Access And Disability Information
Access and disability information
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA)
Since October 2004 service providers have been required to make reasonable adjustments to their premises to ensure that people with disabilities can access the service in the same way as all other people.
Technical standards for access
The DDA does not itself include technical standards. The Building Regulations Approved Document M 2004 is the only regulatory standards to make reference to a British Standard (8300). The Approved Document was updated in 2004 to include access for all people including those with disabilities.
Approved Document M is a useful reference point for designers, owners and managers, even when a full building regulations application is not required.
Part M provides only the minimum standard expected but it contains good advice on various aspects of access to buildings including car parking, paths, ramps, gradients, steps, toilets and other facilities.
An access statement is an important part of any design, required both at planning stage and as part of a detailed building regulation submission. It demonstrates that every effort has been taken to provide an inclusive environment by design. In existing buildings it should take account of restraints of the existing building and any management policies necessary to ensure good access and facilities for all who may use the building throughout its life. An access statement can be used as a way of showing compliance with the building regulation even if the approved document cannot be followed exactly.
If you require help to complete the access statement advice is available on the Planning Portal website.