Providing disabled access is a legal requirement in the UK and it is important for businesses to ensure that they are doing everything possible to accommodate customers with disabilities. One way to achieve this is through a disabled access audit. In this article, we will explore why an audit is important for your private or public space when you should consider having one, and how your customers and employees will know that you have had an audit.
What is the Purpose of a Disabled Access Audit and Why Does My Business Need One?
A disabled access audit is a comprehensive review of a building’s accessibility for people with disabilities. The audit assesses the physical environment of the building, including entrances, exits, stairways, ramps, parking areas, and other amenities, to determine whether they are accessible to people with disabilities. The audit also evaluates a private or public space and the building’s policies and procedures to ensure that they are inclusive and accommodating to people with disabilities.
There are several reasons why your business might need a disabled access audit. Firstly, it is a legal requirement under the Equality Act 2010 to ensure that your business is accessible to people with disabilities. Secondly, providing disabled access is not only a legal obligation but also a moral and ethical responsibility. By providing accessible facilities, you are demonstrating that you value all of your customers, regardless of their abilities. Finally, providing accessible facilities can also be good for business. An audit can help you identify areas where your business can improve its accessibility, which may attract new customers and improve customer loyalty.
Is It Law in the UK to Provide Disabled Access?
Yes, it is a legal requirement under the Equality Act 2010 for businesses to provide disabled access. The act states that businesses must make reasonable adjustments to their premises to ensure that they are accessible to people with disabilities. This includes providing ramps, lifts, accessible toilets, and other facilities that enable people with disabilities to access the building and its services.
The Equality Act 2010 also requires businesses to make reasonable adjustments to their policies and procedures to ensure that they are inclusive and accommodating to people with disabilities. For example, businesses must ensure that their websites are accessible to people with disabilities and that their staff are trained to provide assistance to people with disabilities.
Failure to comply with the Equality Act 2010 can result in legal action and fines. It is important for businesses to take their obligations under the act seriously and to ensure that they are doing everything possible to provide accessible facilities for their customers.
When Should I Consider Having an Access Audit and Is There a Need?
If you are unsure whether your business is accessible or if you have received complaints from customers with disabilities, it is important to consider having an access audit. Even if you believe that your business is fully accessible, an access audit can help you identify areas where you can improve your facilities and policies.
An audit can also be beneficial if you are planning to make changes to your business premises or services. By conducting an audit before making changes, you can ensure that the changes you make are inclusive and accommodating to everyone. This can help you avoid costly mistakes and ensure that your business remains compliant with the Equality Act 2010.
How Will My Customers Know I Have Had a Disabled Access Audit?
Once you have had an access audit, it is important to let your customers know that you have taken steps to improve your accessibility. This can help to build customer loyalty and attract new customers who value businesses that are inclusive and accommodating.
One way to let your customers know that you have had an access audit is to display a statement on your website or on your premises. This statement should explain that you have had an access audit and detail the improvements that you have made to your facilities and policies. You can also display the International Symbol of Access to indicate that your premises are accessible to people with disabilities.
If you would like to arrange a disabled access audit for your business, please contact us for more information.