Is your business facility accessible for people with a disability? You might be nodding yes right now, but are you absolutely sure?
If often happens that business owners believe that they don’t have any issues that would impede disabled access, when in fact they actually do. These problems are affecting their business, but they are simply not aware that they were even disability obstacles in the first place.
The way to avoid this and ensure that your facilities are totally accessible is to hire a professional access auditor to perform an access audit. This will include the auditor giving your facilities a very thorough examination and noting all points where your disabled access could be improved. You will then be presented with a report which will provide you with suggestions of what you can do to improve your access in the future. The report will list changes in order of priority so that you know which need to be made first.
You might be considering checking over your facilities yourself, but there are a number of very important advantages to hiring a professional access auditor to do this for you. Here are a few reasons why a professional access auditor will be able to catch the disability issues that you have missed within your facility:
The Auditor has a Wealth of Knowledge
When access audits are performed on facilities by experienced professional auditors, they have experience and knowledge in this specific topic that far surpasses that of anyone else. The auditor has trained to be in this position and has the most experience of everyone, with many years of working with regulations and guidelines.
This wealth of knowledge enables them to be aware of the regulations that need to be followed so that they can spot areas where your facility’s disabled access could be improved.
The Auditor has a Fresh Perspective
You look at your facility every day, so it is difficult to see it objectively. You can become so used to your environment that it is hard for you to perceive what it is actually like. A customer, when visiting for the first time, might find a disability access issue that you have not noticed because it has always been that way.
When performing access audits, the auditor is able to see the building for the first time and look at it totally objectively with a fresh perspective. This really helps them to spot ways that you can improve.
The Auditor Understands the Needs of Disabled People
Your auditor will be much better able to spot issues because they understand what life is like for a disabled person. Perhaps they are disabled themselves or they have ample experience with someone who is.
Knowing what day to day life is like for a disabled person helps the professional access auditor understand what a site needs for its access to improve. Something might seem to be a great solution to someone who doesn’t have the experience of disabled, but a person who actually has a disability might not find it that helpful. If you want to really make sure that nothing is overlooked in your facility, you need access audits by a professional.
In conclusion, while it is possible to check over your facility yourself in accordance to disabled access regulations; it is a lot more effective to enlist the help of a professional access auditor. When access audits are performed by a professional they are much more thorough and accurate and they will notice things that your untrained eyes will miss, ensuring that your facilities are available to be accessed by everyone.
About the Author
Aki Hashimoto is a blogger who has a keen interest in issues which affect the disabled within the corporate environment. She recommends that all businesses should research access audits to ensure their facilities are accessible for everyone.