Wednesday, 17 December 2008

12 Years on ......

I was disappointed to read in the Daily Express this week about a blind man who was turned away from an Indian restaurant in Tunbridge Wells because the owner claimed it was against his Islamic beliefs to allow a guide dog in.
The owners even went so far as to threaten to call the police if the 51 year old man did not leave.
They later apologised and offered the customer a free meal stating they hadn't refused to serve him but had hygiene worries about his dog.
The restaurant owner also admitted he was not aware that since 1996, banning a guide dog had been illegal under the Disability Discrimination Act. They added that the restaurant policy would now be changing.

If restaurants have to be licensed and monitored by the local authorities, why can't they also ensure they are physically accessible and also that the staff and management recognise they have a duty not to discriminate against people with disabilities ?

Ruth, Access Resolution

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Small Changes ... Big Difference !

I spent an interesting couple of hours yesterday being interviewed by a student who is writing his dissertation on subjects relating to disabled access.
He had some interesting questions including, "If you could make one single change to a building for disabled access, what would it be ?"
A difficult one to answer .... all buildings are different and we come across a wide range of barriers.
Someone else he had interviewed had suggested "Handrails" ... which is a good answer - they can help mobility impaired and visually impaired people navigate their way around buildings and changes in level. Even an existing WC which can't meet the current recommended dimensions for wheelchair access can be made so much more accessible to so many people with appropriately positioned handrails.
However, a building can appear to be the most accessible building in the world - meeting all the guidance and best practice - but if it's badly managed and policies aren't in place to assist disabled people then it is still a barrier to the goods and services on offer. So, I think my suggestion would be, "Staff training in Disability Etiquette and Awareness"

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Bridge of Woes !

An interesting article in the Sunday Times Travel Supplement today ..... relating to one of my favourite but also THE most inaccessible of all cities for wheelchair users - Venice.

" A Venice councillor says the city's first new bridge in 70 years is an illegal structure after a design error left the span inaccessible to the disabled. Already two years late, and millions of euros over budget, the bridge , designed by the Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, will link Venice's railway station with bus terminals and car parks on Piazzale Roma. Now councillor, Raffaele Speranzon claims that, because of the lack of wheelchair access, the structure is "outside the law". Venice's public-works chief, Maria Rumiz, was dismissive of Speranzon's claims, adding that a lift for those with mobility problems would be added "in a couple of months".

Interesting ! Once over the bridge and into the city - what about the hundreds of bridges and steps, shortage of elevators and buildings only accessed by boat ? All compounded by the entire city being listed........

Friday, 18 July 2008

EU ruling will help millions

A mother won a landmark ruling yesterday when a court found she had been discriminated against because her son has a disability.
She claimed she was forced to give up her job because her employers would not give her the flexible working hours she needed to look after her 6 year old son who has breathing problems.
An employment tribunal refered the case to the European Court for a ruling on whether EU discrimination laws covering disabled people could also apply to able-bodied people.
Judges ruled that EU law protects an employee who has suffered discrimination on the grounds of their child's disability.
The ruling will give rights to millions of carers (60% of whom are women) stating "Where an employer treats an employee who is not himself disabled less favourably than another employee in a comparable situation, and it is established that the less favourable treatment of that employee is based on the disability of his child, whose care is provided primarily by that employee, such treatment is contrary to the prohibition of direct discrimination"
The ruling could also have implications for people providing care to an older relative.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Sight Village Summer 2008

Yesterday afternoon we visited the QAC Sight Village Summer Exhibition in Birmingham.
An exhibition of technology, equipment and services for people with a visual impairment.
Approx 100 exhibitors demonstrating Audio equipment and services, Braille equipment and services, Computers and IT, Screen Enlargers and Readers, Daily Living equipment, Education and Training, Information, Leisure Services, Mobility Aids, Tactile Equipment, Text Readers plus information from several charities.
It was a very interesting few hours. There are so many recent advances in technology aimed at giving more independence to blind and visually impaired people.
Mobile Readers, for example, can be activated on a mobile phone. The user takes a photo of the print to be read and the character recognition software reads the text aloud.
Walking canes that can warn of overhead hazards.
Charities supporting blind and visually impaired people in the workplace and education.
The next QAC Sight Village will be held in London on 4th November at Kensington Town Hall.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

DDA Presentation

On Friday 11th July, we were delighted to accept the invitation to the Defence Academy, Shrivenham to give a presentation to their Estates Project Engineers on the "DDA and the role of the Access Consultant"
The invitation came via GBS Architects, Oxford.
We gave a powerpoint presentation for approx 40 minutes and then had an open forum for discussion.
It was a great opportunity to talk in detail about the importance of revisiting those Access Audits, the recent changes in legislation, the Design and Access Statement and the importance of Emergency Egress for disabled people.
Thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to such an interesting event.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008


Access Resolution - Established in 2003 by Ruth Hopkins.

“A conscientious and self motivated Access Auditor who copes well in pressure situations meeting deadlines and providing practical solutions.
I use my initiative and refer to current legislation, guidance and best practice to work through projects and take pride in producing a quality result. I have good communication and influencing skills with the ability to negotiate and provide high standards of professional advice, making informed decisions for my clients.
I spent 16 years working in International Banking for Lloyds TSB reaching supervisory grades before taking a career break to raise my daughter. My father was an architect who spent the last few years of his life as a wheelchair user and his experiences determined my choice of career when I returned to work.
I trained with the Centre for Accessible Environments and feel passionate about my work – where small changes to the environment, policies and procedures can make a huge difference to so many people. Accessibility is so much more than providing a ramp and Accessible WC”

Friday, 6 June 2008


Hi there, we are Access Resolution
We specialise in DDA Advice, Audits, Statements.