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Disability access audits – We must think beyond disability when carrying out an access audit.

Recently we have been getting a number of queries on what should be covered in a disability access audit.  In response, we have been advising 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. Universal Design is written into national legislation in Part 6 of the Disability Act and more recently has used as the principle on which Technical guidance Document M 2010 has been based.

Some recent accessibility examples we came across that will benefit all people regardless of age, size or disability include:

We also are advising clients that an access audit is much more than an audit of the built environment. As discussed in one of our recent updates, inclusive access is 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.