i have ms #speakup

MS Awareness Week – 19th April – 25th April 2021

More than 130,000 people in the UK have MS. In the UK people are most likely to find out they have MS in their thirties, forties, and fifties. But the first signs of MS often start years earlier. – MS Society

MS Awareness Week 2021: a week solely dedicated to raising as much awareness about Multiple Sclerosis. During this year’s campaign, people living with the condition are encouraged to talk about their experiences of living with the condition, particularly over the last 12 months during the Covid-19 pandemic to stress the importance of MS services.

MS and the Access Card

Here at The Access Card, we support many cardholders to help them discreetly communicate the barriers they might face when out and about or visiting shows, events or tourist destinations and have provided some more information about some of the typical access requirements we have processed.

Everyone is different and experiences their needs in different ways, but here are some examples based on our experience.

Standing & Queuing

black silhouettes of 3 people standing in a diagonal row

Whether you have difficulty with physically being in a queue for a significant period of time, difficulty with the concept of queuing, or have difficulty with being in a queue/ crowded spaces, the ‘Standing & Queuing’ symbol can be added to your Access Card to help communicate this access requirement. 

Different providers have different systems in place to facilitate this access requirement.

thorpe park logo

For example, Access Card Holders who have the ‘Standing and Queuing’ symbol on their card can apply for a Ride Access Pass with Thorpe Park.

What is a Ride Access Pass?

A Ride Access Pass (RAP) is a virtual queuing system designed to make reasonable adjustments to assist guests who do not understand the concept of queuing, have a physical disability that prevents them from standing for extended periods of time, or permanently non-ambulant guests.

wheelchair symbol and ramp

Level Access

The ‘Level Access’ symbol is not just available to wheelchair users, but also to people who find accessing stairs impossible or require additional space in order to feel more comfortable in a venue’s environment.

Different providers have different systems in place to facilitate this access requirement.

Rize Festival logo

For example, Rize Festival offers a wheelchair-accessible viewing platform and accessible camping facilitiesCharging points for wheelchairs are available at many of the viewing platforms.


Urgent Access to Toilets

If you require urgent access to the toilet because of your health condition, e.g. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or incontinence, we have the ‘WC’ symbol. This symbol discreetly communicates this access requirement with different providers.

Urgent access to the toilet is a different access requirement to a general need to use an accessible toilet and therefore the ‘WC’ symbol cannot be awarded for the latter. If you would like more information about this, please speak to a member of our team.

Long Distances

black silhouette of man walking < 50m with black border

For people who would perhaps have difficulty with walking/ self-propelling a wheelchair for longer distances, we have the ‘distances’ symbol to communicate this access requirement with different providers. 

Different providers have their own ways of accommodating this access requirement.

For example, the Port Eliot Festival offers a designated accessibility buggy to help you around the site, it will be based in the accessible carpark on Thursday and Friday but can be contacted via the info point on the HAHA and the Bowling green. Accessible parking is also available. For more information, please visit the festival’s website.

Essential Companions

+1 in bold black text with a square black border around

For those that require a substantial amount of support from another person (e.g. accessing visual or audible information, or carrying food & drink), we have the ‘+1’ symbol, which indicates to providers that you require a substantial amount of support from another person in order to access a venue’s facilities. 

This symbol is widely acknowledged by our providers as an automatic entitlement to free tickets/entry for people providing you with support during your visit.

legoland windsor resort logo

Different providers have different systems in place to facilitate this access requirement.

For example, Legoland Windsor Resort offers a free essential companion ticket to Access Card Holders who have a ‘+1’ symbol on their card.

Face Mask Exemptions

outline of a facemask

More recently, throughout COVID, we have had a number of people whose needs mean that they are either unable to put on, wear or remove a face covering, or that they can feel distressed when wearing a face covering and as a response to feedback from our members we now have an additional face mask symbol for those that need it.

There are a number of face mask exemption cards and certificates available in the UK, but we are the only face mask exemption card that offers verification of your exemption.

Thinking of applying for a Card?

If you think the above would be useful for you and would like to apply for your Access Card you can do so quickly and easily by completing our short online application form and uploading some supporting information confirming your needs.

All applications received from people with MS during MS Awareness Week 2021 can use the discount code ‘MSWeek21’ to get £5 off a three-year Access Card.

access card

Further Sources of Information, Advice, and Support

Check out our full directory for how these symbols apply at over 1,000 venues in the UK and beyond.

MS Society

“Whether you have MS, or care about someone who does, our community is here for you through the highs, lows and everything in between.

We understand what life’s like with MS. And we know together we are stronger. We’re researching, writing, campaigning and fighting. Running, walking, caring and talking.

Together, we are strong enough to stop MS.”

MS Society

Tel: 0808 800 8000

Web: www.mssociety.org.uk/ 

Email: helpline@mssociety.org.uk 


“MS-UK is a national charity formed in 1993. We are here for people affected by multiple sclerosis. MS-UK is here for anyone affected by multiple sclerosis, to empower them to live healthier and happier lives by improving the understanding of MS and providing support where it is needed most.”


Tel: 0800 783 0518

Web: www.ms-uk.org/