One of the great things about escape rooms is that they are team games and teams are made up of individuals and each individual brings their own set of skills and attributes. Some people are naturally very observant of their surroundings and are great at finding things. Others might be good with numbers; some people think logically and others can spot more creative ways to solve problems. Everyone can bring something to the team, but many individuals have needs that if not catered for can prevent them from contributing fully to the team.
Our Answer: Many escape rooms in the UK (including the Escape Key) are located on upper floors of buildings often above shops. Without lifts, this unfortunately often makes them inaccessible to wheelchair users. Many escape rooms will address wheelchair accessibility on their FAQ page. Check with the venue before booking.
At the Escape Key, all of our introduction films tell the story and set the objective of the game. To help be more accessible to those whose English isn’t their primary language we have subtitled versions which we find really helps players understand the story and objective.
Our plan is to have our films signed in Makaton to make them even more inclusive. In the game itself, hints can be sent to a small printer and a screen making it easier for players to understand the hint rather than relying on hearing it while others are talking and music is playing. Over the years, we have employed Game Masters with a variety of languages who have been able to support players by delivering hints in Ukrainian, French, Polish, Romanian, Spanish, Gujerati and Arabic.
Recently, we gave a mother and her autistic son a walk through of the game before playing so that he was reassured ‘nothing bad’ was going to happen when he was playing. Little things like putting some reading glasses in the game or a chair for an elderly player to rest on can make a big difference to a person’s enjoyment.
So, if you have any particular needs it’s a great idea to contact the venue ahead of your game. A good escape room will try to find solutions to enable everyone to participate and have a great experience.