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Should Disability Access Certificates have been called Access Certificates?

As you maybe aware, the forthcoming Part M of the Building Regulations is moving away from the concept of ‘access for people with disabilities’ and towards a more inclusive approach of ‘access and use for all’ regardless of age, size or disability. The proposed introduction of the Technical Guidance which will accompany Part M highlights that “Part M aims to foster an inclusive approach to design and construction of the built environment”. It continues to highlight that the requirements of Part M underpin the principle of Universal Design and Universal Design is defined as ‘the design and composition of an environment that can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people, regardless of their age, size and disability’.


The main issue is that the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government has just introduced Disability Access Certificates which came into force on the 1st of January 2010. Should these now be renamed and be called “Access Certificates” to come inline with the departments inclusive approach and how will the needs of all users regardless of age, size or disability be addressed in the assessment of the DAC applications by Local Authorities?