WHAT IS THE DDA / EQUALITY ACT?
The DDA (or Disability Discrimination Act) became the Equality Act in 2010, with the aim of creating an inclusive regulation. The DDA discussed provisions to be made for the disabled, including accessibility and DDA lift requirements. The Equality Act instead looks at equalising opportunity for all – not just the disabled – and has many similarities but progresses the regulation and terminologies. The Equality Act looks at equal opportunity in:
- renting or buying land or property
- Access to goods, facilities and services
- Activities, clubs, sports and associations
Now, the Equality Act (2010) is a vital piece of legislation that dictates environment, equipment and service design across the UK. The Equality Act dictates that where physical features may cause a problem, then this feature should be removed, altered or an alternative option provided.
WHAT ARE DDA LIFT REQUIREMENTS?
A DDA lift is no longer a thing, but the term is commonly used still as the DDA was a regulation between 1996 and 2010. The Equality Act looks at making all environments and buildings accessible to everyone, disabled or ambulant. When talking about lifts, most passenger lifts will conform to the Equality Act requirements from manufacture. The Equality Act requirements are covered in the Building Regulations as well, with lifts discussed in Part M:
- Wide doorways to allow ease of entry and exit
- Handrails and buttons positioned at set heights
- Buttons with minimum sizes
- Minimum sizes of lift car for wheelchair turning
- Lighting requirements in lift and at landings
- Clear entry and exit space at landings
- Make doors visibly distinguishable from walls or surroundings
- Include an emergency communication system in the lift
- Ensure level entry and access, or provide a ramp
- Install a landing indicator or announcer
- Install a mirror in the lift, especially in smaller lifts where turning in a wheelchair may not be possible (the mirror allows viewing behind when exiting)
Speak to one of our experts to find out more about the requirements of the Equality Act, Building Regulations Part M and your project.