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The Equality Act (2010) requires that reasonable provisions are made where a disabled person would otherwise be at a substantial disadvantage when compared to non-disabled people. Some of the adjustments that are expected to be made include:

  • Avoiding the disadvantage caused by a physical feature
  • Providing auxiliary aids and services

If reasonable provision is not made, then it is considered discrimination and a claim can be made.

Access for all isn’t just about compliance with Part M of the Building Regulations; it is also about supporting disabled people with good design. For example a reception area is often neglected; small improvements in the design could be made in the following ways:

  • A two tiered reception desk
  • Auxiliary equipment would include a loop system
  • The computer would be positioned so not to hide the receptionists face
  • The route to the reception would be free from obstructions
  • There would be minimal glare from windows

Residential developments can also make changes in their design to ensure compliance:

  • Accessible entrances should be easy to locate, and distinguishable from the façade
  • All door opening furniture should contrast visually with the surface of the door
  • In order to reduce the likelihood of hazards to children, wheelchair users and people with visual impairment, corridors should be unobstructed
  • Glossy or high polished floors should not be used as they can appear wet/slippery
  • Matting and carpets should have a shallow, dense, non-directional pile

Buildings and developments should be designed for everyone. Access audits are a starting point in assessing their accessibility and usability.   By looking at the journey to, into and out of new and existing developments or buildings, Hodkinson Consultancy are able to provide practical strategies and recommendations to ensure that your building or development fulfil the criteria within the best current practices.   Our following services are at both planning application and project delivery stage.

  • Access Statements and Planning
    • Explain and provide the approach for inclusive design
  • Access Strategies
    • Can be included in the Access Statement – detailed design guidance
  • Access Consultancy
    • Advice and initial project guidance

Posted on April 5th, 2017

Author: Alexandra Gilbert