The Covid-19 outbreak has caused us all to consider new ways of living, working and doing business. Many companies have had to adapt their buildings and working areas in order to ensure staff and customers are socially distant, but for many premises this has come at the expense of accessibility.
CAE Head of Business Development, Fara Muneer, says:
“many post-Covid plans are now being hurriedly introduced, but we need to consider how these will impact disabled people, particularly when it comes to space allowances and new obstacles in the way for people with visual impairments or mobility considerations.”
Restricting the movement of disabled people
As we all adapt to our new normal, it is important that we do not restrict the access and independence of disabled people in and around our premises. Barriers and signage are just some examples of the many things that have been creating difficulties for disabled people. Cones and barrier posts used to segregate queuing can inhibit access for disabled people, often to the queue itself, as well as the space to pass around it.
It is also important to consider whether the design of your signage is accessible. For example, signs in capital letters can be hard to read and can be inaccessible to someone with dyslexia or learning difficulties. It’s important to use visual contrast for all signage to make it easier to read for everyone, especially those with a visual impairment.
Get expert help from a CAE Access Advisor
With many companies having to make structural changes to their premises, having your plans and designs assessed by an access advisor will ensure that accessibility is at the forefront of your design, and not a costly retrospective change.
At CAE, we are passionate about creating Covid-19 safe environments that can be accessed, used and enjoyed by everyone – including disabled and older people. Our expert team will be able to make immediate recommendations that can be put in place to ensure social distancing measures allow all service users, staff and customers to access your buildings. We have an impressive client list giving access advice to premises of various types and sizes.
If you would like to ensure that your premise is Covid-19 safe, without restricting access for disabled and older people. Please contact us to talk through your project.
Are you a London based charity or community group?
If you are a charity or community group in London, the Access and Sustainability Advisory Service (ASAS) is now offering a free training seminar including insights and tips on how to ensure your post Covid-19 premises accessible to everyone. Find out more information about the Managing accessibility and inclusive service provision in the third sector online training here.