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logo   Midlothian Disability Access Panel


The purpose of doing surveys is two-fold.

Firstly to let disabled people know which buildings or facilities are accessible to them.

Secondly to assist owners or managers of properties to be aware of access needs and encourage necessary modifications to be made.

new builds

In the case of new builds, input from real disabled people in advance can often avoid costly mistakes.

the practicalities

A small team of 3 or 4 will visit armed with check-lists and measuring equipment and go over the premises to identify areas which cause difficulties. The team will where possible include people with different disabilities - sensory, mobility, learning - as well as professionals - e.g. care, occupational therapy, planning.

If a member of the staff of the premises can accompany the team it will very often be an eye-opener for them to see things from a user's perspective. Quite often small adjustments can be made quickly and at no real cost - re-positioning a handle or grab-rail, moving bins; other modifications may cost hundreds or thousands of pounds, but can be flagged to be incorporated into future upgrades.

Most owners and managers want their facilities to be as welcoming, useful and accessible as possible, and the surveys are done in a spirit of co-operation. After the visit a copy of the report goes to the person in charge on-site as well as to the HQ of the organisation. If improvements are promised we may do a follow-up visit.

It's all fairly informal - it's not like a statutory inspection, but it can sometimes avoid one of these.