How Disabled Access Is Getting Better!

By: Shaun Parker

In the past 20 years the government have made really large strides toward improving disabled access for disabled people. This includes wheelchair access for all public buildings and there is legislation in place that dictates that workplaces must be accessible. Having access to public areas and buildings is of great important for all members of our society and it is important that disabled people have access to the amenities that able bodied people have access to.

Being denied access to a building or amenity can be an extremely frustrating part of coping with a debilitating illness or disability. Often the steps that need to be taken to improve the accessibility of an area are minimal but they can deliver great benefits if they are implemented. If you are a proprietor of a small business or you want to make your home more accessible for disabled friends then do not be daunted the changes you need to make to your property are usually very small. Small steps make big differences to the quality of life of the disabled person and it is well worth a little investment.

Legislation is in place that makes it essential for new build properties and workplaces to have adequate disabled access for wheelchair users. At present it is very rare for houses to have a good level of disabled access. Houses typically have to be modified by the owner to prepare it for use by a disabled person and the changes that are implemented can be costly.

The good thing about amendments that are made to houses to make life easier for the disabled person as the changes are often made with the particular individual in mind and as a result the house is made bespoke to the needs of that particular individual. This can mean that the disabled person benefits from the specific improvements that he or she expressly requires. This can give a better level of independence to the disabled person which can be a great way of minimising the frustrations of coping with a disability.

Britain is one of the best countries in the world for people that are disabled as Britain has taken a proactive step toward making access much better for disabled people. Parliament passed laws in 1999 that detailed the requirements for new build multi-family buildings which consist of four or more units.

Although the time it takes for many of these laws to bear fruition may be frustratingly slow in some cases, it is still reassuring that the government is definitely moving in the right direction. Whilst the UK has demonstrated a proactive approach to access for disabled people the US have far less stringent rules and can be seen as less proactive than their British counterparts. The American law does state that access must be provided but the law only refers to government built housing and not to privately owned buildings. As the majority of Americans live in privately owned houses accessibility is not prevalent in the US and it can be especially hard for disabled people.

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