Making Your Business More Accessible

Whether you have a new or existing business, it’s important that your building is accessible to all your clients. After all, if a potential customer can’t get into your premises – why would they invest in your goods or services?

According to Disability Action, 50 per cent of disabled people found it hard to obtain or use certain services such as dining out, or going to the cinema. Of those, 40 per cent of people found actually getting to the various places difficult, and one in three struggled to get around the shops.

Building Regulations state that: ‘reasonable provision shall be made to enable disabled people to gain access to relevant premises’.  While new buildings are built with this in mind, if your company is in an existing building, there is advice available on how to improve accessibility for people with disabilities.

In this article, Ransome Mobility looks at some of the ways to improve access to buildings both internally and externally, including the use of ramps, straight or curved stairlifts, lifts and wheelchair lifts.

Ransome Mobility – Click here to see our range of mobility options for public and commercial buildings.

Access to Buildings

There’s no point in having a business that is fully equipped with lifts, ramps, wide doorways and corridors, if it’s almost impossible to get inside the building or even up to the entrance or back exit.

For a start, suitable access should be provided to reach the building. And, if your business has car parking facilities, disabled car parking spaces should be allocated near the building’s entrance, so those with limited mobility can get to the premises.

If you are unsteady on your feet, it can be difficult to get into a building if there are steps to negotiate. While some new buildings have level access, ramps provide another alternative, and should be clear of obstruction to prevent injury.

Outdoor stairlifts or external lifts present another solution. Ransome Mobility provide a range of mobility options to commercial organisations, just contact one of our advisors to find out more.

Internal Accessibility

The Equality Act 2010 ensures people with disabilities can gain access public buildings, and goods and services. So whether you have a shop, restaurant, hotel, health centre or gymnasium, service providers should make reasonable adjustments to ensure their buildings can be used by all customers.

The Act covers people with all disabilities, so changes could also include tactile warning surfaces for people with sight impairments, updating signage, and providing induction loops for the deaf or hard of hearing.

Other adjustments include the use of disabled access doors, widening lobbies, corridors and reception areas and the provision of wheelchair accessible toilets.

Wheelchair lifts – such as through floor lifts and step lifts – provide access to all areas of a building. While through floor lifts make it easier to move between floors, step lifts make it easier to negotiate internal raised areas, which can consist of rooms or corridors separated by small flights of steps. Where installing a lift is not possible (due to cost or architectural difficulties) some businesses may want to consider straight or curved stairlifts. Our team at Ransome Mobility offer straight or curved stairlifts to suit all types of stairs, including narrow and spiral staircases.

About Ransome Mobility

Ransome Mobility is an East Anglian based family run business, and for more than three decades we have provided a range of mobility solutions to businesses, local authorities and individuals. We are an independent company, who pride ourselves in our customer service. If you have any questions, we can provide impartial advice as we are not tied to a particular product or manufacturer.

Ransome Mobility – Click here to find out more about our services.