Access Statement

This statement provides an overview of the Gallery's policies regarding access to the collection and the Gallery, including our commitment to equal opportunities in employment.

1. Statement of general principles

The National Gallery is committed to the widest possible access to the national collection of paintings in the Western European tradition to around 1900, which it houses, conserves and displays. The paintings are held for everyone regardless of education, income, residence, or personal circumstances.

The Gallery's aim is to make physical access to the collection as easy as possible for all; to enable everyone as far as possible to have access to scholarship and information about the collection; and to allow everyone to enjoy and study the collection in as many ways as possible.

As a service provider and equal opportunities employer, the Gallery aims to comply with the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and with the amendments made since. Progress is monitored by an in-house group, the Access Group, set up for the purpose.

2. Access to the Collection/Gallery

Physical access

The Gallery seeks to provide all visitors with equal access to the building, making alternative provision where necessary, within the constraints of a Grade One Listed Building. It ensures that current and future building projects provide appropriate physical access for all visitors. Expert advice is sought wherever necessary.

Learning about the Collection

The Gallery encourages and enables the widest possible audience to study the collection. It seeks ways to improve and extend access to information and scholarly research. The Gallery continues to consult people with disabilities, specialist organisations, and other museums and galleries, on the best and most practical ways of improving intellectual access.

Safety in the building

The Gallery takes account of the needs of visitors with disabilities in all safety procedures. It is the policy of the Gallery to enable all occupants of the building to be evacuated at the same time in an emergency.

The Gallery also provides all fire marshals, uniformed staff, and staff trained in first-aid with training in the evacuation of people with disabilities and other emergency procedures.

Information and signage

The Gallery strives to provide information in forms that are accessible to all visitors and to cater for most needs. We offer information in alternative formats and review this regularly. Signage is designed and situated to be as legible as possible.

The Gallery undertakes to review regularly its methods of communication and to adopt best practice in this area, in consultation with specialist organisations.

3. Employment and training

The Gallery aims to ensure that its employment practices do not discriminate against people with disabilities and maintains a system for monitoring and reviewing procedures.

The Gallery aims to provide disability awareness training for all staff and consults specialist organisations and other experts on ways to improve training in this area.

The National Gallery Access Group meets regularly to discuss improvements to the Gallery's provision and to agree upon recommendations for further action. Recommendations from the Group are approved by and implemented through the Management Committee, and, where appropriate, by the Trustees.

A copy of the statement is available to all members of the public on request. Comments, complaints, or suggestions should be addressed to:

The Information Department
The National Gallery
Trafalgar Square

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