world as day 8 may 2021

World Ankylosing Spondylitis Day – 8th May 2021

“1 in 200 of the adult population in the UK have axial SpA (AS).” – NASS.

World Ankylosing Spondylitis Day is a day in which people come together to raise awareness around Ankylosing Spondylitis, including the different impacts the condition can have on both mental & physical health.

The National Health Service (NHS):

Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) is a long-term condition in which the spine and other areas of the body become inflamed.”

Symptoms of the condition include:

  • Back pain & stiffness
  • Pain & swelling in other parts of the body
  • Extreme tiredness and fatigue

Ankylosing Spondylitis & 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.

black silhouettes of 3 people standing in a diagonal row

Standing & Queuing

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 their own ways of accommodating this access requirement.

For example, Alton Towers Resort accepts Access Cards with the ‘Standing & Queuing’ symbol as proof for a Ride Access Pass.

alton towers logo

What is a Ride Access Pass?

“A Ride Access Pass 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 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.

slam dunk festival

For example, Slamdunk Festival has accessible viewing platforms available at every stage, with the exception of the smallest ones if space is an issue. Spaces will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. For more information, please visit the festival’s website.


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.

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.

holbeach music and beer festival logo

For example, The Holbeach Music & Beer Festival offers a free accessible shuttle bus service. For more information, please visit the festival’s website.

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

Essential Companions

For those that require a substantial amount of support from another person when out & about, we have the ‘+1’ symbol which indicates to providers that you would need a substantial amount of support to be able to access their facilities.

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

chessington world of adventures resort

For example, Chessington World of Adventures Resort accepts Access Cards with the ‘+1’ symbol as proof for a free essential companion ticket.

6 large black dots

Accessing Visual Information

If you have difficulty with accessing/understanding visual information, for example, written information or signage, the Access Card has a symbol to help communicate this access requirement.

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

ao arena logo

For example, AO Arena offers audio-described performances. Please let the box office know if you would like to book one of these performances.

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 who have Ankylosing Spondylitis during Ankylosing Spondylitis Day 2021 (8th May 2021) can use the discount code ‘ASday21’ 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.

Versus Arthritis

We’re Versus Arthritis. We’ll never stop, until no one has to tolerate living with the pain, fatigue, and isolation of arthritis.

– Versus Arthritis

Tel: 0300 790 0400



National Axial Spondyloarthritis Society (NASS)

For over 40 years we’ve been providing specialist support, advice and the most up-to-date information. We aim to empower everyone with axial spondyloarthritis (axial SpA) including ankylosing spondylitis (AS) to manage their treatment and to stay in control of their lives. We are driven to ensure that health professionals around the country deliver tailored and timely care to every patient, every time.


Tel: 020 8741 1515