The provision of an inclusive and accessible workplace is a crucial aspect for any office re-design or office refurbishment project
The Disability Discrimination Act was introduced to promote inclusive and accessible environments. This was subsequently superceded by the Equalities Act 2010, although DDA is still commonly used to refer to accessibility issues. The Equality Act still imposes a duty on employers and service providers to:
“…remove, alter, provide reasonable means of avoiding, or provide reasonable alternative method of making a service available to a disabled person where dealing with physical features.“
It is simple to consider accessible issues in terms of wheelchair users and ramps. In reality the scope of access issues is much more varied covering such things as visual and hearing impairment, learning issues, arthritis and much more.
With appropriate knowledge and consideration at the early stage of a project, implementing measures to improve the accessibility of the office environment need not be a difficult or challenging task. Simple measures such as clear signage for the visually impaired, or easy to operate door handles for arthritis sufferers can be easily integrated into any design and makes a huge difference for those who use it.
At Office Design & Project Services all our designers and project managers have received training in accessibility issues and have extensive experience in its application. In addition we are corporate members of the Centre for Accessible Environments and have been for over 10 years. we are able to undertake access audits for existing and new office space and when undertaking an office re-design or refurbishment we can identify access issues and provide simple and effective measures to resolve these within an integrated design.
If you are in any doubt as to your responsibilities, or the suitability of your office design, then feel free to call and speak to one of our trained designers on a no obligation basis.
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