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Disabled Movie Bays, etc.

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In South Africa & around the world buildings such as Auditoriums, grandstands, halls & sports stadiums are made wheelchair friendly by adding among other things, Ramps, Elevators and wheelchair platforms big enough, so that wheelchair users can enjoy the event from their wheelchairs & also have a clear view of the stage, field, screen, etc. Buildings where these "platforms" are built , include:

  • Movie Theaters
  • Sports Stadiums
  • Music Concerts, etc

The South African National Standard for Building Regulations

The South African Government through The South African National Standard for Building Regulations  makes laws that insure that these type of buildings are designed & build with these wheelchair bays/platforms & that they meet certain regulations.

Buildings that incorporate halls or auditoriums for public use are obliged to ensure that a reasonable percentage of space is available for people in wheelchairs or other “assistive devices”. (Disabled Bays in Movie Theaters, Sports stadiums & Music Concerts)

Unfortunately many Movie Theaters, Sports Stadiums and Auditoriums in South Africa were not designed and built to accommodate wheelchair users or the elderly, and so do not have adequate Disabled Bays where persons in wheelchairs or other “assistive devices” can sit and enjoy the entertainment. The owners of these buildings, halls and auditoriums may therefore be challenged by the need to find architects and renovators familiar with accessible design issues in order to make them accessible. There are various Organizations and Companies that can assist with Universal Design and Access to make sure that persons with disabilities are not excluded from any events, services, information, communication, products and venues. 

Organizations & Companies That Can Assist With Universal Design & Access

There are now various Organizations and Companies that specialize in Universal Design and Access and can advise you on how to adapt these Disabled Bays for Movie Theaters, Sports Stadiums and Auditoriums, to make sure that persons with disabilities have equal rights and no loss of dignity. The National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA), Bradshaw LeRoux Consulting and Tri Access specialize in Universal Design and Access to make sure that persons with disabilities are not excluded from any events, services, information, communication, products and venues. These Organizations and Companies can assist in different ways including: NCPD Logo

The National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD): believe that this can be prevented by applying Universal Design Principals during the design phase and they therefor offer the following services to assist:

  • Workshops for architects, developers and other building professionals to develop an understanding of universal design and access.
  • Facilitating access audits for new or existing buildings; echo e-access for the natural and communication environment. Audits are followed by a report indicating shortfalls and recommendations.
  • Marketing of facilities that are accessible to persons with disabilities

Contact Fanie Swanepoel or Danie Marais for more information on Tel: +27 11 452 2774 or email them on: or

Read More: ....

The QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA): (QASA) is a non-profit organisation (NPO 000-881) of Quadriplegics and Paraplegics living in South Africa. QASA’s mission is to be an effective “co-ordinating, policy-making and supporting organisation striving to prevent spinal cord injury and to improve the lives of quadriplegics and paraplegics by securing resources to advocate, educate, capacitate, support and mobilise.”QuadPara Association of South Africa

QASA runs a number of Projects and Services and can assist with various issues relating to Universal Design & Access. The National Access Authority (NAA) provides a policing and advisory service for access issues and deals with access complaints and transgressions of the National Building Regulations. By promoting an accessible environment and taking to task, abuse of human rights, this project has ensured more accessible environments and promoted the concept of Universal design.

QASA is sustained by strategic relationships with corporates, social enterprise, the National Lottery Commission and a number of campaigns & events. Some of QASA’s projects generate revenue which services the essential non-revenue generating projects. Click on the link below to find out more about the Universal Design & Access services that they provide, or visit our Organizations - QASA Page to find out more about QASA & the other Projects & Services that they provide. You can also contact them through their website at or read the article below to find out about Accessible Features & the other companies in South Africa that can assist you.

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Tri Access: Tri Access Consultants was founded in 2018 by Igor Rix who, from of a personal encounter, developed a passion for breaking down the barriers to access. This is enabled by providing assessments and audits on legal accessibility compliance pertaining to premises and the built environment and promoting "Good Access is Good Business".
Igor Rix, is an Access Consultant and has studied a Diploma course in Access Consultancy at the Access Institute in Melbourne, Australia and also completed a course in Universal Design: Public Transportation via the Buffalo University, New York.

 “Accessibility is a basic human need and we all have a constitutional right and privilege to participate in all of life’s experiences in some unique way or another and should therefore have barrier free access to enjoy easier, friendlier and healthier environments.” - Igor G. RixTri Access Flyer

Contact Tri Access to do an access audit or review to ensure that your premises are accessible to all. Access Audits involves inspecting the built environment to determine compliance with legislation to enable access that is easier, friendlier & healthier to use by everyone. Our Access Consultants conducts audits & provides solutions when businesses & individuals take a proactive step to become legally compliant or being compelled by law and or society to be compliant.

You can contact Igor Rix on: +2783 703 0707, Email: or visit their web site:

These Organizations and Companies listed above which specialize in Universal Design and Access will follow those standards set by "The National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act" to make sure that persons with disabilities are not excluded from any events, services, information, communication, products and venues.

Regulations for Auditoriums, Grandstands and Halls

4.13 Auditoriums, Grandstands and Halls

4.13.1 Where any building contains one or more auditoriums or halls fitted with fixed seating, floor space accessible to any person in a wheelchair shall be set aside for the accommodation of wheelchairs in such auditoriums or halls. Such space shall

  1. be situated adjacent, or in close proximity, to an exit door and shall be so arranged that a wheelchair will not obstruct any aisle or exit door, and
  2. be of a size sufficient to accommodate
    1. a minimum of one wheelchair where the number of fixed seats for which the auditorium or hall is designed is not more than 50,
    2. a minimum of two wheelchairs where the number of fixed seats for which the auditorium or hall is designed is more than 50 but not more than 400, and
    3. a minimum of three wheelchairs or a number of wheelchairs equal to 0,5 % of the number of fixed seats for which the auditorium or hall is designed, whichever is the greater, where such number of fixed seats is more than 400.

4.13.2 Wheelchair positions shall be distributed evenly throughout the facility. For each wheelchair position a companion seat shall be provided.

4.13.3 Each space accessible to a wheelchair shall be not less than 900 mm × 1,4 m. Such a space shall provide a line of vision of the performance comparable to the full range of seating that is not wheelchair accessible.

4.14 Controls, switches and power points

4.14.1 All security controls and light switches shall be horizontally aligned with door handles and other fixtures and fittings (other than socket outlets) between 900 mm and 1,2 m above the finished floor level.

NOTE 1 The recommended height is 1 000 mm.

NOTE 2 For persons with visual or dexterity impairments, rocker action, or push-pad switches that operate in the vertical plane are preferable as long as they are easy to use. Push buttons of light switches should project clear of the switch plate and have a width of at least 15 mm.

4.14.2 General-purpose socket outlets (power points) shall be fixed at least 500 mm above the finished floor level, 150 mm above the worktop and at least 450 mm from the corners.

4.14.3 Emergency controls and other controls shall show their effective operation so that they include persons with hearing loss. For example, an emergency alarm in a lift shall light up when pressed.

4.15 Warning signals

All emergency warning signals, including those in mechanical circulation installations, shall be both audible and visible.

NOTE 1 Emergency warning signals include smoke detection, fire alarms and evacuation signals.

4.16 Lighting

4.16.1 The minimum illumination levels of lighting shall comply with the requirements of SANS 10400-O and SANS 10389-1.

NOTE Many persons with disabilities, especially elderly persons and persons with visual impairments, require higher levels of artificial lighting and reduced glare. Persons with hearing impairments might also require a higher level of illumination to facilitate lip-reading.

4.16.2 Lighting controlled by passive infrared sensors shall be provided in external circulation areas, internal circulation areas, and bathrooms, where these facilities are used after dark. Where passive infrared sensors cannot be provided, night lights shall be provided.

NOTE Contrasting light and dark colours and levels of luminance should be used to assist persons with visual and intellectual impairments.


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Tri Access
The National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD)
QuadPara Association of South Africa