OHAC uses cookies to give you the best experience on our websites. By using this site you agree to our use of cookies as described in this Privacy Policy. Click here to remove this message.

Disability Access Audits – We must think beyond disability when carrying out an access audit

Back in 2013 we published an update with the very same title.  So why are we publishing again? Well, this seems to be one of the main queries we get – What should be covered in an access audit?
In response, we advise clients that in line with the principles of Universal Design* we need to think beyond just carrying out an access audit for people with disabilities and carry out an access audit for all people regardless of age, size or disability. 

*Universal Design refers to the design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people, regardless of their age, size or disability (www.universaldesign.ie).

We also like to highlight that accessibility will benefit everyone.  For example we recently came across a hotel that provides spare reading glasses behind the reception desks and large print menus for older customers with reduced vision. The hotel also provided travel cots in the leisure centre changing rooms to assist parents when getting dressed.

Another consideration is that an access audit must be much more than an audit of the built environment. Inclusive access can only be achieved by eliminating barriers, both physical, attitudinal and procedural, which may otherwise inhibit the full participation of the whole community. This means that when organisations are reviewing (auditing) the accessibility of their services they will need to consider their approach to such things as:

If you would like further information why not check out Access audits – Are you aware that an access audit is much more than an assessment of building accessibility or some recent projects we have carried out in this area.