FAQs

Where is the Card Accepted?

We work extensively to increase the number of venues where the card is recognised as a means to meet your access requirements.

For some providers, it might give you a discount or a special offer, for others it might be accepted as evidence in order to access a free PA ticket for example. Others will let you link your card to their booking systems or be able to process your requests over the phone.

You can find details of all of the Providers we work with on our directory and on our map page and we regularly update our News Page, FaceBook, Twitter.

We also work directly with card holders to report businesses where they have used their Access Card to have their needs met. These providers are listed as ‘Named and Famed’

Remember though – the card is a demonstration of your needs and is related to the Equality Act.

All providers have a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments you need and the card can help you explain that to them whether they ‘accept it’ or not. Failing to acknowledge and respond to your needs may in effect be a breach of equality legislation.

What is a 'Named and Famed' listing?

On some of our listings, you will see that a venue or service is “Named and Famed”. This means that other cardholders have told us that they have been able to use their cards with this service.

Information provided in this listing comes from the card holder and also is sourced directly from for the venues publicly available information, not from the service or venue directly. This is not a guarantee of any set service or policy this organisation might have.

If you want to stay on top of the latest feedback from other Card Holders make sure you join our closed Facebook Group:

What is the +1 symbol

The +1 symbol represents the right to a free or reduced-price ticket for your essential companion to support you to access a venue’s facilities.
This is not a buy one get one free scheme but a reasonable adjustment to enable to to attend and event you otherwise would not be able to.
We can only award this symbol where an individual’s needs are so significant or substantial that, without support, they would be at a significant disadvantage when visiting paid-for events.
The support needed must be significant and substantial and in excess of what could be reasonably expected of family/friends already accompanying you. The support must be due to disability-related needs.

For children, and young children especially; the +1 can only be considered where the needs are outside of the range of what can be expected of parental responsibility – even if this means that your child needs more support or supervision than another child of similar age.

The decision to add +1 is not based on care needs, but on the disadvantage imposed by charging additional fees for a carer to attend. At events where you would be attending with your child as part of the family group you will be charged as a fee-paying parent just like all other family groups enjoying an event.

The +1 can only be considered where the support you require results in the cost of a carer ticket being an unreasonable barrier to your being able to attend.

Remember – this is not about whether your child needs care and support but whether the cost of a ticket for the person providing that care and support should be waived as a reasonable adjustment.

What if my needs change?

If your needs change you can ask to be reassessed at any time. To reissue a new card we need to charge a £5 admin fee.

Why should I have to provide evidence?

It’s only appropriate for certain types of provider to ask for evidence – particularly those offering things like free Essential Companion tickets, concessions or discounts which you access remotely i.e. over the phone or internet.

The fact is that people, disabled and non-disabled have in the past exploited some organisations’ reasonable adjustments – this ultimately means that disabled people with genuine needs suffer in the long run.

We ask you for evidence to remove the need for other providers to ask for anything other than your card. For the Access Card to be taken seriously by providers we have to make sure that we are making accurate decisions related to need and impairment and we only do this with enough information backing up the detail that you give in your form.

For guidance on the kind of evidence, we might take into account visit our guidance page

Can I use a letter from my GP as supporting information?

Unfortunately, we are unlikely to take general GP letters as confirmation of access requirements. If you do need to approach your GP or another medical professional for a letter, you need to make sure that it contains the following information:

  • Diagnosis and prognosis
  • Detail of how your condition affects you
    • Our decision making is based on the impact your conditions have on your access requirements and it can be very difficult to ascertain this based on diagnosis alone
  • The letter should explicitly state the nature of your access requirements, for example, you are unable to queue or have a significant mobility need and cannot self mobilise more than 50 metres

The letter must be dated within the last 6 months and will not be accepted without being stamped with the surgery’s stamp. A letterhead alone will not be sufficient to process your application. If you are able to ask your surgery to email us a digital copy directly this will be fine.

If you would like us to provide you with a form to use for them to complete please let us know

We’re sorry for this extra layer but we are aware that GP letters are incredibly easy to fabricate and the impact is that services for disabled people such as Ride Access Passes are being overloaded so want to ensure that we are protecting these valuable services for those that need them the most.

Are there age limits to the card?

We just have to see that you have an impairment that results in needs in line with the Equality Act. This is just as relevant for children as it is for adults. Provider policies on things like free tickets may vary on age though.

For children, and young children especially; the +1 can only be considered where the needs are outside of the range of what can be expected of parental responsibility – even if this means that your child needs more support or supervision than another child of similar age.

The decision to add +1 is not based on care needs, but on the disadvantage imposed by charging additional fees for a carer to attend. At events where you would be attending with your child as part of the family group you will be charged as a fee-paying parent just like all other family groups enjoying an event.

The +1 can only be considered where the support you require results in the cost of a carer ticket being an unreasonable barrier to your being able to attend.

Remember – this is not about whether your child needs care and support but whether the cost of a ticket for the person providing that care and support should be waived as a reasonable adjustment.

For older people;  you may not think of yourself as a ‘disabled person’ but may have medical conditions that still have an impact on you.

Who makes a decision on my card?

The scheme is run by Nimbus Disability Consultancy. Nimbus is an organisation of disabled people which specialises in the legislation behind The Equality Act and other legislation like Welfare Benefits.

Do Cinemas accept the Access Card?

The ODEON Cinema chain have confirmed that Access Cards can be used when booking in person.

We cannot currently guarantee that other high street Cinema chains will accept your Access Card.

We have had conversations with a number of local branches of the big name retailers, some have said they will accept any form of supporting information, others have said that free companion tickets will only be released to holders of a CEA Card.

There has been a mixed experience of Card Holders to date – some have had their requests for an essential companion met whilst others with perfectly obvious impairments have been refused adjustments because they did not present a CEA Card

We have also approached the Cinema Exhibitors Association themselves for guidance about the validity of our Scheme to access free companion tickets and are still awaiting a response.

In the meantime this is guidance taken from the Cinema Exhibitors Association webpage  about their own card scheme and presenting evidence to obtain a free companion ticket:

You don’t need to have a CEA Card for a reasonable adjustment to be made and cinemas still have to make reasonable adjustments. If you require an adjustment to visit a cinema because of your disability, the CEA’s policy is cinema staff should make them for you.”

Unless you see a cinema listed explicitly on our map it would be best to seek guidance from your particular chain before visiting. Remember that The Access Card denotes the support that you need in line with the Equality Act and does not need to be explicitly linked to a provider’s own policies. If you would like us to have a conversation with a particular cinema on your behalf please let us know.

Further guidance, issued directly to cinemas now states;

Where a disabled person requires this level of assistance and is not a CEA Card holder, the Association policy is that the companion should still be allowed a complimentary seat. Cinema staff should be briefed to make sure they understand that the CEA Card is not a pre-requisite for a complimentary seat for a companion of a disabled customer needing assistance. Where such customers do not hold a CEA Card, staff should be briefed and be aware of how they should address the issues which might arise. If they think it would be useful and appropriate, staff can highlight the advantages of having a CEA Card and offer customers an application form which all Association members should hold in the box office. Staff should be careful, however, not to indicate this is the only way a disabled person who might need ‘personal’ assistance can receive it.”

Will I have to be reassessed when my card is renewed?

All cards will be renewed at least every 3 years but we may make decisions about reassessment on a different timescale. A good example would be if you submit evidence that very clearly states that you have a permanent impairment that will not vary for the rest of your life then we will not reassess you.

If you have a temporary impairment we may decide that your award will only last 1 year. In this case there is no additional charge for reassessments falling within the 3 year period.

How do I get my business listed on the site

Basic listings are free as long as you are able to submit an offer or something of benefit to Access Card holders. You can also be flagged as a CredAble Provider and there are different options available. Visit www.nimbusdisability.com/quality-mark for more information or give us a call on 01332 404023.

I ordered my card weeks ago and still don't have it?

We typically post out all cards within a week of receiving all of the information we need from you. All deliveries are Royal Mail 2nd Class and as with any domestic postage there is sometimes a margin of error in deliveries.

If you would like your Access Card sent quicker than Royal Mail 2nd Class, you can upgrade the postage for a small fee. Please see your confirmation email for more details.

If you’ve not received your card within 1 week of receiving your confirmation email you need to make sure that you get in touch with us as soon as possible.

If you need your card in a hurry for a booking we can give you your card number straight away and this is usable in a number of venues without the card itself.

Can I get a refund?

If at any point we can’t make a deicsion on your entitlement to an Access Card you can withdraw your application and receive a full refund if made within a reasonable time frame of your initial application.

If your card has been printed and posted and you change you mind we’re afraid we are only able to offer a partial refund which covers the cost of printing the card. This applies to all products that are bespoke or personalised and cannot be resold.