Ashmolean Museum

stairs

Stairs

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The stairs on the right hand side of the building entrance have contrasting tactile nosings on the first few steps, and a handrail on the right hand side (ascending), while other staircases have a handrail on both sides and contrasting tactile nosings.

As with the lifts, different staircases lead to different galleries, and are colour coded for ease of reference.  The blue staircase is the main atrium staircase, and links all floors; this is the most direct way to reach the restaurant and exhibition spaces.  The pink staircase covers all floors except Level 4.  Information on where different staircases lead is clearly displayed at the top and bottom of the stairs.

The steps up to the cast gallery have handrails at regular intervals along their width, and contrasting tactile nosings.

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doors

Doors

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The majority of doors around the museum are held open on magnets. There are a small number of automatic powered doors. Staff are on hand throughout the museum and will be happy to help if visitors need assistance with any of the doors.  

Access to the special exhibition space is through manual doors. Staff are always on hand to help if needed. 

Access to the lecture theatre is through large double doors which will be held open when an event is taking place. 

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seminar room

Education Centre

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This is located on Level -1.  To get there, enter the museum through the St Giles entrance, and report to the security desk on the left hand side.  There are two teaching rooms in the education centre, both of which are fully accessible and to the same specification, although one is slightly larger than the other, and the smaller one has a television screen available.  Both have moveable tables and chairs (some with low backs), as well as hearing support systems.  The tables are a reasonable height for adult wheelchair users, and all doors are a suitable width. 

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lecture theatre

Lecture Theatre

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This is located on Level -1, next to the Café.  To get there, take the yellow lift, and the lecture theatre will be on the far side of the foyer.  There are moveable chairs, the AV is reachable from a wheelchair, and there is an induction loop fitted.  Lighting levels are good, and there is plenty of space to move around. 

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Galleries

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All of the gallery spaces are fully accessible for people who require level access.  There is plenty of space between cases and around the edges of the galleries.  Each area of the museum usually consists of a large ‘orientation gallery’, which further galleries grouped around it which explore the subject in more detail.

Most of the items are shown on shelves in large vertical cases, although some of the items are displayed on tables, which may be difficult for wheelchair users to see unless they get close.

The size of the information text available varies.  There is large print information available on the walls of the orientation and art galleries, and medium sized printed information next to special exhibition pieces.  Text inside the cases themselves can be small.

Light levels are good, but be aware that the need to preserve materials means that some galleries have low ambient lighting.

Almost all of the galleries have seating for visitors, although not all benches will have backrests.

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Exhibition Spaces

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The exhibition galleries are located on the third floor.  To get there; take the blue lift or stairs.   There is plenty of space to circulate in the galleries, but be aware that it can be busy at peak times.   Items are displayed in a number of ways, and there is an information card beside each piece with medium-sized text.  There are benches available for visitors to sit on, although not all will have back and armrests

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Cast Gallery

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The cast gallery is accessed via a platform lift from Level 0.  To get there, enter the museum and go past the information desk and through galleries 10 and 12.  Once you reach gallery 13 ‘Rome’, the steps to the cast gallery are at the back.  These have contrasting and tactile nosings, and handrails at intervals along their width.  Go through the automatic doors at the top of the steps to reach the cast gallery.  If you require level access, there is a platform lift at the left hand side of the stairs.  This has a powered door at the bottom, but a manual door at the top.  Once inside the Cast Gallery, there is plenty of space to move around.  There are information boards on the walls and by some exhibits, but the text is on the small side.

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gift shop

Gift Shop

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There are two shops in the museum, the main shop and the exhibition shop.  The exhibition shop is located just outside of the main exhibition spaces.  To get there, take the blue lift or stairs to level 3, and the shop area is on your right hand side as you exit the lift.  The main shop is on level -1.  To get there, exit the yellow lift, and go through the café to the other side.  Once in the cloakroom, turn right to reach the shop.

Both shops are spacious, although the main shop is a little more crowded, and taller shelves may be too high to reach for some.   The exhibition shop counter has a reduced height section, but the main shop counter does not have one. 

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cafe

Cafe

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The café is located on level -1 and serves hot and cold food.  To get there, exit the yellow lift and go around the corner to your left.  As the café is in a basement space, there are pillars at regular intervals, and it can get very busy at peak times.  Furniture consists of a selection of café tables, benches and moveable chairs.  The pedestals of the tables may make it difficult for wheelchair users to reach them properly.  The servery is the height of a standard kitchen worktop, and wheelchair users may not be able to reach all of the items in the chiller cabinet. Café staff are happy to help, and will carry trays of food to tables if needed. 

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Restaurant

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This is located on Level 4.  To get there, take the blue lift up to level 4.  The restaurant will be on your left.  There is a mixture of moveable chairs and fixed benches and the tables are a good height for wheelchair users.  There is plenty of space to move around the restaurant, and there is level access onto the terrace in good weather.

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At a glance

On-site disabled parking spaces 0
Parking nearby (within 200m) Blue Badge
Main entrance Level
Door entry Powered
Direct contact to reception No
Number of floors 5
Accessible toilets 3
Lift to all floors Yes
Hearing support system Yes