From 2005 onwards disabled access into buildings was covered by the ‘Disability Discrimination Act 2005’ otherwise known as DDA, however, this was superseded 5 years later by the Equalities Act 2010. The phrase ‘DDA Compliance’ is leftover from 2005 but technically it is no longer relevant and can actually be extremely misleading and confusing. It is not surprising then to discover that various professionals often have very conflicting views on this subject.
You can find out more about the updated law and The Equality Act 2010 here.
Whether discussing DDA compliance or The Equality Act 2010, the simplest way to understand the law as it currently stands is that there should be ‘reasonable access’ into buildings. But what is ‘reasonable access?’ Reasonable access is, of course, a wholly subjective term, furthermore a law’s impact is directly proportional to the degree in which it is enforced. The current law states that where a physical feature, such as those resulting from the design or construction of a building or the approach or access to premises, makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for a disabled person to access the service, then it is the duty of the service provider to make reasonable changes so that they can so. This may include:
- Removing the feature
- Altering the feature so it no long obstructs access
- Providing a reasonable means of avoiding the feature
- Providing a reasonable alternative method of using the service
Are you DDA compliant?
Companies that are refurbishing public buildings are generally expected to ensure high-quality disabled access – however small business like shops or restaurants have lower criteria as the cost ratio to the size of the business is lower. Permanent or semi-permanent disabled access systems also need to comply with Building Regulations Document Part M, BS8300 and the National Planning Framework. However portable wheelchair ramp systems or temporary ramps systems do not need to meet these specifications. We find many people searching for DDA compliant ramps, when it is really wheelchair ramps that help ensure you are DDA compliant or, more accurately, compliant with the current Equalities Act 2010.
The Ramp People can advise and specify wheelchair ramp systems for both public and private access – offering a full site survey and installation service.
Disabled Facilities Grants are available – more information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/disabled-facilities-grants/overview
For more information, a quote or to just have a chat on how we can help supply a wheelchair ramp system that meets your needs and budget please get in contact.