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"