Many barriers and hazards may not be visible to people who are not access experts.
WECIL will help you to find ways to ensure your premises and services are accessible to disabled people with a variety of different impairments.
A full audit will be carried out on your organisation to assess the accessibility of your premises, including outside spaces and your digital profile. This means that all aspects of your organisation can become more accessible.
If you are interested in learning more about accessibility support, then please contact us directly.
The reasons for carrying out an access audit are to help meet the requirements of the Equality Act/DDA and improve disabled access and, in turn, increase your custom and turnover as well as help protect you from claims of disability discrimination. It is necessary to carry out an
access audit to establish what action is needed. This takes the form of an initial consultation with you to determine your business needs followed by an access audit inspection of the premises.
BPAC began life as a Bristol City Council (BCC) entity some 18 years ago. The 1993 Disabled Persons Act, which required local authorities and businesses to change the way they catered for people with a disability. Many local authorities introduced the role of an Access Officer.
The group was made up of people with various disabilities, giving it a good understanding of the needs of various people. Training was organised and group members were taught to read plans and undertake access audits. One of BPAC’s first audits was the S. S. Great Britain, which was a great success. In the early days, the group worked mainly on public buildings, which included having a ramp put in at the rear of the central library.
The group members need to have extensive knowledge of building regulations, planning and highways. Ongoing training is therefore essential and group members are happy to undertake such training when it’s offered. BPAC’s never ending mantra is, get it right in the first place and save money later by not having to retrofit anything. Colour contrast and corridor widths are matters that designers and architects may not think of, but BPAC does.
The group has been involved with the development of many iconic Bristol buildings, from the Colston Hall to City Hall itself. Making the built environment better for Bristol’s disabled communities is BPAC’s main objective and its move to WECIL will ensure it can continue its work for many years to come.
“With a pending major office move, we knew that we needed to get some professional advice from WECIL about how to make our new space more accessible. WECIL were responsive from the outset, supported us with an incredibly detailed audit visit by three members of their team and a prompt and comprehensive report outlining their audit checklist, recommendations, and measurements for all the important areas within the entire building to meet compliance.
Their assessment went beyond some of the obvious issues around access, such as toilets and doorways etc, to issues such as lighting, kitchen facilities and very importantly parking space for visits or staff members who are living with a disability. It was an invaluable piece of work and supported us fully to put into place the areas of recommendations to ensure not only compliance, but also to make sure our office space and accompanying places to park were welcoming to all of our stakeholders who either visit or with for us.
I would highly recommend this Audit assess, WECIL have provided a first class service for us as NHS funded Community Health Provider.”
Fiona Spence, Access & Inclusion Lead – Sirona (Formally of Bristol Community Health)
“WECIL were very helpful in highlighting where improvements could be made within our venue to improve accessibility. We were amazed by the attention to detail and how some very minor changes could make a significant difference. The team were friendly and helpful and also realistic when it came to understand the situation of us working within an old building with complicated structural issues. I was very impressed by the audit itself and also very grateful that they have continued to offer us advice on best practice as we forward plan and continue to make our building more accessible.”
Hayley Galpin, Bristol City Council