The Disability Discrimination Act 2005, which became enforceable on 1st May 2006,
replaced the earlier 1995 Act. These important pieces of legislation place a responsibility
on building owners, service providers and employers to ensure a reasonably accessible
environment is provided for disabled staff and visitors to and within commercial
With over 8.3 million disabled persons in the UK, there is an increasing emphasis
being placed by central government on the rights of the disabled. Whilst the common
perception of the disabled is that of a person in a wheelchair, the reality is that
people who are dependent on the use of a wheelchair account for only a small percentage
of the total disabled population in the UK. People with visual, hearing, learning
and mobility impairments represent for the vast majority of disabilities found in
the UK today.
In today’s increasingly litigious society, the numbers of claims being pursued against
employers and building owners alike over breaches of the Act are on the increase.
Failure to take reasonable measures to provide reasonable access to the disabled
may result in significant compensation claims being made against you.
The first step in ensuring compliance with the Act is to commission an Access Audit
to identify any reasonable alterations that are needed to the building itself or
to working practices.
In our experience, the majority of alterations required to existing properties can
be achieved with minimal expense and disruption to the ongoing use of the property
Once instructed, CPM Associates are able to undertake the Access Audit and thereafter
are able to provide expert guidance on programming and implementing the required
works to ensure the client’s statutory obligations are met.