Accessibility

Everyone is welcome at Dorset Museum.

Our teams are here to offer support and resources and help you make the most of your visit.

Enabling more people to enjoy our wonderful Museum has been at the heart of the recent transformation of our building. We are committed to making our events, learning, and outreach programmes as accessible as possible too.

For extra support, we offer free admission for a companion accompanying disabled visitors. And, we always welcome your feedback on what we could do better. If you need any extra help, please ask our Welcome Team.

Planning Your Visit

Here is some access information to help you plan. If you need other information or assistance at the Museum, please get in touch before you visit.

Assistance animals are welcome

If they need a water bowl, just ask our Welcome Team.

Mobility scooters are welcome

If you need to store or charge your scooter during your visit, please ask our Welcome Team. There is storage and recharging for up to two mobility scooters or other mobility equipment. Please be aware spaces are limited.

Extra preparation

Visual story with pictures of the Museum and information about what to expect is available to download

Getting here

Find out how to get to the Museum by car, bicycle, bus or train. If you are visiting by car also information on accessible spaces at a number of Dorchester car parks.

For more travel information

We're here to help

Do you need extra support on your visit?
Just let us know in advance
01305 262735

Welcome

 

Entrance

There is step-free access at the main entrance on High West Street.

Welcome area and Welcome Team

Just inside the entrance, turn [first] left to reach the Welcome area.

Our Welcome Team there will greet you. They are all trained to be aware of a range of access needs. If you need extra help during your visit, please let them know.

The Welcome area includes the Welcome Desk, buggy and mobility vehicle parking, lockers, toilets, and our Shop. There is a fixed induction loop for sound enhancement at the Welcome Desk.

Emergency Evacuation

If you need help leaving the building in an emergency, please let the Welcome Team know when you arrive. Our staff are trained to provide assistance. There are fire refuge points and evacuation chairs on all floors.

Buggy, Locker and Mobility Scooter Park

Find these spaces behind the Welcome Desk. Some of the lockers are wheelchair accessible.

Guidebook

Our informative guidebook is available to buy in the Museum Shop.

Please ask to borrow these at our Welcome Desk:

  • Braille guide to exploring the Museum through tactile plans and images
  • Sensory backpacks to engage and calm young visitors
  • Children’s trails to add extra fun, exploration and enjoyment for family visits
  • Portable fold-up seats for those who need a rest along the way
  • Manual wheelchair please book this in advance, by emailing [email protected]
  • Hand-held magnifying glasses for a close-up look at exhibits
  • Ear defenders for adults and children who like things peaceful

Getting Around the Museum

 

The Museum has a historic late 19th-century building and a new extension. There is clear signage throughout, and an orientation map in the Atrium.

 

• Step-free access to all areas apart from the mezzanine floor of the Victorian Hall.
• One 13 person passenger lift to all areas apart from the Library – internal dimensions 1100 x 2100mm.
• Platform lift to the Library, with space for one wheelchair 1100 x 1400mm.
• Stairs to all areas have handrails on both sides of the staircase.
• Seating in each gallery, some with armrests and backrests.
• Floor surfaces are firm and level.
• There are lower light levels in some galleries to protect light-sensitive objects.

 

Download a Museum map

Facilities, Resources and Services

Disabled Toilets

Gendered Toilets Ground Floor
Changing Places Toilet
Ground Floor
Baby Changing FacilitiesGround Floor
CaféGround Floor
The Story SpaceFirst Floor
Calm SpaceSecond Floor
Unisex Accessible Toilets Ground, First and Second Floors

Changing Places Toilet

Access to the Changing Places toilet does not require a radar key. You do not need to buy a Museum ticket to use the Changing Places toilet.

Baby Changing Facilities

There is a separate baby change facility on the Ground Floor. All of our accessible toilets also a baby change facility.

Café

The café offers vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. There is a fixed induction loop at the café counter. The mixture of seating includes some with backrests and armrests. High chairs are available for babies.

Calm Space

Provided for those who may need some time out during their visit. Please ask our Welcome Team if you’d like to use our Calm Space.

The Story Space

This space is on the First Floor is a quieter space within the galleries.

 

Extra Help and Resources

 

Large Print Guides and Audio Transcripts

Pick these up in our four main galleries.

Enhanced Sound

Fixed induction loops are at Welcome Desk, John White Learning Centre, Café and Library.

Subtitles and British Sign Language (BSL)

All films in the main galleries have subtitles – some include British Sign Language.

Touch Objects

Find these in the Natural Dorset, Hardy’s Dorset and People’s Dorset galleries. Each has a braille caption.

Learning and Educational Facilities

If you are planning a school visit, please let our Learning Team know if any pupils have additional access requirements. The John White Learning Centre has an accessible toilet and induction loop.

Find out more about school visits

 

Events

Our events programme includes guided tours, object talks, lectures and art and craft activities. We work to make the whole programme as accessible and inclusive as possible.

Looking ahead, we’re planning a series of accessible events such as quiet mornings and evenings, BSL tours, touch tours and audio-described tours. Let us know if you are interested and we’ll keep up you updated.

If you have a particular request for a type of accessible tour or event please contact us in advance and we will be happy to discuss this with you.

 

After Your Visit

Do you have any feedback that could help us improve accessibility?

Contact Us

Our Inclusion Consultative Group works with the Museum to keep improving accessibility for visitors. If you would like to express an interest in being involved

Contact Us

 

Access and Equal Opportunities Policy
For more information

Volunteering

Are you interested in volunteering opportunities?

Our volunteers help make great things happen at Dorset Museum every day. Why not become a part of it all by sharing your expertise and enthusiasm with us?