The Disability Discrimination Act and Public Access Using Lifts

Nearly 26 years ago, the British government passed the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). This piece of legislation aimed to create a society where persons with disabilities and those long-term conditions have equal rights and opportunities as citizens. Under this law, nearly 10 million people in Britain gained new rights to fair treatment in education, employment, and other places.

The law even led to the creation of a new term DDA lift. The Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 allowed citizens to access more public services, transport, and more. Before the introduction of this law, many disabled people were cut from the rest of society, which led to a potential loss of business revenue.

Most importantly, the DDA made a significant difference in the lift industry. It led to the introduction of a DDA lift. Lift manufacturers today supply both passenger and platform lifts with adequate provision to allow independent and equal access to everyone in all non-domestic environments.

The Impact of DDA Legislation

The Disability Discrimination Act stopped employers and service providers from discriminating against people with mental and physical disabilities or chronic illnesses based on their conditions. This was a breakthrough for many members of the society previously blocked by discriminative principles.

In October 2004, the law required that employers and service providers had to make necessary adjustments to any physical features in their premises that previously hindered ease of access.  Such facilities included lighting, toilets, steps, and stairs.

The proposed “reasonable adjustments” included removal, alteration, or provision of a way to avoid them. Consequently, for steps and stairs, it meant new lifts and making sure all floors of a building were fully accessible.

DDA Lift Requirements

According to the Approved Document M of the English and Welsh Building Regulations, physical buildings had to undergo specific alterations to make them accessible. The document specified the building features that provide access to people with disabilities.

Therefore, the document became a reference point for service providers and employers. Some of the key stipulations regarding lifts included:

  • Lifts should be equipped with audible and visual information to alert wheelchair users that a lift has arrived.
  • Lifts should be large enough to accommodate a wheelchair user and a passenger. This also allows them to “suit the anticipated density of use the building and the needs of disabled people.”
  • Lift service providers should ensure that the controls that summon and direct a platform lift reach all people.
  • Lifts should reduce the use of wall surfaces that are visually and acoustically reflective to prevent discomfort for visual and hearing-impaired users.
  • Lifts should have handrails
  • Glass-covered areas of the lift should be identifiable to visually impaired users

Final Thoughts

At Axess2, we have specialists who design and install high-quality lifts with outstanding service. We supply and install a wide range of lifts while advising our customers on the most suitable type of platform lift they should install. This ensures that they get the best product that fits their buildings.

Our products include stairlifts for public buildings, vertical platform lifts, cabin platform lifts, and many more. Visit us at axess2.co.uk to learn more.