The Disability Discrimination Act - making premises accessible for the disabled
What sort of building alterations might be involved in providing better access for disabled people?
A non-exhaustive list would include:
- reserved parking with wide bays
- alternative entrance with level access
- electrically operated doors
- wide doors and aisles
- disabled toilets
- low-level counter at reception
- easy to read signs
- hearing loop
What does this mean for general practice?
Most general practices already provide easy access for disabled patients. However, all organisations which provide services to the public must audit their facilities and ensure that they comply with the legislation.
In cases where a practice occupies premises owned by a third party, liaison with the landlord may be required before any building alterations can be undertaken.
Disability Discrimination main page - GO
NHS leaflet "Improving primary care services for disabled people" - GO
Many Local Authorities now have Access Officers who will visit premises and give advice on what actions to take to improve access. Architects are Surveyors can also advise on access improvements.