Access Requirements


The following is intended as guidance and as brief extracts from the legislation considered relevant, and are not intended to be a comprehensive summary of the legislation.

Access Requirements

Issues affecting Access for All

The following is intended as a guideline specifically to service providers in regard to the legislation presently in place.

Please use the index provided for information regarding each piece of legislation.

Disability Discrimination Act 1995

Together with related Codes of Practice. It introduces measures aimed at ending discrimination and gives rights to disabled.

  • Since December 1996 – it has been unlawful for service providers to treat disabled people less favourably for a reason related to their disability
  • Since October 1999 – providers have to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people such as providing extra help or making changes to the way they provide their services
  • From October 2004 – requires service providers to assess obstacles and make reasonable adjustments to the physical features of their premises to overcome physical barriers to access.

Together with related Codes of Practice

Disability Discrimination Act 2005

Designed to extend rights for disabled people, and clarify and extend provisions of the DDA 1995. It extends the definition of disability, and gives protection against discrimination for people in public service, such as councillors.

There are strong new disability equality duties for the public sector in delivering its services.

It also removes the grey area of private members club exemption from DDA responsibilities, and extends and details Part 5 DDA Transport.

Amendments on housing adaptations are also introduced.

Disability Discrimination Act (Employment) Regulations 1996 (as amended by DDA 1995 Part 2 Code of Practice on Employment and Occupation April 2004)

Extends and explains requirements for providing for special needs of disabled employees (beyond the basic exclusion of discrimination against someone not being employed because of their disability)

Approved Document Part M of the Building Regulations

Revised document, effective from 1st May 2004 for extension and amendments based on recommendations of BS8300. Note these regulations set down certain minimum standards, and relate to new buildings, as well as extensions, material alterations and changes of use. The new document raises previous outdated standards, and introduces reasonableness, dovetailing with the requirements and duties under DDA and promoting universal accessibility in new projects.

Special Educational Needs & Disability Act 2001

Gives further provisions to address the needs of disabled students. New duties came into effect in September 2002, extending Disability Discrimination Act, to cover every aspect of the Education. The SENDA amends DDA Part 4 to prevent discrimination against disabled people in their access to education. Accompanied by related Codes of Practice “Pre and Post 16” published July 2002.

BS8300 “The Design of Buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of Disabled People – Code of Practice”

Issued in 2002, and the basis for extended Code of Practice for DDA, and altered Part M.

Other Related Legislation

ETC National Accessibility Standards

Human Rights Act

Planning Code