Leisure activities and days out for disabled people

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:

A family in the rain with a little boy smiling in the foreground

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.

The Dimensions map can help you find an autism-friendly screening near you.

Find out more about accessibility at ODEON cinemas and accessibility at Vue

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. 

Find out more about the CEA Card.

Hynt (Wales)

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.

Read more about eligibility for the Hynt scheme in Wales.

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.

Find out more about how to book theatre tickets for disabled patrons.

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. 

Visit the Calibre Audio Library.

ClearVision 

Postal lending library providing braille or Moon print and pictures books. 

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. 

Find out more about ClearVision.

E-books 

Amazon 

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 

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. 

Visit Planet eBook.

Project Gutenberg 

A library of more than 60,000 free eBooks, with the focus on older works for which US copyright has expired.

Check out the Project Gutenberg website.

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. 

To find out more, find your local authority.

Living Paintings 

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. 

Find out more about Living Paintings.

Talking Books 

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. 

Find out more about RNIB Talking Books.

Accessible holidays, short breaks and days out

Sense Holidays

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.

Find out more about Sense Holidays.

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.

Learn more about Sense Short Breaks.

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. 

Find out more about Living Made Easy.

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.

Find your local authority.  

Max Card 

The UK’s leading discount card for foster families and families of children with additional needs.  

You can use your Max Card at venues across the UK to get free or discounted admission. 

Check out Max Card.

Phab

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. 

Visit the Phab website.

Supportability (Manchester) 

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. 

Learn more about Supportability.

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. 

Find out more about Tourism For All.

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. 

Find out more about The 3H Foundation.

This content was last reviewed in July 2022. We’ll review it again next year.