Disability Advice Project (DAP) team members enjoyed a taster session on access audits, learning to assess if a building or environment is accessible for use by disabled people.
Training was delivered by Tony Crowhurst, Chair of Trustees at DAP, and a former Chartered Surveyor. Tony has audited hundreds of venues and delivers training to a range of organisations. His taster training session gave an overview of access audit tools, The Equality Act 2010, building design good practice and the role of planning. We learnt about the importance of access audits and ways to improve communities, buildings and customer service.
DAP’s team were encouraged to do mini-access audits when visiting shops, restaurants, and public places and to report when venues fail to make reasonable adjustments.
Tony Crowhurst said: “The Equality Act of 2010 obliges organisations to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people. This includes providing reasonable access to services – for example, ensuring you have accessible toilets and removing physical barriers, where possible.
“Sadly, the Equality Act has failed disabled people. We find many instances where disabled people cannot access housing estates, shops, restaurants, and public facilities due to poor design, such as failing to provide a ramp and enough space for a wheelchair user. Often new housing developments fail to provide suitable housing and accessible pavements and are not called to account, which is disgraceful.
“We want everyone to think in advance about what people with impairments might need and how they can help disabled people – good design is beneficial to all and strengthens communities.”