Disability Discrimination Act (DDA)
The Disability Discrimination Act, or DDA as it is referred to, is a significant piece of civil rights legislation.
It is divided into the following Parts:
- Part 1: Disability
- Part 2: Employment
- Part 3: Discrimination in other areas
- Part 4: Education
- Part 5: Public Transport
More recently focus has been on Part 3 of the Act 'Goods, facilities, services and premises' which came into effect on 1st October 2004. This Part of the Act requires that anyone providing a service to the public ensure that they are not discriminating against disabled people.
It is important to recognise that accessibility is not just about access for wheelchair users but covers numerous items including:
- lighting (both natural and artificial)
- colour schemes to ensure adequate contrast
- signage (both leading to and within the facility)
- car parking facilities
- doors (widths of openings, vision panels, pressure required to open)
- circulation around the building (both vertical and horizontal)
- reception areas
- information including web pages
- fire escape routes etc.
The definition of the term 'disabled' is established in Part 1 of the Act and covers a very wide range of impairments including:
- manual dexterity
The Act covers nearly 10 million people in this country of which it is estimated that between 500,000 and 800,000 are wheelchair users.
How do you know if your are discriminating?
The Code of Practice recommends that in order to ascertain whether a building or service is accessible in accordance with DDA guidance, it is necessary to carry out an 'Access Audit'. The audit should be carried out by an appropriately trained access consultant who would identify any areas that do not meet the standards and give recommendations as to what alterations could be made to improve accessibility.
Acting on the results of an access audit may reduce the likelihood of legal claims against a service provider.
Are you a service provider?
A service provider includes nearly all organisations who provide goods, facilities or services to the public, whether paid for or free, whether in the private, public or voluntary sectors, no matter how large or small the organisation.
Why use Terry Holmes Consultants?
We are trained access consultants with a vast experience of carrying-out access audits, access statements and reports for a diverse range of buildings including:
- Listed buildings
- Swimming pools
- Clubs and bars
- Estates and parks
- Public buildings
- Retail outlets
- Sports and recreational buildings
Our aim is to help to provide an inclusive environment; one that is accessible for everyone to use.