Town hall to improve disabled access

January 3rd, 2013 Category: Building Management

Disabled people often struggle to gain access to shops and public buildings, as they simply aren't always designed to accommodate wheelchairs.

But businesses and local authorities can no longer be seen to be discriminating against certain sections of society, so it is important they address these shortcomings.

After all, it makes sense for a number of reasons. Improving disabled access can be a good way for a business to bring in extra customers, while being seen to be inclusive is certainly great for enhancing its reputation.

And of course, wheelchair users depend on public services just as much as everyone else, so if local authority buildings are inaccessible, they might understandably feel excluded.

Watlington Parish Council in Oxfordshire is currently taking steps to improve wheelchair access at its town hall, so disabled visitors can easily enter the building and gain access to different levels.

Ian Hill, chairman of the authority, told the Henley Standard that the lack of wheelchair access at the town hall has "long been an issue" and one that has become "much more contentious" in the last few months.

As a result, the use of National Lottery money to improve the building could significantly help to open up council officials and services to disabled people in the region.

"I am sure that those groups that have had to move their regular meetings to venues such as the library or the sports pavilion will welcome a return to this historic building," Mr Hill commented.

This is certainly a good example of why it is worth investing in upgrades so disabled people are able to make use of a building.

Businesses might want to bring in facilities management specialists to take a look at their premises to see what improvements need to be made.

They may then be able to establish themselves as a far more inclusive, welcoming and socially aware organisation and bodies that does not discriminate against certain groups.