Additional Needs and Accessibility
In line with the objectives of the Charity, the South Downs Planetarium strives to be as inclusive as possible. To this end the Planetarium has been constructed to be as fully accessible as possible and our working procedures reflect this aim. Our team of volunteers are also fully aware of the importance of meeting all of our visitors’ needs however diverse those may be.
Access to all show areas, the star dome, Bunker Hall and display areas is either on level ground or has a gentle slope to allow easy access. Within the star dome there are a number of spaces allocated for the placement of wheelchairs. We are aware that there are occasions when some patrons can transfer from their wheelchairs into the reclining seats, and if this is possible a better experience may be had when watching any of our shows.
If patrons have any other needs regarding mobility, please advise us upon booking.
Difficulty in Hearing
All presentations are ‘live’ shows and if any patrons have any difficulty with hearing, they are advised to request a seat near to the presenter. There are occasions when we have been requested that our presenter wears a personal microphone as part of the patron’s hearing aid system, and we are happy to accommodate this; again please advise us in advance of your needs.
We have received visitors who are profoundly deaf and we have sometimes been able to provide a volunteer who is able to use sign language. However, this facility is only available if the volunteer is available. Please be aware that due to the darkness that is essential within the Planetarium, not all of the content of the show can be communicated by this means. Again, advance notice of your requirements is essential.
Education and Learning Needs
We are pleased to state that we have received many visitors from organisations that specifically cater for young people and adults who have additional educational and learning requirements.
In these circumstances we strongly advise that a private booking is made so that we can tailor the content of the entire show to accommodate your needs. In these circumstances our volunteers can focus on and meet your needs as a group so that everyone gets the most out of the visit to the Planetarium. There are many occasions when patrons with additional needs join our public shows. We appreciate that the individual or their carer will know whether a period of time in the dark, moving pictures and the ability to be able to listen to the presenter for an hour is a realistic expectation. We leave this to your judgement, but please feel free to discuss your requirements with us if you have any queries.
General Issues and Booking Advice
If we are made aware of the additional requirements of any of our patrons, we will as far as possible strive to meet those needs, but this may mean reserving seats in the star dome accordingly. If booking on line it is useful to also contact the Planetarium by telephone to discuss your requirements with a member of staff so that we can ensure you have an enjoyable visit. We will discuss how we can best accommodate your needs and also how you can help us to help you.
There are two disabled car parking spaces adjacent to the main entrance of the Planetarium; additional parking spaces can be allocated accordingly if the need arises.
The Planetarium has two easy access toilets, one of which is slightly larger so as to accommodate carers if this is necessary.
Carers (one per visitor) can be admitted to shows at a discounted ‘child rate’, but please advise us when making your booking.
Booking a Private Visit
If you have a larger group of people it may be worth considering booking a private visit (we frequently receive such private bookings). There is a minimum charge but we will tailor the entire visit to suit your requirements. Please call us to discuss.
We always welcome receiving feedback on how well we have cared for you. Please let us know what was good and what we did well, and also in those areas where we can make some improvements.
Our volunteers give freely of their time to care for all our visitors and for them to know how well they did is helpful and very much appreciated by us all.
How to find us.
The South Downs Planetarium and Science Centre is located at the southern end of the Chichester High Schools campus.
Click here or the map to get a printable copy.
Please note there are two free car parks available.
A note for Satnav users.
Please use PO19 8AE which is the postcode of the Chichester High Schools and this will bring you in to the campus via the correct Kingsham Road entrance.
Open from 45 minutes before any show.
Any Other Times
By prior arrangement only.
Unfortunately we are not open to casual visitors.