Is This Venue Accessible adds capacity filter; developing app

Derek Evers

Sean Gray, founder of Is This Venue Accessible. Photo by Megan Lloyd.

Is This Venue Accessible is an indispensable tool for countless music fans who face the daily challenge of life with a disability. While it may seem like an obvious fix with ramps or elevators, as founder Sean Gray told us last year, the challenges do not end once you enter the club. Nor should the conversation.


“I need to know if there is one step to get into the venue,” he told us. “That one curb step could be inaccessible for someone with a wheelchair. If there’s one step to get into the bathroom, I need to know.”

Organized by city, Is This Venue Accessible indexes separate pages for individual venues, listing information about staircases, single steps, bathroom locations, elevator access, and more. For example, a band or fan looking into New York venues could learn that Palisades is all on one floor, with a ramp up to the front door, but there’s a step up to the bar.

Today, Gray (who is also the singer of Birth Defects), along with developer Jake Reid (who is in the DC band Screen Vinyl Image), have announced a “simple but needed” function: max capacity. This will give users an immediate idea of the size and scope of the venue they wish to attend. The announcement came with word that later this summer we can expect to see photos and videos of the accessibility points (or lack thereof), and the development of an app that will connect users with accessible venues in their immediate area.

“The app is now in the planning phases,” Gray said via e-mail, with the additional goal of allowing “users to connect with each other, along with other resources a person with a disability might want in terms of going to a show, museum, or even record store.”

“The app would be a different user experience than the site. One that underscores community.”

Though Is This Site Accessible is always expanding, Gray stressed the importance of continued user interaction. “We still need help from bands and users to keep adding info. Especially, international venues. We are also looking to get venues (DIY and non) to be involved so they feel like they have a stake in this as well.”

You can revisit Liz Pelly’s feature, Opening The Conversation on Accessibility and Venues, here.

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