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Accessibility is an important issue. Nearly 10 million people in the UK are either registered disabled, elderly, or impaired by illness. In other words, as many as 1 in 4 people have a disability or are close to someone with a disability.

Disabled people of all ages are now protected by law and have the right to be free from discrimination. The Equality Act 2010 requires all businesses and service providers, large and small to assess how they meet the needs of disabled customers. They are also obliged to make reasonable changes to enable them to provide a service to disabled people on an equal basis with other customers.

Companies and other organisations which needlessly or thoughtlessly make it difficult for disabled people to use their services are being discriminatory. They are also ignoring a potentially large customer base. Therefore it makes sense for businesses and other organisations to improve their accessibility for reasons of both equality and commercial advantage.

McCaren Access can help businesses and public organisations to improve the accessibility of their premises and hence their service provision. We provide comprehensive reports on the present accessibility of premises, and suggest improvements that can be made. These can range from simple low-cost improvements (such as replacing inadequate signage with large-type notices), to large-scale structural changes (such as the provision of a platform lift).

The scope and nature of our recommendations will be determined by the design and layout of the building concerned, and the feasibility of making changes within it. In all cases we consider practicality and economy as key factors in the recommendations we make. The Equaliy Act demands that businesses make reasonable changes, and therefore the need for access improvements must be balanced against a cost which is sustainable. As such it recognises that costly improvements which bankrupt and close businesses will be of no benefit to anyone.

· people

Robin McCaren

Robin McCaren,
B.Sc., RIBA, NRAC Consultant.
Architect and Access Consultant.

Formed McCaren Design Architects in 1992, having worked in senior positions in a number of local practices. Previously worked in Hastings, London, Portsmouth & Northern Ireland. Experience on a wide range of projects including Residential, Educational, Commercial, Community, Healthcare, Leisure and Industrial. Consultant Member of the National Register of Access Consultants, with considerable experience in Access Audits, Access Statements and disability-related expert witness work.

Andrew J Paterson

Andrew J Paterson,
BA, Dip Arch, RIBA.
Architect & Director.

Joined McCaren Design in 2001 having worked in London and a number of local practices. Experience on a wide range of projects including Residential, Retail, Educational, Commercial, Leisure and Industrial.

Hilary Kolinsky

Hilary Kolinsky,
Business Manager & Director.

Joined McCaren Design in 2005 having worked in a similar position for a firm of designers based in London. Hilary provides the administrative and financial backup to the practice and deals with all PR and Marketing activities. Currently studying part-time for PHD in Architecture History.

Fleur Powell

Fleur Powell,
BA, Interior Architecture and Design (Hons).
Interior Designer and Architectural Assistant.

Joined McCaren Design in 2003 having worked in a leading Interior Design Practice in London. Experience on Residential, Commercial, Healthcare and Leisure projects.

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