[AI] Seeking assistance toward obtaining information on making newbuilding disabled friendly?

Pradeep banakar pradeepsocialwork at gmail.com
Tue Apr 1 22:52:27 EDT 2008


Hi Asif hope this will helps you
with regards
Pradeep


External Environment
Fact Sheet 1
This Fact Sheet is to be read in conjunction with Fact Sheet 3 -Approach to 
the Building
The external environment is the area outside of the property and its 
grounds. This area is important for pedestrians and people arriving at the 
building via public transport.
While much of the external environment is the responsibility of the highway 
authority, it is important to highlight potential problems. Liasing with the 
highways department may help to alleviate some of these issues.
Routes
□    Clearly sign the pedestrian access to the site (Refer to Fact Sheet 
23 -Signage).
Q   Ensure there are no uneven paving slabs, gratings, channels or 
manholes - these must be flush with paving surface (Refer to Figure 1). The 
width of grating slots should be no more than 13mm.
Q   Ensure routes are well lit for safety and to help guide visitors to the 
building.
□    Controlled crossings should be provided wherever pedestrian routes must 
cross a carriageway
□    Controlled crossings should have audible announcements and tactile 
rotating cones. These provide assistance to visually impaired people. 
Drop-kerbs should be provided to assist wheelchair users and tactile paving 
should be laid to indicate where there is no kerb height level change 
between the road and the footway to visually impaired people (Refer to Fact 
Sheet 4 - Tactile Paving/ Drop Kerbs).
Figure: 1 Channels, gratings and grates to be flush with paving surface
Obstacles
□   Keep routes free of obstacles such as street furniture and overhanging 
fixtures. (Minimum clear headroom of 2100mm).
January 2004                                     -1 -                 JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.imuaccess.orq.uk

External Environment
Fact Sheet 1
)   Group street furniture together wherever possible.
J   If an obstacle projects, particularly when it projects above waist 
height, detectable barriers, such as guard rails and planted areas, should 
be used at ground level.
J Freestanding street furniture such as bollards and bins should be recessed 
off access routes, be at least 1000mm high and painted for colour contrast 
(Refer to Fact Sheet 25 - Colour and Tonal Contrast).
□   Foliage & branches are potential collision hazards for visually impaired 
people and should be cut back out of the line of travel.  Remember to allow 
for growth.
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 2 - Car Parking
Fact Sheet 3 - Approach to Building
Fact Sheet 4 - Tactile Paving/ Drop Kerbs
Fact Sheet 23 - Signage
Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast
References
Department for Transport - Inclusive Mobility
January 2004                                   - 2 - JMU Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.ul-

Accessible Car Parking & Drop-Off Points                  Fact Sheet 2
If parking spaces are provided for employees or visitors then accessible 
spaces should be provided.
Number of spaces
a   For shopping, recreation and leisure facilities the recommended optimum 
number of accessible spaces is 6% of the total provision for the premises.
a   For workplaces where the number of disabled motorists is known, the 
minimum number of designated spaces should be one space for each employee 
plus at least one space or 2% of the capacity, whichever is greater, for 
visiting disabled motorists, with a minimum of one space.
□    For workplaces where the number of employees who are disabled is not 
known, at least one space or 5% of the total parking capacity should be 
designated as parking for disabled motorists.
Location
a   Locate accessible spaces on the shortest possible safe, accessible route 
to an accessible building entrance.
□    The optimum travel distance from the accessible parking bay to entry 
point should be no greater than 45m.
a   If more than one accessible entrance, distribute spaces accordingly 
among parking areas.
□    Group spaces together - easier to locate & discourage misuse.
a   Indicate bays on all directional and service signs from the site 
entrance to the bays themselves.
□    Monitor to ensure sufficient provision of spaces & to take action 
against improper use.
Design
□    Should be at least 4800mm by 2400mm with an access aisle width 1200 
along one side and to the rear. (Refer to diagram 1)
a   Standard sized bays can be positioned side by side sharing a common 
access aisle. (Refer to diagram 1).
a   Kerbside parking bays should be 6600mm long to allow for tailgate 
loading of wheelchairs (Refer to diagram 2).
□    Ensure car park surfaces are smooth and free from loose stones.
□    A section of kerb between the car park and access route should be 
dropped. Ensure this is not blocked by parked cars (Refer to Fact Sheet 4 - 
Tactile Paving / Drop Kerbs).
January 2004                                      -1 -                 JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.imuaccess.orq.uk

Accessible Car Parking & Drop-Off Points                Fact Sheet 2
a   Mark bays in yellow with the International Access Symbol of a wheelchair 
marked out on the tarmac to a minimum height of 1400mm.
□   Crosshatch access aisle in yellow to emphasise the importance of keeping 
this area clear.
a   Sign individual parking bays at a height of 1600mm, using the sign shown 
in Diagram 661 of the Department of Transport's 'Traffic Signs Regulations 
and General Directions' (TRSRGD), the black wheelchair symbol in an 
orange/yellow square accompanied by the white P in a blue square.
Diagram 1 Accessible parking space      Diagram 2 Kerb side parking space
Drop-off Points
Consideration should be given to other drivers dropping-off or picking up 
visitors or employees with disabilities.
□    Passenger drop-off points should be located in safe places, on 
accessible routes, close to an accessible entrance (Refer to Fact Sheet 3 - 
Approach to Building & Fact Sheet 5 - Entrances & Doors).
□    Zone drop-off points to prevent parking and clearly sign on approach to 
building (Refer to Fact Sheet 23 - Signage).
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 1 - External Environment Fact Sheet 3 - Approach to Building Fact 
Sheet 4 - Tactile Paving/ Drop Kerbs Fact Sheet 5 - Entrances & Doors Fact 
Sheet 23 - Signage
January 2004
-2-
JMU Access Partnership Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Accessible Car Parking & Drop-Off Points                  Fact Sheet 2
References
Department of Transport's Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions'
1994
DETR Traffic Advisory Leaflet 5/95 'Parking for Disabled People'
Institute of Highways and Transportation 'Reducing Mobility Handicaps:
Towards a Barrier-Free Environment
January 2004                                     - 3 -                 JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Approach to Building 
Fact Sheet 3
This Fact Sheet is to be read in conjunction with Fact Sheet 1 - External 
Environment
The approach to the building is the area of land within the curtilage of the 
property - from the boundary of the site, up to the building itself.
Routes
An accessible route is a continuous, smooth, hard, non-slip (even when
wet), surfaced pathway.
o   Ensure pedestrian paths are regularly maintained; in winter clear ice 
and snow; in autumn clear leaves.
u   The route should be well lit, but lighting should not create glare or 
pools of light and dark (Refer to Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting).
□    Provide level resting areas with appropriate seating on long or sloping 
routes (recessed off the main route).
a   Define the footway from the carriageway by a full height kerb (125mm).
a   Define the other edge of the footway by change of texture, for example 
grass, if there is no physical feature such as a building line.
u   Where possible, protect routes from the weather by a canopy.
□    If access routes must cross a carriageway, blister paving should be 
used to distinguish the dropped kerb (Refer to Fact Sheet 4 - Tactile 
Paving/ Drop Kerbs).
a   Clearly sign the pedestrian access to the building (Refer to Fact Sheet 
23 -Signage).
Surfaces
Changes in surface materials can offer different sound qualities, colour 
tone and texture, thus acting as an aid to orientation for people with sight 
impairments.
Q   Use changes in surface materials on walkways to give directional 
information and warn of changes in gradient.
u   Ideally match changes in colour and tonal contrast with a corresponding 
change in texture (Refer to Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast).
a   Avoid large featureless paved areas.
January 2004
-1 -
JMU Access Partnership Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Approach to Building
Fact Sheet 3
Path Design
□    For maximum clarity, routes should be set out using right angles 
wherever possible.
Q   Splayed corners should be used where a wider footpath joins a narrower 
path to improve manoeuvring space and improve visibility around corners.
□    Landmarks are helpful for orientation. As well as providing visual 
clues, for example a monument or flowerbed, they can also incorporate 
audible clues such as fountains.
□    Where a cross-fall is required, to shed rainwater, the gradient should 
be not more than 1:50.
a   Main access routes should be 1800mm wide (preferably 2000mm).  If the 
path is narrower, passing places should be provided.
a   Pathways not on main access routes should be a minimum of 1500mm wide, 
except in exceptional circumstances. If an obstacle is in the pathway, the 
absolute minimum width for the short distance to pass the obstacle should be 
1000mm.
a   Routes should be kept free of obstacles (Refer to Fact Sheet 1 - 
External Environment).
Surfoce     chonge     defines     edge
_a
.HTEl
min    ISOOmm
Figure: 1 Minimum pathway width on main routes
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 1 - External Environment
Fact Sheet 2 - Car Parking
Fact Sheet 4 - Tactile Paving/ Drop Kerbs
Fact Sheet 23 - Signage
Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting
Fact Sheet 25 - Colour and Tonal Contrast
January 2004
- 2 -                 JMU Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Tactile Paving/ Drop Kerbs
Fact Sheet 4
Controlled Crossings
a   A dropped kerb in direct line of travel - lay blister tactile surface to 
a depth of 1200mm at kerb edge. All other a depth of 800mm (Refer to 
diagram).
a   Blister paving should be aligned to the safe direction of crossing.
a   A stem, 1200mm wide, should extend from the dropped kerb to the back of 
the footway (preferably to building line where possible). This creates an 
'L' pattern. Stem must be installed in line with direction of travel.
Diagram 1: Inline Controlled Crossing
Uncontrolled Crossings
□    Install blister surface the full width of dropped kerb. Depth will vary 
depending on line of travel.
a   The back edge should be at right angles to the direction of crossing 
(not necessarily parallel to kerb).
Other Surfaces
□    Corduroy Hazard Warning Surfaces are used for steps, level crossings 
and the approach to on-street light rapid transit (LRT) platforms. (Refer to 
DFT Guidelines in References below).
□    Platform Edges; Segregated Shared Cycle Track/Footway & Central 
Delineator Strip; Guidance Paths; Information Surfaces (Refer to DFT 
Guidelines in References below).
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 1 - External Environment Fact Sheet 3 - Approach to Building Fact 
Sheet 11 - Stairs
References
DFT 'Guidance on the use of Tactile Paving Surfaces'
Local Transport Note 2/95 The design of pedestrian crossings'
Traffic Advisory Leaflets 4/91 and 5/91 'Audible and Tactile Signals at 
Pelican
Crossings' & 'Audible and Tactile Signals at Signal Controlled Junctions'
January 2004                                     - 2 -                 JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.imuaccess.org.ut<
Tactile Paving/ Drop Kerbs
Fact Sheet 4
For more detailed information, see the Department of Environment, Transport 
and Regions: Guidance on the use of Tactile Paving Surfaces
Drop Kerbs
A ramp is provided between the carriageway and footway to assist pedestrians 
when crossing the road, particularly wheelchair users and others who 
experience difficulties negotiating kerbs.
□    Kerbs should be dropped and sloped as gradually as possible. The 
optimum gradient is 1:20, maximum 1:12.
a   The slope should be contained within the width of the pavement. Built-up 
kerbs should be avoided as they can project dangerously into the road.
□    Kerbs should be dropped flush with the road surface, with a tolerance 
of 6mm.
a   Apply a strong colour contrast to the kerb edge to further assist 
partially sighted people, for example, paint / mark the kerb edge white.
a   Care should be taken not to locate dropped kerbs where a parked car may 
block it. Parking restrictions, for example a single white line, will help 
prevent obstruction.
□    There must be a corresponding dropped kerb immediately opposite in a 
safe location.
a   Consider the condition of the surrounding footway, for example, uneven 
pavements removed and obstacles, for example, street furniture, 
repositioned.
Blister Tactile Paving
The blister tactile surface has been developed in order to provide warning 
and guidance for visually impaired people. The surface is used at pedestrian 
crossing points, where there is a dropped kerb which is level with the 
carriageway to enable wheelchair users to cross unimpeded. The surface helps 
to indicate to visually impaired people that the pedestrian footway ends and 
the carriageway begins.
Design
□    The surface is supplied as concrete or rubber slabs.
a   Red coloured paving is reserved for controlled crossings and generally 
buff coloured paving is used at uncontrolled crossings.
a   Monitor the condition of the surfaces. A blister height below 4.5mm 
reduces effectiveness and becomes undetectable.
January 2004
-1 -                  JMU Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Entrances
Fact Sheet 5
The entrances to a building should be located in a logical relationship to 
the accessible routes that serve it.
Entrances
a   Entrances should be clearly signed (Refer to Fact Sheet 23 - Signage).
a   Entrances should be illuminated (Refer to Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting).
a   Entrances should be sheltered / recessed from the prevailing wind.
a   Ensure doors are easily distinguishable from the fagade, achieved 
through the use of colour (Refer to Fact Sheet 25 - Colour and Tonal 
Contrast).
u   Do not locate doors close to steps (Refer to Fact Sheet 11 - Stairs).
a   Keep entrances and doors clear of obstructions.
Automatic Doors
a   Ideally entrance doors should be automatic sliding doors.
□    Side hung doors can also be automated. Ensure these are not a hazard to 
bystanders (especially visually impaired users).
a   Recess side hung doors so they do not open out into the pedestrian flow.
□    If doors are not recessed, highlight the leading edge of doors and 
install protective rails to prevent collision, to a height of 1200mm.
u   Automated side hung doors can be activated by a sensor or push pad. If a 
push pad is used, ensure colour and tonal contrast and set at an appropriate 
height (750-1000mm) for wheelchair users.  Ensure sensor pads are located in 
a position where users are not directly inline with the swing of the door.
□    All automatic doors should have a safety sensory system to prevent 
collision with people entering or leaving the building.
Design
□   The minimum clear opening width of a door should meet the following
Directions and width of approach New Buildings (mm) Existing Buildings (mm)
Straight on. 800 750
At right angles to an access route at least 1500mm wide. 800 ^50
At right angles to an access route at least 1200mm wide. 825 775
External doors to buildings used by the general public. 1000 775
a   Glazing should not be used below 400mm from the floor.
January 2004                                     -1 -                  JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Entrances
Fact Sheet 5
G   Large areas of glazing must bear markings (minimum 150mm in diameter) 
for safety and visibility at heights to suit wheelchair users and children, 
as well as standing adult eye level (800 - 1000mm and 1400 - 1600mm from 
finished floor level).   The markings must contrast with the background they 
will be viewed against. On approaching the building from the outside, the 
markings must contrast with the entrance foyer floor.  From inside the 
building, the background colour is likely to be that of the approach route 
to the building.
Q    Ideally all glazing in doors should be laminated.
□    Space of 500mm (min 300mm) is required on both sides of a side hung 
door, adjacent to the door's leading edge, for wheelchair manoeuvring. The 
doors should preferably open past 90 °.
a   Thresholds must be flush.
Revolving Doors
a   Revolving doors must be supplemented by an adjacent side hung or sliding 
door, in line with design guidance above. JMU Access Partnership do not 
recommend the use of revolving doors in new buildings.
□    The adjacent door must be kept unlocked, be operable from both sides, 
and not be limited to use as an emergency exit or 'for disabled people 
only'.
Door furniture (Refer to diagram below)
LI   All door furniture should be of a contrasting colour from the door 
itself (Refer to Fact Sheet 25 - Colour and Tonal Contrast).
a   Door closers should be set to the minimum force necessary to shut the 
door. A maximum force of 20 Newton's (15 Newton's preferred) should be 
required to open a door, provided this meets fire regulations.
u   Doors must be clearly signed on both sides, as to which way they open 
i.e. 'push' or 'pull' signs; unless they open both ways (Refer to Fact Sheet 
23-Signage).
□    Doors held shut by a door closer should be fitted with a large, easy to 
grip, vertical pull bar type handle, on the pull side of the door.
a   Doors fitted with a latch should be fitted with lever action handles.
□    Fingerplates should be provided on the push side of the door only, or 
both sides if the door opens both ways.
u   Kickplates should be a minimum of 400mm high and be located on at least 
one side of the door i.e. the push side, or both sides if door opens both 
ways.
January 2004
-2-
JMU Access Partnership Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Facv^ii

1A50-A500m
sor>BOOn»"
53?-«r*
1400m1"
.0 • »«
iiiii
,ever handle          iTT|l\<li.(   i,
.   ......'Www
8s»   arssr
from door
secure
fwmgs
^«"»" iaw
«. A Pact Sheets             ceCunty Locks
Other Assoo,ate^ctoneSvstenls& Sec
Fact Sheet 6--EhUV.es FactSheeW            ldors
Fact Sheet 1C\ Fact Sheet ^.ignage
SIS »-*&« Ton. Contrast Fact Sheet 25
-3-
january
200A
QC<- partnership
..nasi—*

Entry Phone Systems & Security Locks                       Fact Sheet 6
Entry phone systems may be required where entrance doors are locked.
a   Ensure the system is easy to find.  It should be located on the door 
handle side of the door and be colour contrasted.
a   The system should be unobstructed and located at a height suitable for 
use from both a seated and a standing position, i.e. controls 900 -1100mm 
above the ground.
□   There should be an additional method of alerting staff to the presence 
of a caller without the need for verbal communication, in order to assist 
people with speech or hearing impairments. For example, a CCTV system or a 
procedure to investigate any unanswered calls.
a   There should be a visual indication to show the door is being unlocked, 
for example a light, to assist people with speech or hearing impairments.
□    An inductive coupler should be fitted, and the entry system signed to 
indicate this, to assist people who use hearing aids.
a   Controls must be clearly signed, contrasted in colour and easy to 
operate.
□    Buttons should be a minimum width of 19mm.
□    Labels or instructions should be provided in embossed text and Braille.
a   Ideally, a Closed Circuit Television system should be used in 
conjunction with the entry phone - to improve security as well as access.
Security Locks
□    Where possible, proximity systems should be used. The user therefore 
only has to be within a certain distance of the sensor to activate the lock 
with an electromagnetic key fob or pass.
a   Keypads should use the same configuration as a telephone with a raised 
pip on the number '5'.
□    The keypad must be in a logical accessible position and contrast in 
coloui with its background (Refer to Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal 
Contrast).
□    Swipe card systems should be avoided as they are particularly difficult 
for visually impaired people to operate and can be easily vandalised.
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 5 - Entrances and Doors Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast
January 2004                                      -1 -                 JMU 
Access Partnersh
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orgA

Lobbies
Fact Sheet 7
This Fact Sheet is to be read in conjunction with Fact Sheet 5 -Entrances 
and Doors
Lobbies should be sized to allow wheelchair users space to manoeuvre clear 
of the first door before negotiating the second:
■    Automatic sliding doors - lobby length minimum 2100mm
■    Automatic side-hung doors - lobby length minimum 2500mm
■    See diagrams below for further minimum dimensions.
a   Parallel sets of doors should open the same way.
a   All floor finishes must be non-slip even when wet. Door matting will 
remove moisture from people's feet and thus avoid slippery entrance foyers 
(Refer tc Fact Sheet 22 - Surfaces).
Q   Door matting should be fixed, recessed to be flush with the threshold 
and internal floor finish, and not be too spongy. This will help avoid a 
potential tripping hazard and aid wheelchair manoeuvrability.
a   Keep lobbies free from any protruding or free-standing obstructions, for 
example plants or coat stands.
a   The area should be well lit without glare or shadow. It should also be 
lit in such a way as to provide a lighting transition zone between the 
bright outdoors and the more dimly lit interior, allowing people with sight 
impairments to adjust to the change (Refer to Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting).
□   Ensure there is a clear colour definition between floor/walls and 
door/walls t< aid orientation for people with visual impairments. The use of 
different textures of floor finish will further enhance this (Refer to Fact 
Sheet 25 -Colour & Tonal Contrast).
a Large areas of glass should be avoided but where necessary, must be 
clearly identified with markings (Refer to Fact Sheet 5 - Entrances and 
Doors).
a   Provide clear directional signage (Refer to Fact Sheet 23 - Signage).
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 5 - Entrances and Doors
Fact Sheet 8 - Reception
Fact Sheet 22 - Surfaces
Fact Sheet 23 - Signage
Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting
Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast
January 2004                                     -1 -                  JMU 
Access Partnershi
Web site: www.imuaccess.orq.i

Lobbies
Enironce   obbi
Entrance   lobbies
-ernal\tobbi©5
_^>o^-^
JjOO-T'rJ/
nternal   lobbies
f      '       ^
Entrance   and   interna lobbies
—«
1/    SOOrvn        j/-
Factsheet 7
Entrance   and   internal loboles
•ternal   lobbies
September 2001
-2-
Minimum Dimensions for Internal and External Lobbies/Vestibules
JMU Access Partnership Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Reception 
Fact Sheet 8
Reception areas should be in a quiet part of the building near the main 
accessible entrance, providing a good environment for verbal communication.
a   Ensure floor and walls surfaces are non-reflective to sound and light. 
This is important for people with speech or hearing difficulties (Refer to 
Fact Sheet 22 - Surfaces).
a   The reception area should have a higher level of artificial lighting 
than elsewhere in the building. This will act as a transition zone from the 
brighter natural daylight outside and allow people's eyes to adjust (Refer 
to Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting).
a   Ensure light sources, including external windows, illuminate reception 
staff and desktop correctly. Do not place light sources behind the desk or 
reception staff, as this will silhouette staff and create glare. There 
should not be shadows on the faces of reception staff in order to aid lip 
reading.
a   Task lighting is useful for providing additional local levels of 
illumination where needed, for example where people are required to fill in 
a visitors book.
a   Windows should be fitted with blinds or curtains to prevent glare, 
preferably vertical louvered blinds, or are treated with an anti-glare 
treatment. This is particularly important when reception staff are sited 
directly in front of a window.
a    Adjoining areas, such as lifts, toilets and offices should be clearly 
signed from reception.
The reception desk should be strategically positioned, preferably in clear 
view of the entrance door, well signed and easily identifiable.
a   Use materials that provide good colour and tonal contrast with immediate 
surroundings. Where practical the wall behind the reception desk should be 
finished in a plain dark colour to aid lip reading (Refer to Fact Sheet 
25 -Colour and Tonal Contrast).
a In large open reception areas or foyers it is useful to create a guidance 
path, or flarepath, leading to the reception desk, using floor finishes 
which contrast in colour and texture.
a   There should be a minimum clear floor space of 1200mm adjacent to the 
desk for manoeuvring.
January 2004
-1 -
JMU Access Partnership Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Reception
Fact Sheet 8
□    The reception desk should be provided at two heights. A section of the 
desk or counter should be at a height of 760mm, with a minimum knee space 
700mm high. The remaining section of the counter should be at a height of 
950-1100mm. A section at this height is important for people who have 
difficulty bending down. The needs of disabled staff working behind the desk 
should also be considered.
a   Maximum reach to the centre of the desk should be 500mm, avoiding the 
need to stretch.
□    The surface colour of the desktop should contrast with the objects 
likely to be on the desk, for example the pages of the signing in book. 
Ideally the edge of the desk should also contrast with the desktop.
a   The desk edge should be rounded with a slight 'lipped' upstand. The 
rounded edge helps prevent injury in the event of a collision, while the 
upstand assists people picking up items from the desk.
a   Glass screens across counters should be avoided wherever possible.
Where these are required for security reasons they should be constructed of 
non-reflective glass and special care should be taken to prevent glare from 
lighting.
a   Any grills or holes in screens intended to enhance communication should 
be offset from the centre of the screen, in order to provide n unobstructed 
view and enable lip-reading.
a   An induction loop should be provided for people with hearing 
difficulties. This must be clearly signed and staff trained in its use in 
order for it to be used effectively (Refer to Fact Sheet 27 - Technology and 
Fact Sheet 29 -Accessible Information & Communication).
Waiting areas are often located in reception areas; however, care must be 
taken to recess them off circulation routes to prevent furniture becoming an 
obstruction.
a   Effective use should be made of changes in colour, tone and texture of 
floor covering, and the use of lighting to help visually impaired people 
locate furniture.
a   Do not over-clutter waiting areas, for example with plants and 
furniture. There should be enough room for wheelchair users to manoeuvre and 
to pull along side a seated companion.
a   Seating should be arranged so that people waiting can see staff who may 
call them so that they are able to lip-read. 
______________________
January 2004                                      - 2 -                 JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

cepti°n              _^------—~       not to0 hard, *«* jP ^ w
rrw\ded shouw oe    475rnm, a « «   Q be Weo
items ate             nlWresi
bacKgvound-
d Fact Sheets
Other A»»°?a^es
Fa* Sheet7    Teiephorf Fact Shee^9      spaces
Fact Sheet 2^    g.^age
Fact Sheet 23 _     hW)            Cortrast
fa*****
.3-
V"iet>
D,s partners^ site*.
January
200^

Telephones
Fact Sheet 9
Where telephones are provided for the public, at least one telephone should 
conform to the following guidelines.
a   The phone should be at a suitable height with enough unobstructed 
manoeuvring space for wheelchair users:
■    Controls should be situated between 750 - 1000mm.
■    Minimum clear floor space in front of phone: 800mm x 1200mm deep
■    Minimum clear knee room under telephone: 750mm
■    Minimum cord length: 750mm.
□   A fold-down perch seat and support rail should be incorporated in the 
design for people who tire easily. When not in use, the seat must not 
obstruct space required by wheelchair users. This will be achieved if it 
meets the following criteria:
■    300mm deep, 650 - 800mm above floor level
■    At a convenient position at right angles to the telephone
■    On the same side of phone as the vertical support rail.
LI   The phone should be suitable for people with hearing impairments. An 
inductive coupler, which is compatible with the T position on hearing aids 
should be fitted, and ideally a volume control should be available.  If 
possible the telephone should have a textport to allow direct connection to 
a textphone. A suitable large shelf within reach of the telephone handset 
should also be available to support a portable text phone device. This shelf 
must not obstruct space required by wheelchair users and should provide 
colour and tonal contrast with the surrounding features (Refer to Fact Sheet 
27 - Technology and Fact Sheet 29 - Accessible Information & Communication).
roe    3h©lf
Perch seat 650 - 800mm high
□   Telephone directories should be accessible and close at hand.
January 2004
-1 -
JMU Access Partnership Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Telephones
Fact Sheet 9
a   It is preferable to locate telephones in areas where there is a low 
ambient noise level so that people with hearing impairments and others will 
find it easier to communicate.
a   It is important that there is adequate lighting to illuminate the 
characters, controls and directories (Refer to Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting).
□    Ensure telephone enclosures and acoustic hoods do not pose an 
undetectable hazard. This can be achieved by ensuring that they continue 
down to floor level.
□    All telephones should have a raised pip on the '5' to help keypad 
orientation for people with sight impairments. Where possible, telephones 
should have large push buttons and numbers should contrast with their 
background and be raised (Refer to Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast).
a   These telephones must be clearly signed and their functions clearly 
identified, i.e. use the universally recognised 'telephone', 'wheelchair' 
and induction loop symbols.
a   If there is more than one type of phone, e.g. payment by card, coins, or 
internal phones, one of each type of phone should meet the above criteria.
Emergency phones (including those in lifts (Refer to Fact Sheet 14 - Lifts))
All emergency phones should:
a   Be fitted with inductive couplers (Refer to Fact Sheet 29 - Accessible 
Information & Communication)
□    Have a raised pip on the '5'
□    Be clearly signed and identified (Refer to Fact Sheet 23 - Signage)
a   Be of a standard colour, which contrasts with wall coverings and the 
colour of normal phones in the building (Refer to Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & 
Tonal Contrast)
a   Be positioned at a height accessible to both wheelchair users and 
non-wheelchair users alike between 750 - 1000mm.
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 8 - Reception
Fact Sheet 14-Lifts
Fact Sheet 23 - Signage
Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting
Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast
Fact Sheet 27 - Technology
Fact Sheet 29 - Accessible Information & Communication
January 2004                                      - 2 -                 JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.imuaccess.orq.uk

Corridors
Fact Sheet 10
Corridors should be a minimum of 1500mm wide (1200mm for use in exceptional 
circumstances). A width of 1800mm is preferable in order to allow 
wheelchairs to pass, or a Guide Dog and its owner to walk side by side.
□    Corridors should be clear of obstructions.  Projections into routes 
that do not continue down to ground level are hazardous, especially to 
people with sight impairments.
□    Wherever possible, radiators, fire extinguishers etc. should be 
recessed. Radiators on circulation routes should have a low surface 
temperature to prevent scalding.
a   For long stretches of corridor, convenient seating should be provided. 
This should be recessed slightly off the main route. Where space is at a 
premium fold down perch seats may be used (Refer to Fact Sheet 
8 -Reception). There should be a maximum distance of 50m between resting 
points.
a   Corridors should incorporate right angle splayed corners wherever 
possible since this helps wheelchair manoeuvrability.
Q   Corridors should be as short as possible and should incorporate 
landmarks in the layout to aid orientation for visually impaired and 
deafblind people. Landmarks can include changes in floor finish, changes in 
wall texture, sounds (e.g. lift mechanism) or aromas (e.g. plants).
a   If handrails are provided along corridors these should convey 
information as well as maintaining a line of travel.  For example, different 
materials, texture changes and raised symbols could indicate stairs, 
junctions or fire escapes. A break in the handrail indicates the presence of 
a door opening (Refer to Fact Sheet 13 - Handrails).
January 2004
-1 -
JMU Access Partnership Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Corridors
Fact Sheet 10
/
1700 min
1200 min
1500mm
I    Wm

MOTI; ....
min j.-J»v:.;-:::?
8SI    appliances L_ and fitting?; recessed
dear, unobstructed |     space for door t     approach area
wheelchair min turning radius 750-800mm -more if pushed
Figure 1: Corridor layout
Doors (Refer to Fact Sheet 5 - Entrances & Doors)
□   Wherever possible, electromagnetic catches should be fitted to hold 
internal corridor doors open. This makes the building more user-friendly for 
everyone.
□   The leading edge of doors held open should always be flush with the wall 
to prevent a hazard.
Floors
□    Refer to Fact Sheet 22 - Surfaces.
Colour Schemes (Refer to Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast) a   The 
use of different colours and textures should be utilised to convey 
orientation and 'wayfinding' information. This is particularly useful for 
people with learning difficulties as well as those with sight impairments.
Lighting (Refer to Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting)
a   Combinations of direct and indirect lighting should be used to highlight 
features such as signs and changes in direction to aid orientation.
January 2004
- 2 -                 JMU Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.org.uk

Corridors
Fact Sheet 10
□    Window sill heights should be low enough for wheelchair users to see 
out. All windows should have some means of dealing with glare e.g. blinds or 
solar treatment.
Signage
a   Good signage should be provided throughout the corridor system in line 
with the guidance in Fact Sheet 23 - Signage.
Flashing Fire Alarm Beacons / Fire Pager Systems
□    Refer to Fact Sheet 26 - Emergency Egress.
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 5 - Entrances & Doors
Fact Sheet 8 - Reception
Fact Sheet 13 - Handrails
Fact Sheet 22 - Surfaces
Fact Sheet 23 - Signage
Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting
Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast
Fact Sheet 26 - Emergency Egress

Stairs
Fact Sheet 11
Steps are often preferred to ramps by many ambulant disabled people and 
should always be included in the design of a building. Steps should be 
provided in addition to the ramp when the rise of the ramp is more than 
300mm (Refer to Fact Sheet 12 - Ramps).
a   For safety reasons steps should not be directly opposite an entrance 
i.e. in the direct line of travel.
□    Single steps along any route should be avoided and all steps must have 
a consistent rise and going to prevent tripping people with sight 
impairments.
□    Step treads should have a non-slip finish and should shed rainwater if 
external.
□    Open risers and projecting nosings are unacceptable since both are 
potential tripping hazards.
a   Curved and spiral staircases should be avoided, as these can be 
dangerous to negotiate for many disabled people.
a   Step nosings should be highlighted to contrast in colour and tone with 
the tread and riser (Refer to Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast).
a   Corduroy tactile warning surfaces should be used to define an area of 
landing at the top and bottom of external stairs. (For further details see 
References below). For internal stairs seek Consultancy advice from JMU.
a   Lighting should be used to highlight step treads. This should be 
directed onto the stairs, as opposed to down the stairs, to aid colour 
contrast recognition and to prevent anyone negotiating the stairs in their 
own shadow (Refer to Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting).
Stair Dimensions
□    Step: Rise, preferred range 150mm - 170mm, Going 250mm - 300mm 
(Preferred. 300mm),
a   Flight: Width 1200mm minimum. Ideally flights should contain a maximum 
of 12 risers.
a   Landings: these should be minimum 1200mm long, clear of door swing. They 
should provide a convenient safe resting place at regular intervals.
Stairs as a means of Emergency Egress
(Refer to Fact Sheet 26 - Emergency Egress)
January 2004
-1 -
JMU Access Partnership Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Stairs
Fact Sheet 11
Handrails
a   Refer to Fact Sheet 13 - Handrails
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 12 - Ramps
Fact Sheet 13 - Handrails
Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting
Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast
Fact Sheet 26 - Emergency Egress
References
DETR 1998 'Guidance on the use of Tactile Paving Surfaces' (Chapter 2)
January 2004                                     - 2 -                 JMU 
Access Partnersh
web site: www.imuaccess.org.

Ramps
Fact Sheet 12
Where possible, changes in level should be avoided. To achieve this on 
sloping sites, access routes should be graded to create a continuously 
sloping approach with a gradient of less than 1:20, while providing level 
resting areas at regular intervals on long stretches. This is generally the 
most attractive way of providing access and avoids the need for steps and 
steep ramps.
This is not always practical therefore consideration should be given to the 
following guidelines.
a   Ramps should be used in conjunction with steps. Steps are desirable 
because some ambulant disabled people and visually impaired people find them 
safer and easier to use than sloping surfaces, especially when wet or icy 
(Refer to Fact Sheet 11 - Stairs).
a   Ramps should have a minimum clear width of 1500mm, but 1800mm is 
preferred.
Q   Curved or circular ramps are not recommended since the crossfail forces 
wheelchairs to one side, thereby making wheelchair control difficult.
□   A ramp's surface should be well drained and slip resistant, even when 
wet.
a   The preferred maximum gradient of a ramp should be 1:15, Building 
Regulations state a of maximum 1:12. However many wheelchair users would 
struggle to negotiate this steep gradient.
□    The steeper the gradient the shorter the distance between landings. The 
following table shows the appropriate distance between landings relative to 
a ramp's gradient.
Gradient Preferred landings every Maximum Rise
1:20 Preferred 10m 500mm
1:15 &less 5m 333mm
1:12 Maximum 2m 166mm
January 2004                                     -1 -                  JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.ul

Ramps
Fact Sheet 12
a Landings should be provided at the top and bottom of each ramp, where 
there is a change in direction and at intermediate levels according to the 
above table. Landings should be as follows:
Landing Minimum Length (mm) Surface Finish
Bottom 1200* Different colour & texture from the ramp
Intermediate 1500* Same as ramp
Top 1200* Different colour & texture from the ramp
*clear of door swing
Q   Corduroy tactile warning surface is often wrongly sited at the top and 
bottom of ramps. Ramps are not considered a hazard in most situations.
a   A 100mm kerb or rail should be formed along the exposed edges of a ramp, 
unless a solid balustrade rail is provided. This is mainly intended to help 
partially sighted people detect the extent of the ramp with their cane but 
also helps to stop wheelchairs going through the open balustrade.
□   Handrails should be provided on all ramps with a gradient of 1:20 or 
more (Refer to Fact Sheet 13 - Handrails).
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 11 - Stairs Fact Sheet 13 - Handrails
January 2004                                     - 2 -                 JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.imuaccess.org.ul

Handrails
Fact Sheet 13
Handrails should be provided on both sides of all ramps with a gradient of 
1:20 or greater, and on all steps. This will allow people to use their 
strongest arm for support when ascending and descending.
Q   They should be located 900 - 1000mm above the ramp/nosing line, and 
900 - 1100mm above landings and level areas, thus indicating changes in 
level, which is especially important for people with sight impairments.
Q   Handrails should be circular or oval in profile. A circular handrail 
should be 40mm - 45mm in diameter; an oval handrail should be 50mm wide and 
38mm deep.
□    The rail should have a clear space between the handrail and adjacent 
wall of between 60mm - 75mm.
a   The rail should extend a minimum of 300mm past the end of the 
ramp/stair, returning to the wall or finishing in a positive end but not 
projecting into a route of travel (Refer to Fact Sheet 23 - Signage).
□    The rail should have an easily gripped surface, and it should contrast 
with its background. It should be continuous across landings (Refer to Fact 
Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast).
a   A raised stud should be fitted on handrails above the first and last 
step of each flight to identify them to people with sight impairments. Where 
there is more than one floor, the floor level can be indicated by the number 
of studs.
a   The rail should be non-slip (even when wet if an external handrail), for 
example powder finish with no jagged edges. The rail should not be cold to 
touch for example hardwood or uPVC/Thermoplastic coated steel.
60 - 75mm between the       Support rails wall and the handrail 
35mm diameter
sU             ►j^          y    40-45mm diameter of
\ \
$
s
the handrail
50mm minimum
January 2004
-1 -                 JMU Access Partnershi
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.u

Handrails
Fact Sheet 13
300mm
corduroy warning surface
300mrn i------------->,
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 23 - Signage
Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast
January 2004
- 2 -                 JMU Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.org.ul

Lifts 
Fact Sheet 14
Lifts are essential and often the sole means of vertical circulation for 
wheelchair users. They are also more convenient for people with visual 
impairments, conditions that come with ageing such as arthritis, or people 
with limited stamina such as those with multiple sclerosis.
Floor Landing
a   A minimum of 1500mm by 1500mm floor space should be kept clear outside 
lifts to aid wheelchair manoeuvrability. The Building Regulations stipulate 
1500mm by 1500mm but this has proved inadequate for many wheelchair users.
□    This clear floor space ideally should be defined from the surrounding 
floor surfaces by a change in tone and texture of floor covering. For 
example if the surrounding floor covering were a dark coloured carpet, a 
light coloured vinyl would help highlight this feature. Changes in floor 
finish must be flush to avoid tripping. This change can be a useful 
orientation clue to people with a sight loss (Refer to Fact Sheet 25 - 
Colour & Tonal Contrast).
□    As part of a signage strategy for the building, a sign should be fixed 
opposite the lift doors which indicates the floor number and the space uses 
on the floor (Refer to Fact Sheet 23 - Signage).
Lift Door
□    The doors should be highlighted from the walls on the floor landings to 
make the lift easy to identify. This can be achieved by painting the wall 
surrounding the lift doors in a colour tonally different from the lift 
doors. Ideally the walls surrounding the lift doors should be of a different 
colour to the other walls to further highlight the lifts presence. The same 
colour should be used on all floor landings (Refer to Fact Sheet 25 - Colour 
& Tonal Contrast).
□    Lift doors must stay open long enough to allow the slowest person to 
gain entry, minimum 20 seconds (this can be over-ridden by pressing a floor 
call button).
□    Door sensors should continue down to a low level (around 125mm above 
floor level) to prevent guide dogs being trapped in the doors.
Call buttons
□    The panel should contrast in colour and tone with the wall.
a   Arrows should be embossed and have Braille indicators.
a   Buttons should illuminate and ideally there should be an audible signal 
to register a call and confirm when the lift has arrived.
□    Refer also to guidance given below under 'Car controls'.
January 2004
-1 -
JMU Access Partnership

Lifts
Fact Sheet 14
Lift car
□    The lift car should be a minimum 1100mm wide and 1400mm deep and lift 
doors should have a minimum clear opening width of 800mm, although a larger 
lift car and door opening width would be preferable.
a   Lifts should be fitted with a small mirror panel on the back wall of the 
lift car to enable wheelchair users to reverse out of the lift car. The 
mirror should not extend down to floor level, since it could be broken by 
wheelchair user's footplates.   Large areas of mirrored glass can also be 
very disorientating for people with a sight impairment and should be 
avoided.
a   The floor of the lift should contrast tonally with the walls.
a   Shiny surfaces should be avoided because they can cause reflective 
glare, a problem for visually impaired people.
a   A support rail should be provided on all walls other than the door wall 
of the lift car (Refer to Fact Sheet 13 - Handrails).
Lighting
□    Luminaries should provide an adequate and even spread of light. Light 
sources should be chosen which give a colour rendering as close as possible 
to daylight (Refer to Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting).
Car controls
a   Lift controls should be set 900 - 1100mm above floor level. They should 
be located on a side wall at least 400mm from the front and back wall, and 
preferably on both side walls of the lift. Lift controls presented in a 
horizontal fashion rather than the conventional vertical manner are 
preferable since no one needs to bend down or reach up to operate the 
controls.
□    The numerals and symbols on the buttons should be embossed and Braille 
should be provided. For this reason the buttons should not be touch 
sensitive. Lift control buttons are available which vibrate until the chosen 
floor is reached; these are useful for Deafblind people.
a   Buttons should illuminate to register a call.
□    The lift control panel should contrast with the lift wall
a   An audible floor level indicator should be provided. The voice chosen 
for the announcement should not be too highly pitched. It is more common to 
loose sensitivity to high frequency noise.
a   The visual floor level indicator in each lift should be mounted at eye 
level (1400mm to 1700mm above floor level). Numerals should be large and
January 2004
- 2 -                 JMU Access Partnership
Web site: www.imuaccess.orq.uk

Lifts 
Fact Sheet
contrast tonally with the display. Red LED displays should be avoided. Red 
is a colour commonly confused by people who are colour blind.
Emergency Communication
a   Where an emergency telephone or alarm call button is provided, they 
should be clearly identifiable and at an appropriate height. If contained 
within a cabinet, the cabinet door should be hinged so as to open away from 
the user, rather than obstructing access.
□   An emergency telephone should be fitted with an inductive coupler and an 
emergency number must be dialled, this number should be marked clearly, 
preferably with a tactile embossed legend.
Q   A system should be in place to reassure people within the lift car that 
tt emergency is being dealt with. This should preferably comprise both 
audible and visual confirmation.
a   Lifts can act as a means of emergency egress if constructed to BS 5588: 
Part 8 (Refer to Fact Sheet 26 - Emergency Egress).
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 5 - Entrances & Doors
Fact Sheet 11 - Stairs
Fact Sheet 13 - Handrails
Fact Sheet 23 - Signage
Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting
Fact Sheet 26 - Emergency Egress
Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast

Meeting Rooms / Auditoria                                       Fact Sheet 
15
Layout & Fitting
□    Ensure all the aspects such as floors, walls, doors and seating, 
contrast in colour to assist visually impaired people (Refer to Fact Sheet 
22 - Surfaces and Fact Sheet 25 - Colour and Tonal Contrast).
□    Signage should be provided in line with the guidance provided in Fact 
Sheet 23-Signage.
a   Dimmer switches should be fitted to all artificial lighting in these 
areas to enable lighting levels to be adjusted to user requirements. Task 
lighting may also be a consideration in these areas (Refer to Fact Sheet 
24 - Lighting).
a   Vertical louvered blinds should be fitted to all windows in order to 
prevent glare.
□    Desks and tables should be at a height of 725 - 750mm with a minimum 
knee space under the desk of 800mm wide, 500mm deep (630mm preferred) & 
700mm high (720mm preferred).
a   Seating provided should be firm, stable but not too hard, with a good 
back support and at a height of 450 - 475mm; this is a height most people 
find easy to rise from. At least a percentage of seating should be fitted 
with arm supports to assist in rising from the seat.
a   Provide seating with additional legroom for people with mobility 
impairments i.e. 1200mm from the rear of their seat to the rear of the seat 
in front of them.
a   Guide dog users require somewhere for their dog to lie down. Some 
provision can be made at ends of rows clear of required circulation space. 
Alternatively missing out seats within rows can provide enough space.
□    Audible commentary should be provided for visually impaired people to 
describe events that are of significance to the performance/lecture but are 
not described.
a   Tables and chairs should preferably be movable to allow flexibility of 
room layout. If hearing impaired people are involved in the meeting, the 
room layout should enable them to see the faces of other participants.
a   Sound in auditoriums or large rooms is often distorted due to the 
effects of room acoustics, this is made worse by the distance that sound has 
to travel to the audience. In such areas an induction loop or infra red 
system should be provided to aid people with hearing impairments. The 
Building Regulations stipulate a room of 100 Sq. meters or greater should 
have such
January 2004
-1 -
JMU Access Partnership Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Meeting Rooms / Auditoria
Fact Sheet 15
a system installed. (Refer to Fact Sheet 27 - Technology and Fact Sheet 29 - 
Accessible Information & Communication).
a In medium to large meeting rooms (i.e. in rooms intended for 12 people or 
more), an induction loop or infra red system should be either permanently 
installed or made available in the form of a portable system.
Wheelchair Spaces
□   Wheelchair spaces and seating suitable for ambulant disabled people 
should be provided in all auditoria. These should allow both wheelchair 
users and their non-wheelchair user companions to sit together and have an 
unobstructed view of the performance/lecture.
a   Wheelchair users should have access to all the facilities that 
non-disabled members of the audience would expect e.g. suitable toilet 
facilities, restaurant, bars etc (Refer to Fact Sheet 19 & 20 - Accessible 
WCs).
a   Spaces should be level and a minimum of 900mm clear width by at least 
1400mm deep. These spaces may normally be kept clear or they may be ones 
from which seating can easily be removed. Removable seating at the ends of 
rows are suggested locations. There should, however, always be at least one 
space kept clear of seating at all times.
Q   Wheelchair spaces should make up a minimum of 6, or 1% of the total 
seating, whichever is greater. Guide dog users also benefit from the extra 
space, allowing their guide dog to sit alongside them.
a Sight lines for all spectators should be suitable for viewing the speakers 
and projection screens. Spaces should be arranged to avoid the extra height 
of wheelchairs from obstructing sight levels of other spectators.
□    Ensure there is sufficient circulation space to enable a wheelchair 
user to manoeuvre into the space.
□    Some wheelchair users prefer to transfer to a seat. There should be 
space to store the wheelchair nearby so it can be easily returned when 
needed. The stored wheelchair should not cause obstruction.
January 2004
-2-
JMU Access Partnership Wftb site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk


Meeting Rooms / Auditoria
Fact Sheet 15
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 16-Offices
Fact Sheet 22 - Surfaces
Fact Sheet 23 - Signage
Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting
Fact Sheet 25 - Colour and Tonal Contrast
Fact Sheet 27 - Technology
Fact Sheet 28 - Management Issues & Staff Awareness
Fact Sheet 29 - Accessible Information & Communication
January 2004
-3-
JMU Access Partners* Web site: www.jmuaccess.org

Offices
Fact Sheet 16
Layout and Furniture
a   Desks and furniture should be arranged so that an employee who uses a 
stick, crutches, a wheelchair or a guide dog has enough room to move around 
without obstruction (a minimum of 1200mm wide).
□    Colour and tonal contrast between desks, chairs and the floor coverings 
will help visually impaired people (Refer to Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal 
Contrast).
□    Floor surfaces should be provided in accordance with the guidance on 
Fact Sheet 22 - Surfaces.
o   Filing cabinets should be located away from circulation areas so that 
opened drawers do not cause a hazard for people with impaired sight.
□    Equipment such as photocopiers, faxes, telephones and PCs should be 
made as usable for employees with disabilities as possible. There should be 
adequate space to approach the item of equipment and manoeuvre around it. 
Equipment should be located away from reception, meeting areas and 
telephones to aid hearing impaired people.
Q   Commonly used reference books, stationery and other every day materials 
should be kept on shelves that can be reached from a wheelchair.
□    Any written instructions should be placed where they can easily be seen 
by someone in a wheelchair.  Instructions for employees with sight 
impairments should be offered in an alternative format, such as tape or 
Braille. Short labels or instructions should be embossed.
□    Window sill heights should be low enough to allow wheelchair users to 
see out (1080 - 1300mm from floor level). All windows should have some means 
of dealing with glare e.g. blinds or solar treatment.
a   Lighting should be provided in line with the guidance in Fact Sheet 
24 -Lighting.
a   Doors should be provided in line with the guidance in Fact Sheet 
5 -Entrances & Doors.
□    If offices are used as meeting rooms refer to Fact Sheet 15 - Meeting 
Rooms/Auditoria.
January 2004
-1 -
JMU Access Partnership Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Offices
Fact Sheet 16
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 5 - Entrances & Doors
Fact Sheet 15 - Meeting Rooms/Auditoria
Fact Sheet 22 - Surfaces
Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting
Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast
Fact Sheet 27 - Technology
Fact Sheet 29 - Accessible Information & Communication
January 2004
-2-
JMU Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Kitchens
Fact sheet 17
There are many features that can be provided in a communal kitchen, which 
will enable a wide range of people to use the facility.
Layout
a   Open plan areas make food preparation more efficient. A continuous 
sequence of units is recommended.
□    The proximity of the sink to the hob is important to make the transfer 
of heavy pans and hot liquids from hob to sink as easy as possible.
a   The hob should have a work surface on either side.
a   Where practical, areas where people will be working, such as the sink, 
cooker and work surfaces, should not be located below a window, which could 
cause glare.
a   Circulation areas should be kept clear of tables and chairs.
Choice of Appliances
□   These should be chosen primarily for safety and ease of use.
□    Hobs should have their control knobs located on the front to avoid 
reaching across hot pots and pans. These are preferably on a horizontal 
rather than a vertical plane, so that it is easier to read any tactile 
markings or see any visual indicators. It should be simple to relate the 
controls to their various functions. Tactile marking material and specially 
adapted controls may assist here. (These are available from RNIB (Tel: 0845 
766 9999) and from cooking appliance manufacturers).
Q   Ideally there should be clear space left under the hob to allow a 
wheelchair user to approach from the front.
o   It is useful for gas ovens to have a sound signal which comes on when 
the oven is lit, and ideally all ovens should have an audible signal to 
indicate when the oven has reached its correct temperature.
□    Cooker hoods which extract steam and smells should include a glare-free 
lighting system, which shines down on the hob.
a   Fridges and freezers should have 'D' handles, since these are easier to 
grip and also indicate which way the door opens.
January 2004
-1 -
JMU Access Partnership Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Kitchens
Fact sheet 17
Sink & Taps
Q   If space permits there should be no cupboard space under sinks and 
drainers to allow easy wheelchair access. If practical, a shallow sink 
should be used and pipework should be kept clear of the knee space.  Hot 
pipes and the underside of the sink should be insulated to prevent scalding.
a   Taps should be of lever type - a single lever mixer tap is best. The hot 
water flow to the tap should be thermostatically controlled to avoid 
scalding.
Work surfaces
Q   Work surfaces should be plain coloured and non-reflective to avoid 
visual confusion. It is useful to provide both light and dark coloured work 
surfaces to highlight light and dark foodstuffs. A double-sided chopping 
board with one light and one dark side is an alternative.
□    A raised edge which contrasts in colour and tone with that of the work 
surface helps define the edge, contain spillage and prevent objects being 
easily knocked off the surface. A cove at the rear will seal the joint with 
the wall and assist cleaning (Refer to Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal 
Contrast).
u   At least one section of work surface should be left with a clear space 
underneath free from cupboards and appliances. This allows wheelchair users 
to work at this section. A pull out worktop can also be fixed to the 
underside of the worktop.
u A generous splash back should be created in a colour that contrasts with 
the work surface. This helps define the work surface and allows for easy 
cleaning.
□    Floors must be slip-resistant, even when wet. Light, plain floor 
coverings make dropped items easier to find than on heavy patterned floor 
covering (Refer to Fact Sheet 22 - Surfaces).
Sockets & Switches
□    Sockets and switches should be installed with colour and tonal contrast 
in mind. A dark tiled splashback will highlight standard white socket and 
switch panels.
□    Plugs with handles are easier to use for people with poor grip.
January 2004
-2-
JMU Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

«
Kitchens
Fact sheet 17
a   Mains switches, stopcocks and isolation valves should be easy to reach 
and identified with ON and OFF positions marked with high visibility 
lettering and tactile embossed symbols.
Lighting (Refer to Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting)
a   Work surfaces need careful illumination. Additional task lighting should 
be
situated above each area of activity. For example light fittings can be
mounted on the underside of cupboards. a   Bare lamps are a source of glare 
so a diffuser or a hood should be
provided.
a   The level of illumination should be adjustable to suit different
requirements. Some people may be very sensitive to increased levels of 
illumination whilst others may need much higher levels.
Cupboards
□    These should be fitted with 'D' handles to help those with limited 
grip.
o   Sliding doors can be left open without the risk of collision, unlike 
side-hung
doors.
□    Glass shelves should be avoided.
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 22 - Surfaces
Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting
Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast
January 2004
-3-
JMU Access Partnership Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Bedrooms
Fact Sheet 18
Provision
□    Routes to all bedrooms should be clear of obstructions.
a   To allow for maximum flexibility, it is preferable for all bedrooms to 
be accessible to wheelchair users.
□    Where specific bedrooms are designated for use by disabled people, 
there should be a minimum of 1 wheelchair accessible bedroom for every 20 
standard bedrooms. There should be equal access to communal facilities 
enjoyed by standard bedrooms, for example a TV room or kitchen.
□    Wherever possible, disabled people should have access to en-suite 
bathrooms (Refer to Fact Sheet 21 - Accessible Showers / Bathrooms).
Layout
a   Privacy should be taken into account, particularly when positioning the 
bed in relation to windows.
□    Consider the relationship between the bedroom and the bathroom, to 
allow for the future installation of a connecting ceiling-mounted hoist. A 
knock-through panel between the rooms allows flexibility (Refer to Fact 
Sheets 19 & 20 - Accessible WCs).
G   The bedroom should be designed to accommodate two single beds side by 
side or a double bed.
a   A clear space 1200mm should be provided at the foot of the bed and there 
should be a minimum clear space of 1500 x 1500mm to one side of the bed, or 
preferably both sides to allow choice of transfer.
□    Windows should provide views from a sitting position and have easy to 
use controls.
Furniture
a   Many people want to use radios, televisions, music systems and
computers in bedrooms, so there should be adequate provision for their 
storage.
a   For people confined to bed, access to light switches, task lighting, 
telephone, television sockets, radio, clock and entry phone is important.
a   Telephones should be fitted with inductive couplers to assist hearing 
aid users (Refer to Fact Sheet 27 - Technology and Fact Sheet 29 -Accessible 
Communication & Information).
□    Despite imposing a degree of rigidity upon the room layout, built-in 
furniture makes it easier to site power points and controls, and avoids 
trailing cables.
January 2004
-1 -
JMU Access Partnership Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Bedrooms
Fact Sheet 18
a   A space in front of wardrobes of a minimum of 1100mm will be required 
depending on how the wardrobe doors open, i.e. hinged, concertina or 
sliding. Sliding doors are preferable.
□    An adjustable or pull down wardrobe rail is useful.
a   A base or threshold to wardrobes should be avoided.
□    All furniture should have rounded edges and corners to minimise the 
risk of accidental injury.
Visual clarity
a Door handles and drawer knobs must be easy to see and grip and should 
contrast with the door or drawer finish (Refer to Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & 
Tonal Contrast).
a   Standard white sockets and light switches can easily become "lost" 
against pale coloured wall finishes. Contrasting socket and switch panels 
are available or, alternatively, a contrasting border can be added around 
the outside of the socket or switch panel (Refer to Fact Sheet 24 - 
Lighting).
□    For easy location of light switches in the dark, photo-luminescent 
stickers fixed to switches will glow in the dark. Fibre optic panels, which 
clip over the light switch plate (eg Havenglow "Switch-Lite") also highlight 
switches at night.
a   Avoid the use of patterned materials for carpets and bedspreads, as they 
create visual confusion and make it difficult to find dropped articles 
(Refer to Fact Sheet 22 - Surfaces).
Alarms
a Alarm systems should be visible as well as audible. Vibrating pagers and 
pillows should be available for hearing impaired people.
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 19 - Accessible WCs - layout
Fact Sheet 20 - Accessible WCs - furnishings & fittings
Fact Sheet 21 - Accessible Showers / Bathrooms
Fact Sheet 22 - Surfaces
Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting
Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast
Fact Sheet 26 - Emergency Egress
Fact Sheet 27 - Technology
Fact Sheet 29 - Accessible Communication & Information
January 2004
-2-
JMU Access Partnership Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Accessible WCs - layout 
Fact Sheet 19
This Fact Sheet is to be read in conjunction with Fact Sheet 20 -Accessible 
WCs - furnishings & fittings
Accessible toilets are used not only by wheelchair users but by an extremely 
wide range of disabled people. This group of people should not have to 
travel further or make more effort than other users, (maximum 40m). 
Toilets should be located on accessible routes and be clearly signed.
An accessible layout is a careful arrangement of clear floor space and 
conveniently sited equipment and fittings. It allows for independent or 
assisted approach, use and exit, a variety of transfer methods to/from the 
WC pan and general comfort and security.
The peninsular layout has been highlighted within this fact sheet but such a 
layout should be used with caution. This layout assumes that there will be 
assistance when using the facilities and should only be installed in 
locations such as care homes where assistance can be provided.
□   Toilets should be located on accessible routes and be clearly signed 
(Refer to Fact Sheet 23 - Signage).
Q   There are two standard accessible toilet layouts. The off centre layout, 
preferred dimensions 1500 x 2200mm and the peninsular layout, preferred 
dimensions 2200 x 2400mm.
a   Do not obstruct effective space at a low-level e.g. with pipework, ducts 
or radiators.   Radiators and hot pipes must be kept away from the toilet 
and other areas where they could scald, since many disabled people have 
reduced sensation.
a   The larger peninsula layout provides for transfer from both sides onto 
the pan, some disabled people have a weakness on one side of their body and 
can only transfer from one side. It also provides additional space for those 
who require assistance.  However it should not be seen as a substitute for, 
two separate, handed off centre cubicles but as an additional toilet 
facility. This is because it is not possible to reach the wash handbasin 
when seated on the pan in the peninsular layout.
a   There should always be unisex accessible facilities provided, to avoid 
embarrassment for people who need assistance from someone of the opposite 
sex. Where possible additional accessible cubicles should be provided in all 
male and female facilities. These should use the off centre lay out (Refer 
to Figure 1 & 2).
January 2004
-1 -
JMU Access Partnership Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Accessible WCs - layout
Fact Sheet 19
Off centre layout
□   The recommended layout for this size of cubicle places the WC closer to 
one wall than the other to allow the use of essential equipment and fittings 
from a seated position on the WC. However, this is a built-in restriction 
for people with one side of their body weaker than the other. Therefore 
ideally there should be at least two accessible WCs provided close to one 
another, one left and one right hand transfer layout. These should be 
clearly signed.
a   The front edge of the pan should be positioned 750mm from the rear wall. 
This dimension remains the same whether the cistern is concealed or front 
mounted. The pan should be centred at 500mm from the side wall to allow for 
assisted transfer.
250
*+«-
600
-W4
X
750mm
50
3=
"v
2S°:
---min
»
1      Alarm pull cord
2     Vertical grab rails
3     Drop down grab rail
2200 mm
Fiaure 1: Plan of the Off Centre Layout

Accessible WCs - layout 
Fact Sheet 19
S
i
"□V
E o
«» o
Figure 2: Section of the Off Centre Layout
Peninsula layout
a   Most guidelines suggest that the pan should be located centrally in a 
manner which allows wheelchair access on either side.
a   This aims to provide suitable facilities for most disabled people in one 
compartment. However, this layout is again a compromise, as although 
wheelchair users can transfer from either side of the pan and assistants 
will have more space, the requirement to be able to wash while seated on the 
WC, the most hygienic situation, cannot be fulfilled since the basin cannot 
be reached. Wet wipe tissues located within reach of the pan are useful.
□   Where this layout is used it must be accepted that the wash hand basin 
cannot be reached from the WC and it should be sited well away from the WC, 
thus keeping the transfer space clear.
a   If this facility is to accommodate more than just wheelchair users, a 
fold-down or fixed perch seat will be required to allow ambulant disabled 
people to use the wash hand basin which is too low to be used in a standing 
position. This seat can double as a shelf but it must not obstruct 
wheelchair manoeuvring space.
January 2004
- 3 -                 JMU Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.ul

Accessible WCs - layout                                           Fact Sheet 
19                         •
1 - alarm pull cord
2 - vertical grab rails
3 - drop down grab rails
]
«--------------------------------------------------------K
2200mrn
Figure 3: Plan of Peninsular Layout
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 20 - Accessible WCs - furnishings & fittings Fact Sheet 23 - 
Signage
January 2004                                     -4-                 JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.imuaccess.orq.uk
1000 mm

Accessible WCs - furnishings & fittings                  Fact Sheet 20
This Fact Sheet is to be read in conjunction with Fact Sheet 19 -Accessible 
WCs - layout
Doors
a Lobbies should be avoided where practical and where regulations permit but 
privacy and dignity should not be overlooked. If a lobby is required, the 
outer door should have a low level viewing panel.
a   Side hung doors should open outwards. If doors must open inwards, extra 
allowance must be made for manoeuvring space within the compartment, a 
minimum of 1100 x 700mm clear space, and, in an emergency, this type of door 
should be able to open outwards.
□    Toilet doors must give a minimum of 850mm clear opening width, 
preferably 900mm.
□    Pull-bars should be fitted on the inward face of all outwardly opening 
side hung doors at the same height as the door handle to aid closing the 
door once inside the compartment. These should be easy to grip by people 
with limited manual dexterity and should contrast in colour and tone with 
the door.
a   All doors should be fitted with 400mm high kick plates, to prevent 
damage by wheelchair footplates.
□    Sliding doors are difficult to use for many wheelchair users. These 
doors can, however, give more manoeuvring space than other door types and do 
not project into a corridor causing an obstruction. Sliding door runners 
must be smooth and durable and ideally should be back weighted for easy 
opening.
□    Doors should not open out on to a main pedestrian route because this 
can be hazardous, especially for visually impaired people.
a   Where doors cannot open onto a corridor, because it will cause a hazard, 
a bi-folding door may be a satisfactory alternative.
a   Door locks should have engaged signs clearly visible from outside the 
compartment. These locks should contrast in colour with the door and should 
be simple and easily operated by people with limited grip; lever type are 
best (Refer to Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast).
□    Locks should be operable from the outside in an emergency.
January 2004                                      -1 -                 JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Accessible WCs - furnishings & fittings                Fact Sheet 20
Lighting (Refer to Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting)
a   Ideally the light should be activated by a movement sensor, which 
switches the lights on automatically upon entering the facility.
a   Manual light switches should be large rocker switches of a contrasting 
colour to the wall, located in an obvious and accessible position, 1050mm 
from the floor. A rocker switch is less likely to be confused with an alarm 
pull cord.
□    An alternative is to use a pull cord type, extending to at least 900mm 
from floor level, fitted with a large easy to grip coloured toggle/ring.
Alarm Cords
□    These should be provided in accessible positions and should extend to a 
low level, i.e. operable while lying on the floor. Again, they should be 
provided with an easy to grip toggle/ring, be dearly signed and 
identifiable, contrasting with the surrounding walls and fittings. They must 
be located so as not to be confused with the light pull cord.
□    These should raise the alarm in a staffed central area to ensure a 
quick response by a trained assistant (Refer to Fact Sheet 28 - Management 
Issues & Staff Awareness).
Fittings need to be robust, often fulfilling a support role as well as their 
Intended job, for example the WC seat or basin rim, although this can be 
mitigated with carefully sited grabrails.
Grabrails
Grabrails should:
□    Contrast in colour with the walls.
□    Be 32 - 35mm in diameter.
□   Allow good grip even when wet.
a   Be securely fixed to walls and strong enough to support a person's 
weight.
□    Be earthed like all other metal fittings. PVC fittings avoid this and 
are warm to touch and available in a greater variety of colours.
a   Be located in the right place. A grabrail in the wrong place could 
prevent certain people using the facility.
Toilets
a   A toilet seat height of 480mm is preferred. The pan should project 750mm 
from the cistern wall, aiding sideways transfer and frontal use of the 
facility.
January 2004
-2-
JMU Access Partnership Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk


Accessible WCs - furnishings & fittings                   Fact Sheet 20
a   A low-level close-coupled cistern is ideal, provided the cistern lid is 
screwed down since it obviates the need for a backrest. Concealed cisterns 
are not recommended.
□    The flush handle must be located on the transfer side of the toilet at 
a height of 800mm and should be of lever spatula type.
□    Seats should not incorporate lids as these can interfere with transfer 
from a wheelchair and should be of a contrasting colour to the floor 
covering e.g. white pan, light floor covering, black seat. The seat should 
stay in the raised position without the need to support it.
Wash Hand Basins
□    Pedestals should be avoided and pipework underneath the basin should 
not obstruct wheelchair users' knees.
a   Top edge of the basin should be located at 750mm above the floor.
a   These fittings should contrast in colour with the wall.
a   In the off centre toilet layout a small, shallow basin with a narrow 
projection should be specified. This can be semi-recessed to prevent 
obstruction of effective space. It should be fitted 890-910mm from the 
cistern wall. The critical dimension of 250mm is required between basin and 
toilet pan to allow access for an assistant.
a   In the central layout a similar basin should be used as above but it 
must be sited clear of the transfer and manoeuvring space.
Perch Seat/Shelf
□    This should be fitted adjacent to the basin when the centrally 
positioned toilet layout is used, in order to accommodate more than just 
wheelchair users.
a This seat should be 300mm deep and at a height of 650mm. Where space 
permits in the off-centre layout it is also a good idea to fit such a 
seat/shelf, provided it does not obstruct wheelchair manoeuvring space or 
knee room.
Taps
a   Single lever mixer fittings with a spray nozzle are recommended as they 
eliminate the need to use a plug.
a   Hot and Cold should be boldly marked using the conventional red and 
blue.
a   In the case of the off centre toilet layout, the tap should be 
positioned nearest to the pan in a manner which allows easy operation while 
seated.
January 2004                                     - 3 -                 JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.imuaccess.orq.uk

Accessible WCs - furnishings & fittings                   Fact Sheet 20
Controls fitted no higher than 1000mm
The controls of the following fittings should be located no higher than 
1000mm above floor level:
a   Hand drier/paper towel dispenser
■    Suitable for single-handed use and located away from transfer space and 
knee room.
■    Off centre layout - in easy reach from the toilet.
•    Central layout - in easy reach from a seated or standing position at 
the basin.
Q   Soap dispenser
■    Suitable for single-handed use.
■    Off centre layout - in easy reach from the toilet over the basin to 
catch any drips, which could be a potential slipping hazard.
■    Central layout - over the basin.
a   Sanitary Towel Dispenser, Vending Machines & Waste Bins
■    Located away from transfer/manoeuvring space and not blocking knee 
room.
□   Sanitary Towel Disposal Units
■    Located in easy reach while seated on the WC but must not block 
transfer/manoeuvring space or knee room. If light and portable it can be 
left in the assistance space, i.e. between the toilet and the wall.
a   Toilet paper dispensers
■    Should be easily reached from the toilet and suitable for single-handed 
use, i.e. only dispensing a few sheets at a time. The large industrial 
dispensers should be avoided since the end of the role can disappear inside 
the dispenser and their size can block the assistance space.
■    Off centre layout - fixed to the wall closest to the toilet.
"   Central layout - two toilet paper dispensers will be required, one fixed 
to each fold down horizontal grabrail.
Mirror
a   This should be suitable for use from both a standing and seated position 
and preferably located near the wash hand basin, but not at the expense of 
relocating an essential fitting elsewhere.
a   Bottom edge 500mm, minimum, top edge 1600mm, maximum, from floor level.
January 2004                                     - 4 -                 JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.org.uk

Accessible WCs - furnishings & fittings                   Fact Sheet 20
Coat Hooks
□   Two adjacent coat hooks should be provided for hanging wheelchair arm 
rests, coats etc, these should be located 1050mm and 1400mm from floor 
level.
Floor Covering
Q   The floor covering must be non-slip even when wet, non-reflective, a 
contrasting colour to the walls, and easily cleaned.
Wall Covering
a   These must be non-reflective, easy to clean and contrasting in colour 
and tone with sanitary fittings fixed to them.
Fold down baby changing units
a   These units should not be installed in the smaller 1500 x 2200mm 
facilities as they can block the transfer space.
□    If they are to be fitted in the larger accessible toilets, they must be 
carefully located to prevent obstruction of the facility for other users.
a   Ideally a separate changing room should be provided, with a WC, basin 
and disposal bin. A separate baby changing room is especially important in 
buildings such as shopping and leisure centres where there is likely to be a 
high use by parents with small children.
Bidets
□   Where a bidet is provided extra space within the compartment will be 
required and it should be positioned alongside the toilet pan to avoid the 
need to transfer onto a wheelchair between using the toilet and using the 
bidet.
a   Providing a bidet in this location has the disadvantage of only allowing 
lateral transfer from one side. A 'Closomat' toilet fulfils both the role of 
a toilet and a bidet and in addition has a warm air dryer. This is a very 
expensive sanitary fitting but, where there are a large number of physical 
disabled people using the facility, it is justified by providing a greater 
degree of independence in use.
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 19 - Accessible WCs - layout
Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting
Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast
Fact Sheet 28 - Management Issues & Staff Awareness
January 2004                                     - 5 -                 JMU 
Access Partnersl
Web site: www.jmuaccess.org

Accessible Showers                                                    Fact 
Sheet 21
An accessible shower room should always have a WC - this Fact Sheet is, 
therefore, to be read in conjunction with Fact Sheets 19 & 20 -Accessible 
WCs
Layout
□    Where it is only possible to provide one accessible bathroom layout in 
a building a bathroom with an off centre toilet should be provided and the 
pan should be centred at 500mm from the side wall to allow for assisted 
transfer.
□    Where there will be more than one accessible shower room, one should 
have a left handed transfer space the other should be right handed.
□    A fold down or fixed perch seat will be required to allow ambulant 
disabled people to use the basin, as it is too low to be used in a standing 
position (Refer to 'Perch Seat/Shelf on Fact Sheet 20 - Accessible WCs).
□    There should be at least 1500mm diameter clear turning circle within 
the facility. Ideally this should be 1700mm diameter.
a   Do not obstruct effective space at a low level with pipework, ducts or
radiators for example. Hot pipes and radiators must be kept away from the 
toilet and other areas where they could easily scald bare skin, a particular 
hazard for those with reduced sensation.
□     Level floor showers meet the requirements of the majority of people 
whether disabled or not. They also take up less space and do not block 
wheelchair users manoeuvring space. Note that even a very small upstand or 
change in floor level is likely to cause a problem to wheelchair users.
Basins
a   The wash hand basins used in a shower room will be used for more than 
just washing one's hands. Therefore it must be shallow enough to give the 
maximum knee space underneath but must also project further out from the 
wall than the basin specified for the accessible WC cubicle layouts.
□    Great care must be taken not to block manoeuvring space especially in 
the smaller, one-sided transfer layout.
a   Ideally the basin should be close enough to the shower to permit the use 
of the shower handset over it.
September 2001                                  -1 -                  JMU 
Access Partnership

Accessible Showers 
Fact Sheet 21
Shower Fittings
a   These should be of a flexible hose type to allow for different user
requirements and should be capable of adjustment to allow it to be used from 
both a seated and standing position.
□    At its lowest level it should be no more than 1200mm from the shower 
tray/floor. The shower mixer should be simple to use and easy to operate 
with limited grip and it should be centred at 1000mm above floor level.
a   The mixer valve should be thermostatically controlled, highly visible 
and if possible, have tactile features to indicate hot/cold and on/off.
a   A fold-down seat should be provided contrasting in tone and colour with 
that of the shower tray. In the 'down' position, there should ideally be a 
clear transfer space of similar size to that of the toilet on both sides of 
the seat but at least on one side.
a   Grabrails should be provided for ambulant disabled users (Refer to 
'Grabrails' on Fact Sheet 20 - Accessible WCs).
□    Ideally accessible bathrooms in hotels should have a choice of bath or 
shower or provide both.
□    A shower curtain should be provided to prevent excessive wetting of the 
floor and drying area.
Please see BS8300 for further information on accessible shower design and 
layout.
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 18 - Bedrooms
Fact Sheet 19 - Accessible WCs - layout
Fact Sheet 20 - Accessible WCs - furnishings & fittings
Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast
September 2001
-2-
JMU Access Partnership

Surfaces
Fact Sheet 22
Floor and wall surfaces are important features in all rooms within a 
building. A clear colour and tonal definition between floor /walls, 
walls/ceiling and door /walls will aid orientation for people with visual 
impairments. The use of different textures of floor finish will further 
enhance this (Refer to Fact Sheet 25 - Colour and Tonal Contrast).
Flooring
□     Ensure this does not become wrinkled and that junctions between 
flooring materials do not become worn, thus presenting a tripping hazard. 
When renewing flooring, replace like for like.
a   Carpets lower the general noise level, which helps people with visual 
and hearing impairments. Short pile carpet is best to avoid hindering 
wheelchair manoeuvrability and also to help people with walking 
difficulties.
a   Heavy patterned floor coverings should be avoided since they can be very 
disorientating for people with visual impairments.
□    In large open areas such as receptions or foyers it is useful to create 
a guidance path, or flarepath, to define a route through the area, for 
example leading to the reception desk. This can be achieved by using floor 
finishes which contrast in colour and texture, for example a light coloured 
vinyl flare path leading through a dark carpeted area.
□    Floor finishes should be firm with smooth surfaces. Avoid highly 
polished floors, which reflect sound and light and are slippery when wet.
Decoration
□    Matt finishes should be used for ceiling, floor and wall surfaces to 
prevent reflective glare.
a   A colour scheme should be designed to help orientate visually impaired 
people. There should be a colour and luminance contrast between doors and 
walls and between the floor and walls (Refer to Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & 
Tonal Contrast).
a   Ensure wall surfaces are non-reflective to sound and light. This is 
important for people with speech, hearing and visual impairments.
a   Where practical the wall behind a reception desk should be finished in a 
plain dark colour to aid lip reading.
a   Ensure routes are well-lit for safety and to help guide people.
January 2004                                     -1 -                  JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Surfaces
Fact Sheet 22
Other Surfaces
a   For information on Tactile Surfaces refer to Fact Sheet 4 - Tactile 
Paving / Drop Kerbs.
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 4 - Tactile Paving / Drop Kerbs Fact Sheet 25 - Colour and Tonal 
Contrast
January 2004
-2-
JMU Access Partnership Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Signage
Fact Sheet 23
□    The use of suspended signs should be avoided wherever possible. However 
if they are required, the sign and text size should be adequate to allow for 
a suitable reading distance and it must not obstruct Fire Exit signs.
□    WC facilities should be adequately signed from all parts of the 
premises.
□    Exits and Fire Exits should be adequately signed to follow statutory 
requirements from all round the premises.
a   Room door signs should be situated on the wall, to the latch side of the 
door at a height of 1400mm - 1700mm, in case the door is open when the sign 
is being read.
□    The sign should not have any sharp edges but must equally be clearly 
defined by being slightly rounded.
a   At the main entrance or at a designated location on the floor of entry, 
an uncomplicated floor plan or directory should be installed to advise of 
the position of the main building components. This should have easily 
distinguishable symbols to locate areas, and include instructions for the 
visually impaired to enable them to locate lifts, staircases and other 
points of interest. This should be situated in an open location so as not to 
create an obstruction.
□    Where signs will be in more than one language this should be taken into 
account in the sign design.  Issues will include text length, to avoid very 
large signs as print size must still conform to good practise. There must be 
a clear distinction between the languages on the sign so the user can 
quickly find their preferred language.
Sign Borders
a   To enable a sign to be located on both light and dark backgrounds a 
border can be incorporated on the sign. For example a dark grey signboard 
with a white border can be located on both light and dark backgrounds.
a A border of around 15mm is recommended for a room identification sign i.e. 
300mm(l) x 80mm(h). This can then be increased proportionately for larger 
signs.
Tactile Characters & Braille (for further info refer to Sign Design Guide) a 
If possible, Braille should be used wherever embossed characters are used.
January 2004                                      - 2 -                  JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Signage
Fact Sheet 23
This Fact Sheet is to be read in conjunction with the Sign Design Guide 
(refer to References below)
The purpose of signs is to convey information such as warnings and to help 
the user find their way to and from a destination. Signs also help to 
portray an identity. By making a sign clear and easy to read for a visually 
impaired person it will make the sign clear and easy to read for all.
□    Signs should be grouped into one of three categories as follows;
■    Information, for example floor plans and directories;
■    Directional, for example lift lobby areas and corridors;
■    Identification, for example door signs.
o   Sign content should be simple, short and easily understood.
a   Text and lettering should be of a clear uncomplicated font.
a   Ensure the wording and use of pictograms is consistent throughout the 
building.
a Where appropriate, signs (with the exception of suspended signs) should 
have tactile embossed text, pictograms and arrows together with Braille if 
possible.
a   Relevant sign types should be located at key decision points on all 
routes.
a   Signs should not be located where the glare of the lights reduces the 
legibility. Signs need to be suitably illuminated either by adequate 
lighting or by the use of back illumination (Refer to Fact Sheet 24 - 
Lighting).
□   The sign background and characters should be non-reflective, in a matt 
finish or with a gloss factor of not more than 15%.
Q   All signs should be in contrasting colours to their background and the 
characters should contrast with the sign background. (Refer to Fact Sheet 
25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast).
□    Corridors should have wall mounted signs at each point of entry. Longer 
corridors will benefit from the use of additional signs. All wall signs, 
directional and identification, should be positioned within a 300mm wide 
band along the walls. The top height being no higher than 1700mm and the 
bottom height being at 1400mm. Consideration should be given to duplicating 
detailed signs/instructions eg. "Push bell for assistance" at low" level 
(1000 - 1100mm) for close viewing by a wheelchair user.
January 2004                                     -1 -                  JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Signage
Fact Sheet 23
□    The Braille used should be English Standard Braille.
Q   A Braille locator, such as a raised triangle or notch located adjacent 
to the Braille on the left side of the sign, is a very useful aid to include 
on the sign.
Signs - Text and Graphics Rules
Q   The use of upper and lower case text should be used in preference to all 
uppercase.
□   All text should be ranged to the left, allowing for a directional arrow 
if required. Arrows should be located on the side of the sign to which they 
are pointing i.e. arrows pointing left located on the left of the sign and 
arrows pointing right on the right.
□    Braille should be located directly below the text and/or arrow, ranged 
to the left.
□    A small tactile arrow can be used to indicate a direction, either 
before or after the Braille.
Examples:
r Ground Floor ♦■Way Out
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting
Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast
References
RNIB (JMU Access Partnership) & the Sign Design Society Sign Design Guide-a 
guide to inclusive design (2000)
January 2004                                     - 3 -                 JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk
♦
Women

Lighting
Fact Sheet 24
Although lighting is important, the best lighting system in the world will 
not compensate for lack of colour/tone contrast or effective layout (Refer 
to Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast). A good design will take account 
of all of these issues.
It is a common misconception that simply increasing levels of illumination 
will help all people who are visually impaired, whilst other factors such as 
glare and colour rendering also require consideration.
Factors affecting lighting
a   Illuminance: in some areas CIBSE guidelines are insufficient and can be 
increased by up to 25%.
□    Glare: choose type of fitting and position lamps to avoid glare.
a   Relative brightness: high levels of illumination over the task area, 
with low levels in surrounding areas could be extremely problematic because 
of the time needed for the eye to adapt to changes in level of illumination. 
Therefore, good background lighting in combination with task lighting is 
essential.
□    Control: individuals should have control of the lighting in their 
environment where practical.
Adaptation
a   A visually impaired person may experience difficulty in adapting to
changes in level of illumination. Large changes in the level of illumination 
between rooms should be avoided, and any changes introduced gradually.
a   Zoning of lighting can be useful, allowing adjustment of lighting to 
suit outside conditions, for example in entrance areas. During daylight 
hours, people may be entering the building from a bright sunny environment 
with high levels of illumination. The entrance area should provide a buffer 
zone with increased levels of illumination. At night time, external car park 
lighting will be much lower and the buffer zone at the entrance should 
provide a gradual increase in the level of illumination, when entering the 
building.
Natural light and glazing
a   Daylight varies during the day and with changes in weather conditions. 
The amount of daylight entering a room should therefore be properly 
controlled.
January 2004
1 -                  JMU Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Lighting
Fact Sheet 24
-
a   A variety of methods are available using adjustable blinds internally, 
externally or within enclosed sealed glazed panels.
□    Innovative day lighting systems, such as light shelves and refractive 
glazing, are also available.
a   Passive design can also be incorporated through careful positioning of 
windows and furniture in rooms. For example reception areas should be laid 
out to avoid an external window being positioned behind a receptionists 
head. The contrast between the person and the window will make the 
receptionist appear in silhouette which causes problems for people who 
lip-read, and is generally uncomfortable for others.
□    Windows are a potential source of glare and therefore their positioning 
in stairwells should be carefully designed. Windows should be positioned so 
that they are directly in front of people when travelling up/down the stairs 
and they should be provided with adjustable blinds to control daylight.
a   External windows are the major source of glare/reflection in computer 
screens, more so than from light fittings and lamps. Adjustable blinds can 
help to control glare. Furniture should be laid out to minimise the effects 
of glare and reflection in combination with effective artificial lighting.
□    Signs should not be positioned on glazing, especially external glazing, 
since the sign will be silhouetted, rendering the information illegible.
Artificial Lighting
a   Artificial lighting should be designed to compliment natural lighting 
where available.
□    Risk of glare can be significantly reduced through luminaire design and 
positioning of fittings. For example, in a stairwell, light fittings should 
be positioned to highlight treads rather than risers whilst still providing 
a uniform level of illumination. The position of lamps should be such that 
it is impossible to look directly into a lamp when descending or ascending 
the stairs.
a   Depending on the room surface finishes selected, reflected light from 
lamps can also be a source of glare. Therefore it is highly desirable to 
specify matt or mid-sheen surface finishes to minimise this risk.
□   Artificial lighting can also be used to provide orientation and 
directional information. For example fittings can be positioned to lead 
people down
January 2004                                     - 2 -                 JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Lighting
Fact Sheet 24
circulation routes, with a different lighting system used to define a node 
or crossing point.
a   For people working within the environment, visual interest is important. 
Make maximum use of different lighting systems in a room with dimmer 
switches or independent switches for each lamp. Ensure the minimum level of 
background lighting is maintained. Provide task lamps for increased local 
levels of illumination.
□    Spotlights should not be used as the sole light source in an area since 
this method of lighting creates 'pools' of light and dark contrast. However, 
spotlights can be effectively used to supplement ambient lighting.
□    Care should be exercised when installing feature lighting such as 
downlighters in reception areas, to ensure that shadows are not being cast 
over peoples' faces, making lip-reading especially difficult.
□    It is recommended that a mixture of both direct and diffuse lighting is 
used to provide variety and a safe environment.
□    Light switches should be of large rocker type and should be centred at 
1050mm above finished floor level. These can be operated by an elbow H need 
be. The switch should be located in a logical position and should contrast 
in colour with its background.
Task Lighting
□    Fluorescent lamps remain cooler even after long periods of operation 
and are therefore particularly suitable for use in task light fittings.
□   A good task light will:
■    Produce an even spread of light over a large area
■    Have a shade large enough to prevent glare
■    Have a fully adjustable stand
■    Retain its position without use of small fixings
■    Have a sturdy base to prevent tipping
■    Have a contrasting light switch for easy location
■    Be available with a range of sources e.g. warm or cool appearance
■    Not produce infra-red (heat) or UV light. Use filters if lamps produce 
these.
a   Task lighting should be used in conjunction with background lighting to 
prevent users going from a very bright environment to a very dark 
environment.
January 2004                                     - 3 -                 JMU 
Access Partnersl
Web site: www.jmuaccess.org

Lighting
Fact Sheet 24
Q   To ensure flexibility of task lighting, it is essential to consider the 
location and design of light switches and sockets. Sockets should be 
positioned 850-1000mm above floor finish, within a 500mm horizontal reach. 
Sockets and switches should contrast with their backgrounds to assist 
location.
□   Furniture layout should be designed to minimise the risk of trailing 
cables.
Emergency Lighting
a   Refer to Fact Sheet 26 - Emergency Egress
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast Fact Sheet 26 - Emergency Egress

Colour & Tonal Contrast
Fact Sheet 25
This Fact Sheet is to be read in conjunction with the Dulux Design Guide 
referred to in the References below and Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting
96% of people registered as blind or partially sighted have some degree of 
vision. In order to make the most of residual vision, contrasts in colour, 
or, more importantly, luminance can be employed to help identify objects and 
avoid hazards.
Recent research1 has identified the minimum difference required between 
colours in order to create a detectable contrast, for application to 
interior decoration. This contrast will assist visually impaired users in 
tasks of search, moving, and identifying objects, as well as creating an 
interior acceptable to all.
a   To provide designers with a variety of schemes, according to taste, 
three different colour schemes were identified as being acceptable:
■    Monochromatic - where one colour is chosen as the dominant colour, and 
other shades are based around the same reference colour, for example, all 
shades of blue.
■    Contrasting - where one dominant colour is selected, but there is a 
choice of either intensities of that dominant colour, or intensities of a 
complementary colour. (A series of complementary colours and intensities 
have been selected and it is essential to adhere to these when combining, to 
ensure adequate contrast).
■    Harmonious - there is one dominant colour, with varying levels of 
intensity, and one or two other colours fairly close in the spectrum, which 
can be combined. (Since there is a risk that these colours may clash, 
colours and intensities have been selected which can be used together to 
maintain an effective contrast).
□ These contrasting colours should be applied to critical surfaces of key 
building elements and components i.e. walls, ceiling, floor, doors, or an 
existing feature, such as fixed seating, or hazard.
a   Colours should be chosen for each of the critical surfaces; then, 
secondary features such as skirting boards, trims and other areas should be 
considered such as:
■    Signage - e.g. contrast between characters and sign background.
■    Fittings in toilets - using different coloured soap dispensers and 
toilet roll holders, dark toilet seats on white fittings, and dark tiles 
behind white urinals and wash hand basins.
1 Research project undertaken by Reading University, RNIB, GDBA and ICI 
Paints (see Reference)______________________________________________________
January 2004                                     -1 -                 JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.imuaccess.orq.uk

Colour & Tonal Contrast                                           Fact Sheet 
25
■    Switches - choose dark switch and socket plates for light backgrounds 
or light ones for dark surrounds. In existing situations, a dark stripe or 
tape around outside of switch helps add contrast where there is little.
■    Circulation routes / Guidance paths - changes in colour and tone of 
floor finish help to define circulation routes.
•    Access doors - by employing contrast between either the door and the 
frame, or the frame and the wall and by using contrasting ironmongery.
■    Visual tasks - different coloured work surfaces are useful when working 
with different materials. Reversible black/white work tops have been used 
successfully in art and craft rooms, and black/white reversible chopping 
boards are useful in kitchen areas.
Q   Those using contrasting colours in a scheme need to simultaneously 
consider the aspect of achieving a desired lighting level (Refer to Fact 
Sheet 24 - Lighting).
a   In large rooms the contribution of light reflected from the ceiling upon 
the working surface is usually substantial, therefore, light reflectance 
values for ceiling finishes in large areas should be of a high value.
a   Similarly, in small rooms the wall reflectance becomes a critical issue. 
High wall reflectance will enhance the illuminance upon the working surface 
and also increases the uniformity of the light distributed. Designers may, 
therefore, choose to specify wall colours with a high reflectance value. 
This decision inherently limits the choice of colours that may provide a 
contrast between the ceiling and the walls.
□   Many finishes such as carpets are composed of more than one colour. In 
this instance the designer may choose the most influential colour, relying 
upon a level of self-judgement, as the basis for an effective scheme, i.e. 
either the colour that occupies the greatest surface area, or the colour 
that is perceptually prominent due to its level of intensity.
a   Often colours that appear to be very different from each other, such as 
green and brown or grey and pink, are very similar tonally, and therefore 
provide too little contrast to be useful. An easy method of determining 
whether a colour scheme provides an adequate contrast is to take a black and 
white photocopy or photograph of the colour scheme; good contrasts will show 
up as black/white, and poor contrasts will show up as grey.
September 2001
-2-
JMU Access Partnership Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Colour & Tonal Contrast                                           Fact Sheet 
25
□   There are a couple of 'natural' laws in relation to the distribution of 
colour in a room. The more yellow the colour, the higher it should go, 
towards the ceiling. The more blue the colour, the lower it should go, 
towards the floor.
Reference
RNIB (JMU Access Partnership)" A design guide for the use of colour and 
contrast to improve the built environment for visually impaired people" 
(1997). The guide is available on CD rom from www.duluxtrade.co.uk or by 
telephone on 0870 242 1100.
Note This guide uses the Dulux colour dimension system for specifying 
colours within the colour contrast tables. It applies to the manufacturing 
and production of paints, wood stains and varnishes. Hence, the readings 
taken from the design guide may need to be translated into the system, which 
is used by the manufacturer of a particular and desired product, and also 
needs to be understood by the user.
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting
September 2001                                 - 3 -                  JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Emergency Egress 
Fact Sheet 26
An accessible environment is one which people not only enter and use safely 
and independently but one which they can reach a place of safety in the 
event of an emergency. Management of egress is essential and should be 
regularly practised.
In larger buildings it may be impractical to evacuate the building. Instead, 
dividing the building into compartments may be an option, so that people who 
cannot manage steps can move horizontally from one fire compartment to 
another, thereby reaching a place of safety.
Consultation with the local fire officer is strongly recommended before 
taking any action concerning egress. Regulations provide details of exit 
widths, travel distances etc.
Refuges
a   Refuges are fire-protected areas providing sufficient space to enable 
people to wait in safety. Refuges are primarily designed for people who are 
unable to use stairs or experience difficulty leaving buildings in an 
emergency without assistance.
a   Refuges should be provided with a safe route to the exit point. Minimum 
dimensions are generally 1200mm x 700mm, although 1400mm x 900mm is 
preferable, since this allows for manoeuvring space. Location of refuges 
should not have any adverse effect on means of escape i.e. blocking 
pedestrian line of travel.
□    It should be remembered that more than one person may be waiting in a 
refuge, particularly in accessible buildings with high occupancy. The size 
of refuge should therefore take this into account.
□    Refuges should be clearly signposted and should preferably be provided 
with an independent means of communication to the rescuing party. Where an 
intercom system is provided, it is essential that management procedures 
ensure that calls on the intercom are dealt with by a trained member of 
staff. If calls are unanswered, this can induce panic.
□    The communication link should be simple and logical to operate. Any 
button should not be higher than 1200mm and should be colour contrasted with 
its background. It should have audible and visual indications and be fitted 
with an inductive coupler.
□    Refuges should be identified as a means of 'phased evacuation', i.e. 
the refuge is not a final destination and, if required and necessary, people 
waiting in refuges must be moved to a safer area. If, however, people 
waiting in refuges are safe, then they may wait there until further action 
is taken by rescuing party.
a   Refuges must be established as a back up system regardless of whether or 
not the lifts meet BS 5588:Part 5.
January 2004
-1 -
JMU Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Emergency Egress
Fact Sheet 26
a   In moving people from a refuge vertically towards an alternative safe 
area, evacuation chairs can be used. Problems associated with use of 
evacuation chairs include ensuring personnel are trained in their use. 
People in evacuation chairs will need to be transferred to a wheelchair 
waiting at the exit, at ground floor level or similar suitable resting area, 
since their own chair will still be located in refuge. Furthermore, people 
with specific musculoskeletal disabilities or similar mobility problems may 
be very uncomfortable if moved and if people are incorrectly moved, this may 
lead to further injury.
a   Refuges must be regularly checked for fire protection e.g. presence of 
cracks or other gaps which may lead to inhalation of smoke/fumes.
Signage (Refer to Fact Sheet 23 - Signage)
□    In an emergency the majority of people 'stop and scan' before moving 
off along a route. The importance of clear, illuminated signage indicating 
exit routes for people using this method cannot be over-stressed.
a Signs indicating emergency evacuation routes and procedures should be 
carefully located and appropriately designed.
Procedures
□    It is important that procedures are in place to ensure the safe egress 
of all users, whether the building is fully accessible or not, who may 
experience difficulties in the event of an emergency. This could include 
people who are not familiar with the building, people with visual 
impairments, people with learning difficulties and people with walking 
difficulties.
□   An overall strategy is necessary for visitors not familiar with the 
building, as their needs will be unknown and their knowledge of the building 
will often be limited to the route by which they entered.
Q   In order to make regular building users more familiar with the building, 
evacuation procedures should be included in induction sessions.
Q   These sessions should provide people with the opportunity to walk 
through exit routes, not just the nearest route, to find the locations of 
refuges, and inform users of the procedure in the event of an emergency.
Q   Induction also provides an opportunity to assess any specialist 
equipment needs or find out about any other specific egress requirements. 
This can be recorded in a Personal Emergency Egress Plan. This information 
should be regularly checked and updated.
Q   For people with hearing impairments, the installation of a vibrating 
fire pager system to supplement the existing audible fire alarm system is 
recommended. For example Deaf Alerter, which operates on a protected 
frequency to limit interference. The transmitter covers a large area and any 
vibrating pagers operating within that area.
January 2004                                     - 2 -                 JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Emergency Egress 
Fact Sheet 26
a   In areas where people may be alone, such as toilets, flashing fire alarm 
beacons connected to the fire alarm system should be installed.
□    It is important that anyone accompanying people with learning 
difficulties, such as teachers or people assisting with egress, have 
received training in how to carry out egress effectively as emergency 
evacuation can be a frightening and unusual experience and people may not be 
sure how to react.
a   Staff should be aware of the location of fire extinguishers and fire 
alarm points. Fire fighting equipment should be located together with egress 
information and the alarm call point. This area should be clearly signposted 
and its location should be in close proximity with the emergency light 
fittings.
a   Fire hosereels and similar equipment located along corridors should be 
recessed or boxed in and extinguishers should be mounted no higher than 
1200mm above floor level. Whilst fire fighting equipment should be readily 
accessible, the location should not present a hazard or obstruction to 
people using circulation areas.
Stairs
a   Stairs for use in emergencies should be designed to the same standards 
as all other stairs (Refer to Fact Sheet 11 - Stairs).
Emergency Lighting
a   Emergency lighting is required for four main reasons:
■    To indicate the route
■    To provide illumination along such a route
■    To locate and operate fire fighting equipment
■    To shut down processes safely before exit
a   Lighting at low level, using powered wayfinding systems, may be an 
effective method of marking the escape route. Such lighting systems, 
however, are not suitable for open area emergency lighting (see References 
below).
Management of Egress from Large Auditoria / Lecture Theatres
a   In the event of an emergency most people will try to leave by the way 
they entered the room. One possible management technique is to actively 
encourage students and staff using the room, where possible, to leave via 
the emergency exit at the end of lectures. This can also help to alleviate 
circulation problems associated with students entering the room for the next 
lecture.
□   Awareness training for staff is very important. Turnover of staff 
working in theatres and cinemas has been highlighted as a problem but it is 
essentia that staff have received some basic training on egress issues as 
part of
January 2004                                     - 3 -                  JMU 
Access Partnershi
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.u

Emergency Egress
Fact Sheet 26
their induction (Refer to Fact Sheet 28 - Management Issues & Staff 
Awareness).
a   Whenever there are people who are unfamiliar with the building, it can 
be useful to have some form of visual/audible briefing similar to those used 
on aircraft.
Lifts (Refer to Fact Sheet 14 - Lifts)
Q   The basic requirement for an evacuation lift is siting of the lift 
within a
protected enclosure with protected lobbies at each storey served by the
lift.
a   There should be a protected route from the lift lobby at the final exit 
storey to the final exit itself.
a   The power supply for the lift should be independent from the lift 
sub-circuit power supply and should be independent of any other main or 
sub-circuit.
□   Most of the recommendations cover lifts serving more than two floors. 
However, egress even from first floor level can be difficult, and could be 
addressed by extending the recommendations to lifts serving any floor.
References
The Fire Precautions (Places of Work) Regulations 1994
Detailed guidance is provided in BS 5588 Part 5 for fire fighting lifts, BS 
5588
Parts 1 and 2 and BS 5810 for evacuation lifts with some information in
section three of BS 5588 Part 8.
BRE Information Paper 9/97 'Emergency lighting and wayfinding systems for
visually impaired people' BRE Ltd
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 11 - Stairs
Fact Sheet 14-Lifts
Fact Sheet 23 - Signage
Fact Sheet 28 - Management Issues & Staff Awareness
Fart Sheet 29 - Accessible Information & Communication

Technology 
Fact Sheet 27
This Fact Sheet briefly describes recent technological developments - for 
further information please contact JMU Access Partnership
Technological devices can assist visually impaired and hearing impaired 
people to use the built environment.
Visually Impaired People
a   By supplementing visual signage with talking information systems and 
audio talking maps, blind and partially sighted people are able to visit 
shopping complexes, sports centres, stations, universities and other places 
independently, or with friends, and make use of all the facilities offered.
a   Electronic orientation systems aim to give users information that they 
can follow so that they are able to find their destination, whilst following 
a safe and sensible route. They can also be used to give users information 
about items of street furniture, for example tactile map or bench, or other 
features which users might wish to find or avoid.
a   The electronic signage would assist a blind or partially sighted person 
by providing information as they travel in the following ways:
■    By telling the user what features they are passing.
■    By telling the user of other features which they might want to find.
■    By giving the user instructions on how to navigate through the building 
or the street.
□    The signs can also be used by people who are not visually impaired but 
find it easier to use audible signs rather than visual signs. For people 
with learning difficulties or whose first language is not English, remotely 
triggered audible signs can be set up to speak in a wide number of different 
languages.
a   A beacon orientation system consists of two parts, a portable user
transmitter and a fixed beacon which is attached to an item the user may 
wish to find, avoid or gain information from.
□    A number of different transmission methods can be used to produce 
electronic orientation or beacon systems. The systems can use radio 
frequency or infra-red as the method of transmission between the beacon and 
the user part. The method of communication chosen will affect both the cost 
and weight of the different parts of the system.
□    The user parts of the systems can be either lent or sold to the users.
January 2004
-1 -
JMU Access Partnership Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Technology
Fact Sheet 27
Q   Two beacon systems are currently commercially available in the United 
Kingdom. They are:-
1)  Radio Frequency Systems - RNIB REACT
2)  Infra Red System - InfraVoice
a    There are numerous other audible and tactile machines / signs, which 
can improve the built environment for visually impaired users. These are 
listed below, for further details please contact the JMU Access Partnership.
■    Talking Information Systems/Points
■    Horizon Marketing (UK) Ltd - Talking Signs
■    Audio Tactile Maps
■    Nomad
■    Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) Systems and Talking Maps -    OPEN
■    ServiceCall
■    Automatic Teller Machines
Hearing Impaired People Induction Loops / Infrared Systems
a   Induction loops and infrared systems can be used to aid people with 
hearing impairments and replace the sound path between the sound source and 
the listener with either an inductive (magnetic) or infrared signal that is 
not affected by acoustics or other background sounds.
a   When using the loop the listener will switch their hearing aid to the T 
position, with an infrared system the listener wears a receiver. The 
receivers can be in the form of headphones, or neck-loops that will work in 
conjunction with individuals' own hearing aids.
□   These systems are not of use in situations when the user is travelling 
around but are very useful when the user is trying to hear information from 
a particular source. Loops are recommended at ticket offices, reception 
desks and information points, whilst both systems can be used in auditoria, 
meeting rooms or cinemas.
□    Both systems can be either permanently installed in a location or 
alternatively provided in the form of portable systems. Staff must be 
trained in their setting up and use, and management systems must be in place 
to ensure they are set up ready for use when required.
Audio Description/Infra-red Devices
January 2004                                     - 2 -                 JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Technology 
Fact Sheet 27
□   An infra-red beacon and headphone system can be used to assist both 
visually impaired and hearing aid patrons in any auditoria, for example a 
cinema.
□   An infra-red beacon transmits information to infra-red receivers which 
are worn by listeners. The receivers can be in the form of headphones, or 
neck-loops that will work in conjunction with individuals' own hearing aids.
□   The system broadcasts on a number of channels so that different 
information can be broadcast to different users. For hearing impaired 
listeners the existing sound track can be broadcast on one channel, whilst 
for visually impaired people, an audio described sound track of the visual 
action can be broadcast on another.
Textphones / Minicoms
a   Textphones are in essence a telephone with a keyboard, and are used by 
people who are deaf or who have a speech impairment. Instead of speaking and 
listening to a normal telephone receiver, the user can type what they want 
to say and read any reply typed back to them on a scrolling display.
a   To communicate with someone who uses a textphone you must either contact 
them directly using a textphone, or alternatively, via the national relay 
service TypeTalk (Contact Customer Services for further information by 
telephone on 0800 7 311 888 or by textphone on 0800 500 888)
Q   The best location to install a textphone will depend on each individual 
organisation and it may be necessary to have one installed in more than one 
department, so calls can be answered by relevant staff. In general, a 
textphone should be installed where there will always be trained staff 
available to answer it throughout the same hours that incoming voice calls 
will be answered.
January 2004                                     - 3 -                 JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.org.u\>

Management Issues & Staff Awareness                     Fact Sheet 28
Many accessible building features could be rendered at best less effective 
or at worst inaccessible, unless staff are aware of disabled peoples' 
requirements. For this reason staff training is essential.
Information Provided Before Visiting
□    Where possible accurate and concise directional information should be 
provided to disabled people, before visiting the building for the first 
time. Aim to provide directional information both in the form of a clear map 
and also written directions.
□   This should take into account all disabled peoples' requirements and 
should include where to park/drop-off and the best route to their intended 
destination. This is especially important for large building complexes, 
which may have more than one entrance and approach.
Car Parking and Drop-off Points (Refer to Fact Sheet 2 - Car Parking) a 
Parking in designated spaces must be strictly controlled and only cars 
displaying disabled parking badges should be permitted to park here.
Q   If it is not an offence to park in these areas without a parking badge, 
one way of discouraging offenders is to place a leaflet on the car's 
windscreen. This should inform the driver of the reason why the space is 
designated for disabled drivers or cars with disabled passengers, warning of 
the next step and taking note of the car's registration number.
a   Under the terms of the Disability Discrimination Act, building 
proprietors could face prosecution if they do not adequately enforce 
accessible parking bays.
Q   The siting of these spaces should be regularly reviewed if, for example, 
demand outweighs supply in an area, or there is a change of building use.
Q   Drop off points should be kept clear of parked vehicles at all times. To 
achieve this, adequate parking restrictions should be applied to these areas 
and they must be strictly enforced.
Access Routes (Refer to Fact Sheet 3 - Approach to the Building)
□    Access routes to the building may include steps ramps and pathways. 
These must be kept clean, clear of leaves, moss, snow and ice and the 
headroom maintained by cutting back overhanging branches.
□    Waste bins, street furniture and other obstructions should be kept off 
the main access routes and away from drop kerbs. The route should be 
regularly maintained, with uneven paving slabs and broken luminaires 
replaced and dropped kerbs realigned and levelled as required.___________
January 2004
-1 -
JMU Access Partnership Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Management Issues & Staff Awareness                  Fact Sheet 28
□    Parked cars must not be allowed to block dropped kerbs.
Doors (Refer to Fact Sheet 5 - Entrances and Doors)
□    Ensure that all door ironmongery such as door closers, locking 
mechanisms and hinges are checked regularly to maintain free and easy use. 
Side hung doors supplementing revolving doors must be kept unlocked.
Horizontal Circulation
Q   Ensure space required for wheelchair manoeuvres is kept free of 
obstructions, such as plants, bins, excess furniture or deliveries.
Vertical Circulation (Refer to Fact Sheet 14 - Lifts)
Q   Ensure lifts are regularly maintained especially checking that doors 
remain open for long enough and that the lift car is properly aligned with 
the floors.
Designated WCs (Refer to Fact Sheet 19 & 20 - Accessible WCs)
a   Ensure these are cleaned regularly and do not become unofficial storage
areas. Keep transfer and manoeuvring spaces clear of obstructions such as
waste bins and sanitary disposal units.
Signs (Refer to Fact Sheet 23 - Signage)
a   Ensure new signage integrates with the existing signage system; this 
must
be kept up to date. Signs removed for decoration must be replaced
correctly.
Maps
□    Maps of the building must be kept up-to-date with changes in the 
organisation of space.
Induction Loops and Infrared Systems (Refer to Fact Sheet 27 -Technology)
a   These must always be clearly signed, checked regularly and staff trained 
in their use and the provision of receivers.
Surfaces (Refer to Fact Sheet 22 - Surfaces)
a   Ensure floor and wall surfaces are safely maintained. When redecorating 
maintain a colour and luminance contrast between critical surfaces.
Alarms and Security Systems (Refer to Fact Sheet 26 - Emergency Egress) a 
Ensure alarm systems, both audible and visual, are checked regularly and 
that staff are trained in alarm response procedures. Staff must also be 
aware of the significance of a WC help alarm sounding and procedures 
involved.
January 2004
-2-
JMU Access Partnership Web site: www.imuaccess.orq.uk

Management Issues & Staff Awareness                     Fa
Lighting (Refer to Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting) □   Windows, lamps and 
luminaires must be kept clean to maximi; available light. Ensure that 
burnt-out lamps are replaced prom
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 2 - Car Parking
Fact Sheet 3 - Approach to the Building
Fact Sheet 5 - Entrances and Doors
Fact Sheet 11 - Stairs
Fact Sheet 14-Lifts
Fact Sheet 19 & 20 - Accessible WCs
Fact Sheet 22 - Surfaces
Fact Sheet 23 - Signage
Fact Sheet 24 - Lighting
Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast
Fact Sheet 26 - Emergency Egress
Fact Sheet 27 – Technology

Accessible Information & Communication
Fact Sheet 29
a   Provide staff disability equality training to ensure staff are aware of 
the issues, obtain the necessary skills and are confident when communicating 
with disabled people.
□   Front line staff, such as those who work at a reception, are obvious 
candidates for such training but it is beneficial if the training extends to 
all staff and management who have contact with the public.
Information Provision
Q   Ensure leaflets, documents and information packs for distribution to the 
public are usable by disabled people. Issues will include clarity of the 
documents, language, ease of use and print standards (See Royal National 
Institute for the Blind (RNIB) 'See it Right Guidelines')
a   This will of course help many other people, including elderly people, 
who would not necessarily identify themselves as visually impaired, and also 
people with learning disabilities.
□   Consideration should also be given to providing information in 
alternative formats such as tape and Braille. This may range from producing 
all publications in alternative formats or making arrangements to provide 
these on request.
a   Consideration should be given to having trained staff available to 
provide and explain information clearly. This will be particularly useful 
for people with learning difficulties but will also benefit others including 
people for whom English is not the first language.
References
Further advice on equipment for hearing impaired people is available from 
the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID)
Tel: 0870 60 50 123, Textphone: 0870 60 33 007, Fax: 020 7296 8199, Email: 
helpline(g)rnid.orq.uk, Website: www.rnid.org.uk
Advice on print standards is given in the Royal National Institute for Blind 
People (RNIB) 'See it Right Guidelines' (Tel: 0845 702 3153)
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 27 - Technology
January 2004
2 -                  JMU Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Accessible Information & Communication             Fact Sheet 29
Under the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act service 
providers must not discriminate by:
■    refusing to serve a disabled person
■    offering a disabled person a lower standard of service
■    offering a disabled person less favourable terms
■    failing to make alterations to a service or facility which makes it 
impossible, or unreasonably difficult, for a disabled person to use
Required alterations to the way a service is provided, to make it easier for 
a disabled person to use, may include:
■    making reasonable changes to policies, practices or procedures
■    provision of aids that will help disabled people use the service
■    an alternative means of providing the service where physical features 
make it unreasonably difficult for a disabled person to access the service
Communication and information provision clearly come under this.
Some examples of the adjustments needed may include provision of sign 
language interpreters for deaf people or induction loops for people who use 
hearing aids, and provision of information in alternative formats such as 
large print, tape and Braille for visually impaired people.
Communication with hearing impaired people
□    Staff should be trained in basic communication techniques to enable 
deaf or hard of hearing people to communicate effectively, e.g. facing the 
person, speaking clearly, or providing pen and paper if required.
a   An induction loop should be provided in the reception area, and clearly 
signed. Consideration should be given to other areas where an induction loop 
or and infra red system would be useful, such as conference/meeting rooms. A 
portable system may be used (Refer to Fact Sheet 27 -Technology).
□    Consideration should be given to providing textphones in areas where 
there is telephone contact with the public.
□    Staff should be fully trained in how to use textphones, induction loops 
and infra red systems or any other devices installed to aid hearing impaired 
people effectively.
a   In meetings some people with hearing impairments may require sign 
language interpreters or lip-speakers to enable them to participate. This 
service must be booked well in advance.
Communication with other disabled people
a   This should be considered for all communication needs, from telephone 
contact to personal visits and meetings.  Issues may include communication 
with people with speech impairments, visually impaired people and people 
with a learning disability.
January 2004                                      -1 -                  JMU 
Access Partnership
Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

Escalators
Fact Sheet 30
Emergency Egress
□   Although escalators may not be used as part of any planned evacuation, 
it is still important that they are adequately illuminated in the event of 
an emergency to prevent accidents.   Escalators must be illuminated to the 
same standard as the designated escape route, which, at present, must be a 
minimum of 1Lux (BS 5266).
Other Associated Fact Sheets
Fact Sheet 23 - Signage
Fact Sheet 25 - Colour & Tonal Contrast
Fact Sheet 26 - Emergency Egress
References
British Standards Institute (2001) 'Design of buildings and their approaches 
to
meet the needs of disabled people - Code of practice.' London: BSI
British Standards Institute (1999) 'BS 5266. Code of practice for emergency
lighting of premises.'London: BSI
Scottish Executive (1999) Technical Standards. Part P.' London: TSO

Escalators
Fact Sheet 30
Escalators are now frequently found in many shopping areas, stations and 
airports and can present considerable difficulties to people with restricted 
mobility and visual impairments.
Q   Whenever an escalator or passenger conveyor is installed between floors, 
a clearly sign posted alternative access by lift should be provided.
□    Entries and exits to escalators should be clearly sign posted. Signs 
should also include information relating to which direction the escalator is 
travelling and its destination.
□    A clear, illuminated, approach is required at the bottom and top of 
escalators to ensure the passengers can board and alight safely. This should 
be a minimum of 5m in length, but may need to be greater than this, 
depending upon the volume of pedestrians currently using the facility.
a   A change in floor texture and colour at the escalator's entry and exit 
may be useful to inform people with a visual impairment of its presence. 
Audible signals or pre-recorded messages may also be helpful.
a   Wheelchair users, assistance dog users or those who do not feel 
comfortable using them, should not use escalators.
□    Handrails should be of a rounded profile and should contrast with their 
immediate surroundings. Handrails should extend beyond the entry and exit 
points by at least 150mm.
□    Handrails should have regular, contrasting colour patches upon them to 
indicate that they are moving.
□    Side panels to the escalator channel should be of a non-reflective 
surface, as this can cause confusion to people with visual impairments.
□   Treads should be clearly visible and illuminated. Step nosings should be 
highlighted using colour and tonal contrast.
a   Escalators must be provided with devices capable of being easily 
identified and readily operated which, when activated, can bring the 
equipment to a controlled halt in such a way that passengers will be able to 
maintain their balance
September 2003
-1 -
JMU Access Partnership Web site: www.jmuaccess.orq.uk

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mohammed Asif Iqbal" <asifmaiqbal at hotmail.com>
To: <accessindia at accessindia.org.in>
Sent: Wednesday, April 02, 2008 2:42 AM
Subject: [AI] Seeking assistance toward obtaining information on making 
newbuilding disabled friendly?


> Dear all,
> My company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, is going to build 20 storey building 
> in Calcutta.  management would like to make this building disabled 
> friendly and they have seeked my input in this regards.
> I would truly be grateful if you could assist me in obtaining any relevant 
> guidelines or web site where I could get this information.
> Thanks and regards.
> Asif
> To unsubscribe send a message to accessindia-request at accessindia.org.in 
> with the subject unsubscribe.
>
> To change your subscription to digest mode or make any other changes, 
> please visit the list home page at
>  http://accessindia.org.in/mailman/listinfo/accessindia_accessindia.org.in 





More information about the AccessIndia mailing list