Building Accessibility Audits

Disability access is a complex area and there is a lot of information that is not correct. It isn’t only about ramps and wheelchair users! Under the UK Equality Act 2010, disability has a wide-ranging definition and a requirement on businesses and service providers to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate the specific needs of disabled employees, visitors and customer. One of the major aspects is the building and how well suited it is for disabled people to access it.

The most obvious part of accessibility is adjusting aspects of the building that interfere with the ability of disabled people to physically access it. This may include:

  • Removing obstacles that are causing an obstruction
  • Altering obstacles so they no longer cause an obstruction
  • Provide a way around an obstacle if it can’t be altered or removed
  • Provide an alternative way of providing a disabled person the facility or service

These are known as ‘reasonable adjustments’. It is not only major changes like providing a ramp or widening doors to accommodate a wheelchair – though must also be given to people who have sensory impairments such as hearing loss, deafness or sight impairments. Adjsutments for these types of impairments may be the provision of a hearing loop, braille signs, high contrast door frames and door handles, or maybe the provision of quiet spaces for conversation and meetings.

The best way to find out what you need to do as a business to serve your customers better and to comply fully with the law, is to have an access audit visit. The visit will produce a comprehensive report listing changes that need to be made. The audit will also generally include staff awareness of disability and how to assist disabled people in a supportive and positive way.

Organisations that have a good standard of accessibility for disabled people are usually better for everyone, disabled or not.

 

Find out about having an accessibility audit for your business

Feel free to contact us for an informal chat.