Safety signs and Disability Discrimination Act
On October 1st 2004 the final stage of the goods, facilities and services provisions part 3 of the Disability Discrimination Act came into force. Although the legislation has been in place for some time our need to meet the guidelines is still firmly in place. This article is a reminder of what we need to consider in terms of signs and our obligations to the DDA.
The aim of this legislation is to achieve equality between the disabled and able-bodied; it introduces a basic duty not to treat disabled people less favourably than others. The new basic duty or obligations apply to anyone providing a paid or unpaid service to the public. As a “service provider” you must ensure that access is available to all disabled people and that entry routes, facilities and all information are clearly defined and indicated by suitable signage. The regulations concern access, mobility and site signage, they apply to all service providers, ranging from large corporations to small businesses (not the owners of the premises).
Under recent changes to part 2 of the Act, all employers must now ensure that they do not discriminate against disabled people in terms of recruitment and employment conditions. Compliance with the DDA can be achieved effectively by most businesses within a modest budget; however, planning is essential to ensure that the disabled user is not at a disadvantage. The new provisions are a further important step towards ensuring that disabled people have access to services that others take for granted.
10 Sign areas to consider with the Disability Discrimination Act
You are required to make reasonable adjustments to your premises; the areas to be considered are the signing and marking of:
- designating car parking bays
- setting down points
- routes to and around buildings
- building entrances and exits
- directions to facilities i.e. lifts, stairs, reception, toilets, restaurants etc.
- information on additional services available to the disabled
- clear indication of help points
- emergency exit routes
- emergency disabled refuges
- the enhancement of general information signage
For additional advice on signage and the DDA we would recommend carrying out a site survey for your premises.