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 Equality 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.