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How important is the facilities managers role in maintaining the accessibility and usability of a building?

So you have just opened your brand new offices, your leisure centre, your school or your hotel and have ensured that it has been designed to the latest accessibility good practice standards.  You have ensured that it is easy for everyone to arrive safely and get into the building, they can enter the building and use the facilities and aids to communication (e.g. hearing enhancement systems and signage) are in place. You think that there is no more to do in relation to accessibility but this is only one element of ensuring full accessibility within the built environment.

Another element which is largely ignored is embedding accessibility into the day to day management of the building or identifying how important the facilities managers role is in maintaining the accessibility and usability of a building.  Their role is to recognise that incorporating accessibility in the day to day management and operations of a building is critical in order to ensure that the buildings are fully accessible and usable throughout their lifespan.

Far too often the role of accessibility in the day to day operations is ignored resulting in an accessible WC being used as a cleaning store; hearing enhancement systems at receptions areas not working correctly; Temporary signage been installed which is not accessible for people with visual impairments; Are bicycles allowed be locked onto handrails of ramps?

There are a number of ways facilities managers can address accessibility including:

If you would like further information on facilities management and accessibility, please do not hesitate to contact one of our team on 01-4151285 or e-mail [email protected]