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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Championing a lasting accessibility legacy

Building design needs to take into account the venue users, and utilise experts in accessibility to ensure buildings of the future capitalise on the legacy of 2012. That was the advice to emerge from the 2012 AGM and Conference of the Access Association – sponsored by leading disabled toileting solutions provider Total Hygiene – which focused on the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the future of sport.


Keynote speakers at the conference, including Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Neil Smith, maintained the key considerations in accessible design were to use professional access auditors, and the experience of users to optimise accessibility rather than reliance solely on the provision of minimum standards.


Speaker Neil Smith, one of Buro Happold??s inclusive design expert, and principle author of the Olympic Delivery Authority??s award-winning Inclusive Design Standards, comments: ?Disabled people need to be considered much more in building design, be it for a sports venue or any other place to which the public have access.


?More than a fifth of the British adult population has a disability, a figure set to increase by at least 10 percent by 2023. Disabled people??s spending power is estimated to be £80billion, yet statistics reveal 75 percent of businesses, including sport venues, had one or more problems linked to disabled access.


The new Equality Act, 2010 which replaced the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, requires by law that reasonable alterations are made where a disabled customer or potential disabled customer would otherwise be at a substantial disadvantage. There are therefore sound legal and financial reasons why anyone involved in building and operating leisure venues should learn how to effectively adapt to accommodate disabled people.


Every building and location is different; and while minimum standards provide a guide for effective design but consider how people are going to use all the facilities, and the experience they will have should also be considered. That will help to ensure a high quality accessible environment for all.??


For more information telephone 0161 969 1199 or visit www.clos-o.mat.com



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