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The Most Disability Friendly Places to Visit in Belfast



Planning holidays is an exciting time for families, however for people living with learning difficulties and autism travelling can be a stressful experience. You may be faced with hurdles when finding accommodation, restaurants and tourist attractions that are suitable for those with hidden disabilities. In Belfast there are several businesses who have signed up as JAM Card partners to ensure their establishments can provide the best service for all their customers. We have made a list of the most disability friendly places to visit in Belfast to help with your holiday planning.


Between 7th – 8th June 2022 the Harkin Summit will be hosted in Belfast’s ICC Conference Centre. Here individuals and organisations will get together to work towards change and increasing employment opportunities for those living with disabilities. Through our JAM Card, we aim to highlight disability friendly businesses in Northern Ireland and offer Belfast’s visitors ‘Just A Minute’ of patience and support for their needs when they are shopping, ordering food, sightseeing, using public transport and much more.


Our JAM Card is available in the form of a card or a free app that can be downloaded from the play store or the iOS app store. This app allows users to see which businesses are a JAM Card Partner and encourage people with communication barriers to use their services. Through our app users can also rate their service and tell others about their experiences.






Disability Friendly Places to Visit in Belfast


The MAC

The MAC is an award-winning venue based in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. It is packed full of exciting things to do, including art exhibitions, theatre performances, workshops, and family friendly activities. The MAC also has a café bar that serves delicious hot meals, snacks, tea, coffee, and alcoholic drinks.


The MAC is a JAM-Card Partner who welcomes visitors with autism and learning difficulties. Members of staff are dedicated to making sure that the shows and events are enjoyed by everyone who visits. Throughout the year, the venue holds several relaxed performances where small changes are made to the lighting, movement, and sound effects of the shows.


Waterfront Hall

Our JAM Card Partner Waterfront Hall is an iconic venue located in the heart of Belfast. This venue has entertainment for everyone, including family shows, comedy, live music and much more. Staff at the Waterfront Hall have recently completed their JAM Card training to ensure that the live entertainment they provide is accessible to everyone.


Throughout the year the venue offers relaxed performances for those who have learning difficulties and autism. Minor changes are made to the show, including adjusting the sound effects and the lighting. For more information on the relaxed performances available at the Waterfront Hall, get in touch with them today for more information.


James Connolly Visitor Centre

The James Connolly Visitor Centre is located in the Falls Road which is a short walk from Belfast’s City Centre. Here visitors can experience interactive exhibits that tell the life and story of James Connolly. There is also a new James Connolly Heritage Trail that is a one-of-a-kind augmented reality experience.


Throughout the tour visitors with learning difficulties and autism can show their hidden disabilities card to their tour guide or other members of staff to show they need ‘Just A Minute’ of their support and patience. As a JAM Card Partner, this centre aims to give all visitors a five-star experience throughout their visit.


Linen Mill Studios

The Game of Thrones Studio Tour is a fantastic experience for fans of the hit show and those who want an out-of-this world experience during their visit to Northern Ireland. The epic tour takes place in the Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge which is located only 30 minutes outside of Belfast.


As a JAM Card partner, Staff at Linen Mill Studios have undergone training to ensure that this tour is enjoyed by everyone who comes to visit. Throughout the tour some areas can be very noisy, especially when it is busy. To make sure that people with learning difficulties and autism feel comfortable during their time at the studios, noise cancelling headphones can be provided.


Galgorm

The Galgorm is one of Northern Ireland’s most popular luxury hotels and spa. It is located only 30 minutes outside of Belfast, a 20-minute drive from the Belfast International Airport and a 35-minute drive from the George Best Belfast City Airport. This hotel has stunning rooms, a selection of bars and restaurants, and relaxing spa experiences.


The staff at the Galgorm completed our JAM Card e-learning training course to ensure that all guests enjoy their stay. As a JAM Card Partner, visitors with learning difficulties and autism can discretely show members of staff that they need ‘Just A Minute’ of time and patience. This training will ensure that guests with communication barriers, autism and learning difficulties will get the correct support from staff and receive a 5-star experience during their stay.


Loaf Catering and Café

Loaf Catering and Café is a social enterprise that provides training and work experience to people with a learning disability or autism. Loaf café runs from six different locations that include three in Belfast, Loaf pottery and Coffee Shop in Crawfordsburn and Loaf at the Ulster Folk Museum.


Their menu has a range of delicious food to choose from, including breakfast, signature sandwiches, hot food, and yummy treats. Vegan, vegetarian, and gluten free options are also available. Profits made from Loaf Café go to the NOW Group, a social enterprise in Northern Ireland that supports people with learning difficulties and autism into careers.



Blethers Café

Blethers is a family run café based in East Belfast. They serve a delicious variety of food on their menu, including sandwiches, salads, soup, hot food, and yummy treats. This food is perfect to enjoy sitting in or for busy travellers who want to eat their food on the go while exploring Belfast’s historical sights.


The café has pleasant staff who are proud to be a JAM Card partner. Through their e-learning, staff can provide customers with learning difficulties and autism with quality service and can give them patience and support when it is required.



Applegreen

Applegreen have several petrol stations and convenience stores located outside of Belfast city. Here travellers can take a break to stretch their legs, refuel, and enjoy food from various brands, including Burger King, Greggs, Subway, Chopstix, and much more.


As a JAM Card partner, members of staff at Applegreen have received customer service disability awareness training to ensure than travellers with learning difficulties and autism feel comfortable within their stores. Shoppers can request for music to be turned down if it is too loud and can show staff that they need ‘Just A Minute’ before continuing with their purchase.



Titanic Hotel and Museum

Belfast’s Titanic Quarter is a thriving area within the city that is filled with tourist attractions, restaurants, and cafés. Here you will find the Titanic Museum and the SS Nomadic where you can immerse yourself into the history of the White Star Line and the stories of its passengers.


Titanic Belfast can be a difficult experience for visitors with autism and learning difficulties as there can be loud noises and lots of people. However, as a JAM Card partner staff at Titanic Belfast have been trained to ensure that those with hidden disabilities will feel comfortable during their visit and will receive a five-star experience. Staff will recognise JAM Cards so you can show them if you feel you need a minute during your visit to the visitor attractions.



Park Centre

The Park Centre is a popular retail shopping centre in South-West Belfast. They have over 35 retail outlets to choose from, including New Look, JD Spots, Boots and much more! There are also a range of cafés where you can rest and refuel after a busy day of shopping.


The Staff at Park Centre became a JAM Card partner to ensure that all customers have a pleasant shopping experience. Whether you are ordering food, paying for your items, or browsing the shops, you can show your JAM Card to a member of staff who will cater to your needs.



Bloomfield Shopping Centre

Bloomfield Shopping Centre is the first shopping mall in Northern Ireland to become a JAM Card Partner. They offer a premium shopping experience and is only a 30-minute drive outside of Belfast’s city centre. Here you will find 45 retailers, plenty of parking spaces and delicious restaurants.


Members of staff within Bloomfield Shopping Centre completed JAM Card training so that they can offer customers with learning difficulties, Autism or any hidden communication barrier a minute of patience when they need it.



Binkys Restaurant

Binky’s Café Kitchen is in Dundonald, which is only a 25-minute drive outside of Belfast’s city. They have a range of delicious food of their menu, including hot food, deserts, hot drinks, and alcoholic beverages. Gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan options are also available.


The staff at Binky’s Café Kitchen have completed their JAM Card training to ensure that customers with learning difficulties and autism feel welcome in their establishment. Restaurants can be noisy environments which can be challenging for those with hidden disabilities. As a JAM Card Partner, you can show your card to staff at Binky’s and it will let them know that you need ‘Just-A-Minute’ of patience and extra time to order your food.



Translink Public Transport

When sightseeing around Belfast, Translink buses and trains are a great way of travelling to your destinations. They offer cheap and reliable transport that operate from 6am till 11pm at night. As a JAM Card partner, Translink bus drivers, train conductors and ticketing staff are trained to offer JAM Card friendly services to passengers with learning difficulties and autism.


Travelling around a new city can be intimidating for everyone, especially if you have learning difficulties and autism. The JAM Card will help to ease any worries you have and can be used discretely by passengers to show Translink staff that they need more time, patience, and support.



JAM Card Partners in Belfast

During your visit to Belfast, there are a range of JAM Card partners who can help to make your holiday and enjoyable experience. For more information on JAM Card and how you can order one ahead of your visit, get in touch with us today by calling 028 9043 6400 or alternatively you can email us at hello@jamcard.org.


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We are the business partner of choice for neurodiversity inclusion in the workplace

Tel: 028 9043 6400

hello@jamcard.org