Is Your Building Accessible to Disabled People?
As a building manager, one of the most important priorities is to ensure that the building is accessible to everyone, including disabled people. The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995 introduced a set of legislation to help ensure that disabled people do not face discrimination in relation to access to goods and services, education, employment, transport and accommodation.
There are many different aspects of the DDA that must be considered when checking that your building is compliant and if you are not experienced in performing disabled access audits, you might miss critical factors and this could result in non-compliance.
Oakleaf provides services to a wide range of organisations to improve their compliance across a number of regulatory requirements, including the Disability Discrimination Act. Using our expertise in assessing buildings to identify areas to improve compliance rates, we provide a high-quality Disabled Access auditing service.
What the Disabled Access Audit involves:
Our DDA compliance experts use a comprehensive checklist that has been developed around the DDA 1995 legislation. This includes assessing:
- External Approach
- Change in Levels
- Stairs & Lifts
- WC’s, Showers & Baths
- Internal Spaces
- Travel Distances
- Means of Escape
- Customer Care
We gather the data using handheld electronic tools to quickly capture and digitally record the data, in a format that is easy to share and read. Once the audit has been completed, a report is produced that highlights any urgent actions that are required and all other recommendations that are necessary to improve compliance.
In addition to the DDA 1995, the audit is based on:
- BS 8300:2001 Code of Practice for the Design of Buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of Disabled People.
- The Building Regulations Approved Document Parts B, E, K, M and N.
- National Disability Council Code of Practice
- Easy Access to Historic Properties – English Heritage
- Disability Rights Commission – Code of Practice
- BS 5588 Part 8 1999 Fire Precautions in the Design & Construction of Buildings: Means of Escape for Disabled People
How Oakleaf helped Eton College to improve accessibility
We have worked with many large organisations to audit buildings of all ages and types. One of the most challenging audits we delivered was for the famous Eton College, a historic estate covering a huge area of land.
As an esteemed higher education establishment, Eton College wanted to make sure that its building was fully compliant with the DDA 1995 and that no student would face any form of discrimination through problems with building accessibility.
Due to the age and structure of the buildings and grounds, a thorough audit was required to identify which remedial actions were needed to enable the College to meet compliance and to keep students and other building users safe.
The survey identified that a five-year maintenance plan and a strategic 25-year plan were the most suitable course of action to improve and maintain disabled accessibility. This was a significant project and Oakleaf’s expertise in disabled access was instrumental in identifying and implementing the necessary access improvements.
Find out more about how we can help you to improve the compliance of your buildings, contact our team today.