It should be no secret by now that having a disability is expensive. There’s extra equipment disabled people need to be independent, and that gets pricey. My family and I joke that I didn’t come with batteries, because I need a wheelchair to get around. In addition to hardware, disabled people often employ Personal Care Attendants (PCAs), take extra medications, and have to modify their living spaces. However, disability doesn’t stop someone from wanting to have fun. But a lot of times, fun costs money. With all these extra expenses coupled with the fact that disabled people might be low-income, how can we save money on leisure activities? The UK has a lot of discounts for people with disabilities, you just have to know where to look.
It’s no secret that going to the cinema is expensive. Tickets alone can cost an arm and a leg, not to mention the snacks! Did you know that disabled people can get an extra ticket for a PCA or friend when they go? The CEA card allows for a disabled individual to bring one companion to assist them with getting tickets, snacks, or any other help they might need. You can apply for the CEA Card here.
If the cinema isn’t your style and you prefer live productions, you’re in luck! Lots of theaters have discounts for disabled people, and sometimes offer free tickets for carers. Unfortunately, unlike the cinema, there isn’t a specific card to sign up for, so you’ll have to do the research yourself. Just know that these discounts are common and it doesn’t hurt to ask!
National Trust and English Heritage Properties
Sightseeing can also be expensive. There’s so much history in the UK but paying for tours and entry adds up quickly. For these two kinds of leisure outings, you can get a special card allowing for the entrance of a carer. The disabled person doesn’t get a discount themself, but allowing for a carer to get in free is still a fantastic deal. You can apply for a National Trust card here and a Heritage Property card here.
Something as simple as your local public library also has money-saving discounts for disabled people. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “how do you save money at a library, which is free?” Well, I’ll tell you! Though each library is different, some offer fee forgiveness for late and overdue books, free computer access, and free use of audio and visual materials. Each library is different, so don’t go in expecting all of these, but some do offer them.
Football matches can get expensive quickly. Prices vary based on where you want to sit (or are able to sit if you require accessible seating), or even what teams are playing. Like lots of the other activities, there isn’t a special card to get for specific discounts as each stadium handles it differently. Just know that you might be entitled to discounted prices or free seating for a PCA.
I am a firm believer that it doesn’t hurt to ask. Do you want to go to the zoo? Call ahead and see if they have a disability discount. Is there an exhibit at an art museum you’ve always wanted to go to? See if their website says anything about people with disabilities bringing a carer! You may need to plan ahead a little bit, but if that means saving some money on your leisure activities, I think it’s worth it in the end. So go, have fun! Get your discounts!