Accessibility Information

This page provides information on accessibility arrangements and facilities at Parliament Buildings to help you to plan your visit.

For information on how to make this webpage more accessible, for example, by changing font size, please click here.


Getting here

Parliament Buildings is the home of the Northern Ireland Assembly and is situated in the Stormont Estate. Information about how to get to Parliament Buildings by car, bus and taxi is available here.


Parking

Visitors at Parliament Buildings can use the main car park, which is free of charge.  Directions to the car park are available here.


Disability parking

A number of parking spaces for blue badge holders are available in the upper car park at Parliament Buildings. To arrange parking, please contact our Usher Services office before your visit:
Telephone: 028 9052 1900
Email: usherservicesdl@niassembly.gov.uk


Security check

All visitors to Parliament Buildings must go through a security check.  You will pass through the main search facility on your way to Parliament Buildings from the main car park.  Visitors using the disability parking bays (located in the upper car park) will go through a security check when entering the building.  


Wheelchair access

Parliament Buildings is accessible by wheelchairWheelchair access is via the ramps at the front entrance to Parliament Buildings, and ramps at the east and west doors. The Public Gallery of the Assembly Chamber has a viewing gallery with space for up to three wheelchair users. There are also spaces for wheelchairs in the gallery areas of Committee rooms. Wheelchairs are available at the east and west receptions.

Please note that work is currently under way to upgrade the entrance to the Great Hall in Parliament Buildings. Wheelchair access at the front entrance will be via a temporary ramp until this work is completed in early 2017.


Visitors with a visual impairment

A Braille tour guide is availableA Braille tour guide is available, which includes a tactile map of the entrance, Great Hall, and the Assembly and Senate Chambers. A copy of the Braille guide can be borrowed from reception, and our Events team and Education Officers also hold copies.

Parliament Buildings welcomes assistance dogs in the BuildingThe Assembly welcomes assistance dogs in the Building. Water bowls are available from the reception desk.


Access video

We have created a video showing how to get to Parliament Buildings, what the security check involves and what to expect during your visit. This video was created for visitors on the autism spectrum, but others wishing to plan their visit may find it useful, too.

A subtitled version of the video is also available.
A printable version of the information contained in the video is available to download.


Visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing

Louder than words logoThe Assembly has been awarded the Action on Hearing Loss ‘Louder than Words’ charter mark, an accreditation which recognises organisations that are striving to offer excellent levels of service and accessibility for customers and employees who are deaf or have a hearing loss.

The ‘Louder than Words’ standards are available here.

Parliament Buildings has a hearing loop systemA hearing loop system has been installed in all Committee rooms, function rooms and the Chamber, and portable loops are available at the main reception desk and at the east and west door receptions.

A Hearing Helper radio system is available for people who are hard of hearing or large groups, and a signed tour in British and Irish sign language is also available. Visitors taking the tour can also request a sign language interpreter. The Events Office will need to know about this before your visit, so please contact staff by telephone on 028 905 21802 or email events.office@niassembly.gov.uk


Visitors with autism

Parliament Buildings is autism-friendly

In 2012, the Assembly was awarded an Autism Access Award by the National Autistic Society for its work to make Parliament Buildings autism-friendly. The guidelines for achieving the Autism Friendly Award are available here.
The Assembly has 11 trained autism champions who are available to help visitors during their visit. More details are available here.

A quiet room is located behind the reception desk, and more information on the sights, sounds and smells that people may encounter during their visit is available here.

For further information on autism and the Assembly, please click here.


Public tours

Free tours of Parliament Buildings are available throughout the year. Information about our tours, including times, is available here

Tours generally last about 45 minutes, and all tours are fully accessible for wheelchair users and people with assistance dogs. A Braille tour script is available at reception.

A Hearing Helper radio system is available for people who are hard of hearing or large groups, and a signed tour in British and Irish sign language is also available. Visitors taking the tour can also request a sign language interpreter. The Events Office will need to know about this before your visit, so please contact staff by telephone on 028 905 21802 or email events.office@niassembly.gov.uk


Events and functions

If you are attending an event or function at Parliament Buildings and have questions about accessibility arrangements, please contact our Events team on (028) 9052 1802 or email events.office@niassembly.gov.uk


Education Service

If you have arranged your visit through the Education Service, you can contact one of our Education Officers to discuss your accessibility needs. When you arrive at Parliament Buildings one of our Education Officers will come to meet you. The Education Officers can be contacted by email or telephone and our website has some useful information for visitors.

Telephone: 028 9052 1833
Email: education.service@niassembly.gov.uk
Website: http://education.niassembly.gov.uk/


Accessible toilets

Accessible toilets are available throughout the building.  Staff will show you where they are.


Changing Places toilet

Parliament Buildings has a changing Places toilet on the ground floorThere is a Changing Places toilet on the ground floor. Changing Places toilets are different to standard accessible toilets as they have extra features and more space.

Features in this toilet include a height-adjustable adult-sized changing bench; a tracking hoist system; and adequate space for the disabled person and up to two carers.


Refreshments

The ‘Speaker’s Corner’ coffee shop is located on the ground floor and is fully accessible. A member of staff will show you where it is.


Busy and quiet periods

The building can be very busy and noisy, especially on Mondays and Tuesdays, which are the days when the Assembly sits. Committees usually meet on Wednesdays and Thursdays, with Fridays generally being the quietest day of the week, although this will depend on what exhibitions and events are on.

You can check our business diary to see what meetings and sittings are on at the Assembly.

On sitting days in particular, the car park may fill up quickly, so visitors may be asked to park elsewhere, for example, on Prince of Wales Avenue. Please allow additional time to get to and from your car on sitting days. Parking for blue badge holders should always be arranged in advance – contact details are in the ‘Disability Parking’ section at the top of the page.

The Assembly is quieter during recess periods. There are four recess periods a year: Easter, Summer, Halloween and Christmas. Recess dates can be found here.


Inclusive Customer Service Policy

This policy provides more detailed information on accessibility arrangements at Parliament Buildings, including information for witnesses giving evidence at Committees, as well as information on accessible formats. Further information on the policy is available here.


Additional help

If you have questions about any other aspect of your visit, or you wish to send us some feedback on your visit, please contact the Communications Office:
Telephone: 028 9052 1137 (line available between the hours of 10am and 4pm)
Email: info@niassembly.gov.uk
Textphone: 028 9052 1209

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