Fancy going to the cinema, getting an audiobook subscription or taking a short holiday?
All disabled people should have the option to enrich their lives with arts, culture and leisure activities.
This page offers information about organisations and schemes that make it easier for disabled people to access leisure activities all around the UK. Find out how to get discounted theatre tickets, autism-friendly cinema screenings and more.
On this page:
- Going to the cinema or theatre as a disabled person
- Books for disabled people
- Accessible holidays, short breaks and days out
Going to the cinema or theatre as a disabled person
Autism-friendly cinema screenings
Dimensions list autism-friendly cinema screenings from ODEON, Cineworld, Vue, Showcase and Everyman cinemas all over the UK. These have quieter sound, low lighting and other adjustments.
UK Cinema Association
The Cinema Exhibitors Association (CEA) Card is a national scheme developed for UK cinemas by the UK Cinema Association (UKCA).
The CEA Card enables a disabled cinema guest to receive a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them when they visit a participating cinema.
Hynt is an access card scheme at theatres and arts venues across Wales. If you have a Hynt card, you can get a free ticket for your carer or personal assistant to any performance you’d like to go to at a participating centre.
How to book access tickets
“Access tickets” are tickets for patrons who might have additional needs, like an extra seat for a personal carer, or some extra space.
Head to the blog Life of Pippa for detailed and step-by-step advice on booking theatre tickets for disabled people and carers.
Books for disabled people
Calibre audio library
Provides subscription-free unabridged audio books for adults and children with sight problems, dyslexia and other disabilities.
It has more than 9,000 books available to stream or on MP3 CD or USB memory stick.
It has over 13,000 titles, including fiction and non-fiction tactile picture books.
ClearVision membership is:
- Free to families.
- £50 for an annual subscription for organisations and schools.
Amazon announces a daily Kindle book deal at a discounted price, from midnight until 11.59pm on the same day.
You can subscribe to receive a daily email to make sure you don’t miss out.
You can also get free books, including popular classics.
Find out more:
Planet eBook is the home of free classic literature.
The latest version of the site, with its mobile-friendly design and multi-format eBooks, attempts to make its collection of eBooks available on all devices.
A library of more than 60,000 free eBooks, with the focus on older works for which US copyright has expired.
Library concessions and free eBooks and eAudiobooks
It is free to join your local library and to borrow books.
You can also download free eBooks and eAudiobooks using an app like BorrowBox.
Don’t forget, there are charges for additional services and late returns of books you borrow from the library.
There are usually concessions for disabled users:
- Reduced (sometimes free) library charges for computer access.
- Audio and visual material.
- Late returns/overdue books.
- Book reservations.
Some areas also operate a free home delivery service if you are housebound, have a disability or care for someone at home.
Concessions, eligibility requirements and services vary between local authorities.
You may need to provide evidence of disability or benefits you get.
A free library of tactile and audio books for blind and partially sighted people.
It operates a free postal library of “touch to see” books with titles for children and adults.
It also lends to schools, health organisations and care homes.
RNIB runs a Talking Books service. Books are available by digital download and on CD and USB stick.
For a reasonable subscription fee, you can have a book CD delivered to your home.
You can order six books at a time and as many as you want throughout the year.
If you use the service regularly over the course of a year, it’s a lot cheaper than buying audio CDs.
Accessible holidays, short breaks and days out
Sense Holidays are accessible holidays for people with complex disabilities.
We’ve been running these fully-supported holidays for over 50 years. They are unforgettable UK-based breaks, for children and adults of all ages.
Sense Short Breaks
Here at Sense, we offer Short Breaks and days out for disabled people.
Whether you want to try a day out ice skating, or play some games with a local drama group, we put your wishes first.
Living Made Easy
Advice and tips on wide-ranging leisure and play activities for people with disabilities. Living Made Easy was previously known as the Disabled Living Foundation.
Local authority leisure discount schemes
Most local authorities have a leisure pass scheme offering discounts on bookings and price reductions to local residents.
These can have different names, such as Leisure Passes, Passport to Leisure or Access to Leisure.
There is usually a small cost, depending on your individual circumstances.
To find out more about your local authority’s leisure discount scheme, visit their website.
The UK’s leading discount card for families of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and looked after children.
You can use your Max Card at venues across the UK to get free or discounted admission.
Through Phab’s 130 clubs across England and Wales, children with disabilities and those without, young people and adults can get together with friends and family for all kinds of activities and social events, including fully accessible holidays.
Offers a wide and varied range of activities designed to let you socialise, make new friends, have fun and keep active, all in a safe environment with skilled and trained staff.
Tourism For All
One-stop shop for accessible tourism across the UK, whether you want a relaxing hotel break, an exciting day trip or just a change of scenery.
The 3H Foundation
Every year The 3H Foundation runs a grant programme to assist people with disabilities and their families on a low income to organise a UK holiday for themselves.
This content was last reviewed in July 2023. We’ll review it again next year.