhibition Experiences  

If you are unable to make it to one of our artist led Audio Described Exhibition Tours, we have trained volunteers who are available to guide you through our exhibitions and provide audio descriptions. If you would be interested in this service, please contact our Volunteer Manager, Annette Parmar at aparmar@mkgallery.org

Access for D/deaf and hard of hearing visitors

BSL Artist-led Exhibition Tours 

Led by deaf artist and tour guide Chisato Minamimura, these tours are delivered in BSL only and provide an in-depth exploration of our exhibitions. They take place once per exhibition on Saturday mornings.  

BSL-interpreted Exhibition Tours 

Led by one of MK Gallery’s volunteer tour guides and supported by an accredited BSL interpreter, these tours are particularly suited to those who are visiting in a mixed group of Hearing and Deaf, and for those who are learning BSL. They take place once per exhibition on Saturday mornings. 

BSL event interpretation 

We try to offer BSL interpretation at all our openings exhibition openings, and captions and BSL interpretation for all our Zoom events. If you require this for event you are attending, please contact access@mkgallery.org and we will do what we can to provide this for you. 

Assisted hearing 

We currently have a counter loop system at the front desk as you enter the gallery and our shop area. We also have a portable induction hearing loop which is bookable in advance for events. Please contact access@mkgallery.org for more information. 

We have a room loop hearing system in our Sky Room auditorium and cinema. Where available (dependent on the film), a separate independent listening device is available for listening to either the Hearing Impaired audio that accompanies a film. This is also available as a neck loop for use with hearing aids. 

We also have a room loop hearing system in our Learning Studio.

Accessible and gender-neutral toilets

There are accessible and gender-neutral toilets on the second floor of the main gallery building. You can reach these via the stairs with a mezzanine landing on the first floor or via our lift. Our lift can accommodate two wheelchairs.

Changing Places Toilet

We have a Changing Places Toilet on our ground floor, which is accessible via our gallery spaces and Learning Studio. A member of staff can direct you to this. Download the Social Story here.

Accessibility Key

Audio Described

These events are suitable for anyone, especially those who are blind or partially sighted, and are lead by a trained Associate Artist.

BSL (British Sign Language)

These events are delivered in BSL only and are suitable for anyone who uses or is learning BSL.

Captioned

Captioned Screenings are films which feature captions or subtitles, which benefit a lot of audience members including those who are deaf or hard of hearing. As well as showing dialogue, the captioned screenings provide information on other significant sounds.

Relaxed

These events have sensory friendly adjustments which aim to reduce over-stimulation and create a relaxed and welcoming environment.