Inclusive design in public and commercial premises
Over 9 million people in the United Kingdom have a disability which affects, in some way, how they live their lives. Nearly 5 million of these people have significant hearing or visual impairment, and there are many that have more than one disability.
People using wheelchairs are becoming a more common sight with the improvement in motorised wheelchairs, but there are also disabilities that are not visible, and these can include cancer, HIV, diabetes, and mental health issues.
All these people in the UK are protected by discrimination legislation, and in certain cases, carers of disabled people are protected against discrimination.
Since 1991 the Building Regulations have required that new buildings provide suitable access to buildings, and that there are suitable facilities within buildings. The Building Regulations promote the principle of Access for All.
In this way, buildings must be designed to be suitable for:
• Disabled customers and visitors;
• Friends and families accompanying disabled people
• Parents with pushchairs or carrying heavy luggage or shopping
• Parents with young children
• Some older people who do not consider themselves to be disabled, but for whom easier access makes getting about less of a problem.
The Regulations apply to new buildings, to buildings which are being substantially altered or extended, or to buildings where certain changes of use are being made.
The Right Product
Choosing the right product is important to ensure the needs of the end user are met.
The right product will depend on a number of factors, including the
user’s extent of disability, the location of the washroom and the requirements of other users.
The right product should also look good and have ‘style.’ Products for disabled people should not be less stylish.
professional pages, designed for industry professionals, show those products which are ideal for use by disabled people in public buildings.
There are some tips on safety and security and there are links to the information available either on the web or in the regulations and standards.