Are you a business or service provider seeking to improve access to your services?
Did you know that improving access will not only make your service more inclusive to disabled people but also to the wider community and could lead to increased business and revenue?
In 1995, the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) set out important new rights for disabled people across the UK, so for the first time, people had the right to challenge any discrimination they experienced when trying to access goods and services. Now, more than 20 years on, disabled people are still reporting problems when they try to access shops, services and other facilities. This means, in turn, those businesses miss out on the possible spend of customers they are preventing (often through simple and unintentional ignorance) from accessing their own goods and services!
In the 2011 Census, 113,715 people, which is over 21% of Cornwall's total population, reported their day to day activities as being limited by a long term health condition or disability, which is more than double the national figure of 10%.
If disabled people can't access your services, it's highly unlikely their friends and family will and with an estimated 55,000 carers in Cornwall, that's another 10% of the population!
Nationally, disabled people have reported that shopping is the most difficult experience for accessibility, followed by going to the cinema, theatre and concerts.
According to Government research in 2014, the so-called 'purple pound' is estimated to be worth up to £212bn. The Department for Work & Pensions stated that more than 12m customers and their families could be excluded which is the equivalent to the populations of London, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Cardiff and Manchester combined.
The best thing about truly inclusive and accessible environments is that each and every one of us benefits, especially elderly people and young families.
Disability Cornwall is one of the leading providers of disability access auditing and consultancy services in Cornwall. Our unique expertise, due to the involvement of our members enables best practise to be drawn together to ensure our client's facilities and services are fully accessible for all their users and customers.
We have undertaken numerous types of access audits over the years for clients who include air travel providers, owners of industrial units, dental practices and community halls. We have undertaken audits for tourist attractions and educational establishments including primary schools, secondary schools and colleges.
Our Access Auditor can assess your premises or environment to ensure that all necessary provisions for disabled people are in place. Our audits cover a wide range of physical barriers and each recommendation is given a priority rating in accordance with legislation and bench marking standards.
Our competitively priced access audits are inclusive of preparation work, site visits and the provision of either a full narrative access report or a summarised checklist. We work with you to determine the best approach for your business to take.
Building Plan Audit
Alternatively, if you’re developing new premises to work from and need some assistance to ensure the new build meets your obligations under the Equality Act 2010, our Access Auditor can review the building plans to identify necessary adjustments or improvements. An audit at this stage will help to ensure the proposed designs are as accessible as possible before any actual building work commences, which could save you both time and money in the future.
Walk, Wheel and Talk!
If you are happy to produce your own Access Statement but require some expert feedback to help you to do this, we can help by visiting your premises. One or two of our members can either walk with you or use their wheelchair while discussing with you the main barriers to access they are experiencing.
We can then advise how these barriers could be removed or improved to help ensure your service is accessible to all potential customers. This can be a very cost effective method of improving accessibility.
Site Plan Focus Group
One of our most popular services provides you with the opportunity to come and present your design ideas or plans to a group of our members, who will comprise between 6–12 disabled people and/or carers and represent a wide range of impairments. We will organise the meeting and help you to facilitate as appropriate to ensure you derive the in-depth range of expert feedback you require.
You will discover how accessible your design or plans are, not only to disabled people, but also the wider community, while gaining valuable insight and positive suggestions for potential improvements. Our follow up report will enable you to demonstrate how you have actively consulted with disabled people and could help you to secure vital funding for your project.
Find out how accessible your premises are direct from disabled people. We can arrange for a group of our members to visit and provide you with feedback on their experience. This will relate to all aspects of accessing the services you provide.
Our comments and any recommendations for improvements will be collated into a report for your reference. The report will contain colour coded recommendations so you know which areas need to be prioritised in order to fulfil the criteria set in current legislation and which can form part of a long term plan.
For more information please contact us by [ clicking here ]
By using our services you are contributing to the sustainability of a local disabled people's organisation and demonstrating your commitment to social corporate responsibility.
What our clients say about this service
'We found the audit really helpful, it was clear and easy to read and made some good recommendations which we have incorporated into our project.' - Access Audit - Harvey's Foundry Trust
'Thanks for your help with hosting such a worthwhile workshop. The preparations and advice from Disability Cornwall were very clear, so that we understood what to bring to the workshop. The workshop ran very smoothly with a great venue and facilities at Hayle and friendly staff.
The workshop feedback and report provided some very useful ideas, which have helped us to improve the project at the design stage. This will help ensure that the scheme is accessible and may be enjoyed by everyone. I look forward to working with you again.'
- Consultations - Landscape Architect, Cornwall Council
'Cornwall Development Company, on behalf of Cornwall Council, develop ERDF Convergence projects and a key aspect of this is ensuring that projects are as accessible and inclusive as possible. CDC has engaged Disability Cornwall to lead consultations with stakeholders to ensure that accessibility is considered during the design stage of the projects.' - Consultations - Cornwall Development Company