Accessibility Lifts and Home Lift

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Disability Discrimination Act

The Disability Discrimination Act is here - have you prepared?

There are estimated to be around 8.6 million disabled people in Great Britain, yet it is only in the last 5 years that provisions for a sufficient level of accessibility have been made.

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) aims to end the discrimination which many disabled people face. This Act gives disabled people rights in the areas of:

• employment
• access to goods, facilities and services
• buying or renting land or property

The employment rights and first rights of access came into force on 2 December 1996; further rights of access came into force on 1 October 1999; and the final rights of access will come into force in October 2004.

Basics of what the Act Says and Requires
The Disabled Discrimination Act 1995 (1999) Act makes it illegal to discriminate against persons on the Grounds of their Disability. It applies to the following Terms and Conditions of employment Opportunities for employment Treating in any way, disabled persons less favourably than others (Promotion etc).

Companies must make REASONABLE provision to allow working in the workplace and access to public places.

Access To The Work Place & / or Public Access
Operators of Buildings need to make reasonable provision for access to the work place where disabled persons are employed. Place intended to be used by the public must be accessible to all. The section of the act requiring modification of premises came into force in 2004.

What is Reasonable Provision in a Private Building (offices etc)?
Installing a lift where one never existed would probably not be reasonable. Providing suitable controls to an existing lift would be reasonable if use of the lift is necessary.

What is Reasonable Provision for Access in Public Buildings (shops etc)?
Installing a lift where one never existed would be reasonable. Providing suitable controls to an existing lift would be reasonable. Providing Controls to all lifts would not be reasonable in Law but commercially and socially desirable.

What is the difference between Part M of Building Regulations and the DDA?
The Act is much wider covering physical and all other barriers to disabled. The Act also defines Disability more widely to include all sorts of disability. Part M covers only physical barriers and mainly wheel chair access. Compliance with Part M does not mean compliance with the Act.

Remember, features that help the disabled help all users. If you carry a box and you can’t use both hands you are in effect, disabled. Walk the building as if you were disabled to see what's required.

How can TLC help you?
Total Lift Care are eager to work in partnership with architects, designers, building owners and managers to provide advice and guidance on how you can best make provision for these requirements.

We have a number of solutions that have been specifically packaged to enable you address the various requirements either in part or on a larger scale - please contact a member of the team for further information.