Kirklees Access Standards by xit16869


									                  Kirklees Access Standards
Section                                                         Page
1       External Environment
1.1    Footpaths                                                 1
1.2    Pavements                                                 2
1.3    Temporary obstructions                                    3
1.4    Street furniture                                          3
1.5    Crossings                                                 5
1.6    Car parks and bays                                        7
1.7    Streetscape improvements and pedestrianisation schemes    9
1.8    Public toilets                                           10
1.9    Further information                                      10
1.10   Highways Disability Liaison Group                        10

2      Entering the building
2.1    Approach to the building                                  1
2.2    Parking                                                   1
2.3    Ramps, steps and stairs                                   1
2.4    Doors                                                     5
2.5    Automatic doors                                           7
2.6    Door entry systems                                        9
2.7    Lobbies                                                  10

3      Internal Environment
3.1    Reception/counters/seating                                1
3.2    Signage                                                   3
3.3    Lighting                                                  6
3.4    Equipment                                                 6
3.5    Corridors                                                 9
3.6    Floor finishes                                           11
3.7    Internal finishes and colour contrasts                   11
3.8    Internal doors                                           12
3.9    Lifts                                                    12
3.10   Toilets                                                  14
3.11   Showers and changing areas                               22
3.12   Baby changing areas                                      23
3.13   Staff kitchens                                           24
3.14   Staff smoking areas                                      24

4      Specialist Environment
4.1    Meeting and training rooms                                1
4.2    Cafés and bars                                            2
4.3    Créche facilities                                         3
4.4    Leisure and sports facilities                             3
4.5    Schools                                                   7
4.6    Safety and management issues                             10
The Kirklees Access Policy
    The Kirklees Access Standards are a key part of the Council’s policy on access.
    The Access Policy was approved by the Policy Committee on 16 March 1994
    and the Access Standards have applied to all Council building and refurbishment
    work since 1996.

    Since this time there have been a number of important developments in access
    requirements. These include BS8300 and the revision of Part M of the Building
    Regulations, and the access requirement of the Disability Discrimination Act that
    comes into force in October 2004. Although the DDA does not propose specific
    design solutions it becomes a legal requirement that physical aspects of a
    building or facility do not prevent a disabled person gaining access to a service,
    or result in a disabled person receiving a lesser standard of service.

    The Revised Kirklees Access Standards

    The Kirklees Access Standards have been revised to encompass these
    developments as far as possible. Part M has now been revised to bring it into line
    with BS 8300 and the Access Standards now incorporate the recommendations of
    BS8300 and the revised part M. The new Part M Approved Document was
    published on November 5th 2003 and will apply from May 1st 2004.

    Using the new Access Standards will ensure compliance with all relevant access
    design guidance and also include the benefit of local experience and
    consultation. In the case of Wheelchair accessible toilets the Access Standards
    provide a slightly higher specification than BS8300. The differences are a result
    of local experience and consultation with disabled users and these differences
    are noted in the text and the reasons explained.

    There may be situations when is not possible to fully comply with the standards,
    either because of physical or financial constraints or because of conflicting
    needs or legislation. In these circumstances you should discuss possible
    solutions with the Access Officer and the Access Consultation Group. Access
    statements may also be required as part of the new Part M requirements.

    Some of the finer points of interpretation of the DDA access requirements are
    likely to be clarified by case law following its implementation in October 2004.
    The Access Standards will be up-dated to reflect relevant future developments
    on a six monthly basis.

    The Access Standards are now available in electronic form and can be
    downloaded from the Kirklees website at
    If you have any comments or queries on the standards please E-mail these to
    Rob Greenwood. (

The Kirklees Access Policy

Kirklees Council believes that buildings that are open to the public should be
fully accessible to all people, including those who are disabled. We also believe
that disabled people should not miss out on job or training opportunities
because of poor access. To achieve these aims we are:

• Setting minimum standards of access for our buildings and facilities, to ensure
  equal access for people with mobility and sensory impairments.

• Up-grading access to Front Line Service Points, including libraries, town halls
  and information points.

• Collecting access information on all council buildings and facilities in order to
  prioritise access audits.

• Making money available to improve access to our buildings and facilities and
  those belonging to other local organisations.

• Working with developers and architects to make sure that new and refurbished
  buildings meet the highest possible standards of access and inclusivity.

• Using our influence and powers to encourage other local organisations to
  meet agreed standards of access.

We have also introduced the following specific access policies.

Involving disabled people and community groups

Kirklees Council values the involvement of disabled people in decisions about
providing inclusive access and has established ways of consulting them, for
example, the Planning Access Consultation Group and The Highways Service
Disability Liaison Group.

Both groups include local disabled people and disabled Council Officers. The
groups meet regularly to consider planning applications and also highways and
transportation issues brought by group members.

New Buildings and Extensions

All new buildings and certain extensions must meet Part M of the Building
Regulations. All new Council buildings must also meet our access standards. All
new building plans should be discussed at the Planning Access Consultation
Group at a stage where it is still possible to change the plans. The Council’s
building control section also has the legal power to inspect and approve building
work covered by Part M.

Buying leasing and selling buildings

Access for disabled people should be a key consideration when making
decisions about buildings we own or use.

If a service is considering leasing or buying a building, the cost of carrying out
work to make sure it meets the Access Standards and DDA requirements must
be taken into account when deciding which building to lease or buy.

Sometimes a building may be sold because it would cost too much to make it
properly accessible. When deciding which buildings to dispense with, the service
concerned must consider equality of access to the services provided.

Partnership ventures

When entering partnership ventures, which include buildings or facilities open to
the public, the Council should use its influence to make sure that a high
standard of access is provided, preferably meeting the Kirklees Access
Standards. The Council should not take part in or fund partnership projects that
do not provide a high standard of access.

Refurbished buildings

When part of a building is to be refurbished, it must meet the Kirklees Access
Standards. If this is not possible, seek the advice of the Access Officer. You may
be invited to discuss the plans with the Planning Access Consultation Group to
achieve the best design solution.

Hire of rooms and venues

You should ensure rooms used for meetings are fully accessible whether the
Council owns them or not. Meeting rooms should provide an induction loop

Always book rooms on the ground floor or with lift access that are located near
to accessible toilets. This should be done whether disabled people are expected
to attend the meeting or not. If there are problems, seek the advice of the Access

Polling stations

Venues used as polling stations at election times should be fully accessible.
Access audits have been undertaken on buildings currently used for polling.
The results will be used to prioritise the use of venues in relation to recent
boundary changes. Other forms of voting such as by postal ballot are also under

Public events

When organising a public event where more than 50 people are expected to
attend, ensure that all aspects of the event will be as accessible as possible. It
may be necessary to arrange extra facilities and information for the event. If
necessary, seek advice from the Access Officer before the event is arranged.

Always ensure that the event provides:

• Sign-posting to all facilities and areas of the event.
• Access to all areas of the event.
• Accessible toilets.
• Accessible facilities for parents and small children, such as a baby changing
  area, a separate feeding area and crèche, where appropriate.
• Nearby parking for blue badge holders, with an accessible route to the event.
• A loop system for hearing aid users if the event includes talks or speeches.
• Specific information and facilities to ensure that disabled people can take part
  on an equal basis in the event, e.g. viewing areas, additional parking and other
  accessible information and facilities as appropriate.

For further information contact Rob Greenwood, Access Officer, by GroupWise or
Tel 01484 223324.

                 Kirklees Access Standards
                          Section 1

Section                                                         Page
1       External Environment
1.1    Footpaths                                                 1
1.2    Pavements                                                 2
1.3    Temporary obstructions                                    3
1.4    Street furniture                                          3
1.5    Crossings                                                 5
1.6    Car parks and bays                                        7
1.7    Streetscape improvements and pedestrianisation schemes    9
1.8    Public toilets                                           10
1.9    Further information                                      10
1.10   Highways Disability Liaison Group                        10
1     External Environment
1.1   Footpaths

      Footpaths can form an important recreational resource besides providing a
      means of access and should be made accessible to disabled people. Where
      possible, the following requirements should be considered.

      1.   Footpaths should be a minimum width of 1200 mm and an absolute
           minimum width of 900 mm where unavoidable obstructions occur.

      2.   Provide passing places with a width of 1800 mm.

      3.   Define the edges of paths by use of planting, coloured surfaces and/or
           tactile contrast that can be detected with a cane. Avoid upstands, which
           may cause people to trip.

      4.   Surfaces should be smooth, firm and slip resistant. Concrete and tarmac
           are preferred. Well-compacted finely crushed stone provides a satisfactory
           surface, but avoid loose gravel or wood chippings.

      5.   Countryside footpaths often cross hilly terrain and it may not always be
           possible to keep gradients within the recommendations for ramps. Where
           steeper sections are unavoidable provide suitable handrails.

                                                                        SECTION 1       1
      6.   Provide seating with level resting areas at regular intervals especially at
           steeper slopes.

      7.   Gates should not obstruct wheelchairs or powered scooter users. Gates
           should give a clear opening of at least 800 mm.

      8.   Carefully position cycle or horse-dismount barriers to maintain access for
           wheelchair users and visually impaired people.

      9.   Where a footpath gives access from a car park to a visitor attraction provide
           a sign to indicate the distance of travel. Also include details of any steps,
           inclines etc.

1.2   Pavements

      Pavements should be designed with the needs of disabled pedestrians in mind
      including those with visual impairments, walking difficulties and people using
      wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Small changes in level between paving
      surfaces can cause trip hazards for people with walking difficulties and great
      care should be taken when laying and maintaining paving flags and block
      paving. Where possible the following requirements should be considered:

      1.   Pavements should be at least 1800 mm wide, even in quiet residential
           areas unless local conditions dictate otherwise, in which case an absolute
           minimum of 1200 mm is acceptable. Pavements in busy town centre streets
           and adjacent main roads should be a minimum of 3000 mm wide where

      2.   Pavements should be even, firm, slip-resistant and well laid. They should
           have reasonably smooth surfaces and be well maintained and kept free of
           undulations and trip hazards. The difference in level between adjacent
           paving surfaces or utility access covers should be flush wherever possible.

      3.   Drainage gratings should be positioned beyond the boundaries of access
           routes wherever possible. Use shallow drainage channels or flush-fitting
           grate covers. Slots in gratings should not be more than 13 mm wide and
           set at right angles to the line of travel.

                                                                           SECTION 1       2
      4.   Pavements should be kept free of obstacles wherever possible.

      5.   In certain circumstances ramps or alterations to pavement levels may be
           agreed as a means of providing access to buildings. See Section 2,
           Entering the building, for further details on ramps.

      6.   Position street furniture on the back edge of the pavement and keep it well
           away from dropped kerbs wherever possible. (Note that many bollards,
           warning and direction signs must be at the front edge.)

      7.   Provide street seating in pedestrianisation schemes. Seats should
           incorporate backs and armrests. Disabled people should not be expected
           to walk more than 50 metres without resting.

      8.   Pavements should be well lit wherever practical to BS 5489.

      9.   Provide handrails on steep slopes of more that 1:10 (where a high number
           of disabled users are expected) when pavements are improved.

      10. All signs should have large, clear print.

1.3   Temporary obstructions

      Where possible, the following requirements should be considered:

      1.   All safety matters concerned with roadworks should take into account
           current legislation, such as the New Roads and Streetworks Act 1991,
           Chapter 8 of the Traffic Signs Manual, Safety at Streetworks and Roadworks
           Act 1980.

      2.   Advertising signs or retail goods on pavements are a hazard. Obstructing
           the pavement is also illegal. For further information contact the Senior
           Officer in Highways and Transportation via the ROSS Streetcare number,
           0800 731 8765.

1.4   Street furniture

      Where possible, the following requirements should be considered:

      1.   Consider the needs of blind and partially sighted people when planning
           street furniture. Street furniture should be distinguishable from its
           surroundings by use of colour contrast and shape.

      2.   Free standing posts or columns should incorporate a band 150 mm in
           width at a height of 1500 mm which contrasts in colour and luminance with
           the rest of the post. Sign pole colours must comply with Department of
           Transport specifications.

                                                                         SECTION 1       3
3.   Position all street furniture along the back edge of the pavement wherever
     possible so that it does not cause an obstruction along the pavement or to
     dropped kerbs.

4.   White cane users should be able to detect all street furniture at a low level.
     It should be a minimum height of 1000 mm.

5.   Ensure that cash points, letterboxes, telephone kiosks, stamp machines
     and similar facilities are accessible to wheelchair users. Card slots and
     dispensers should be between 750-1260 mm above ground level.

6.   See "Access to ATMs – UK design Guidelines" available from The Centre for
     Accessible Environments.

                                                  Manual or powered
                                                  controls between 800
                                                  and 1000 above floor

                                                  max reach R
                                                  *400 at 90* to window
                                                  *320 at 60* to window

7.   Where information boards are mounted on two poles at a height of less
     than 2100 mm, provide a tapping board at ground level between the poles
     for cane users.

8.   Pavement café areas should not cause a hazard for visually impaired
     pedestrians and should be accessible for disabled users. A guide is in
     preparation which will outline the conditions for the licensing of pavement

9.   Tactile paving, other than at pedestrian crossing points, should be used
     sparingly and only after consultation with members of the Planning and
     Highways consultation groups.

10. Proposals for shared facilities involving cyclists and pedestrians should be
    discussed with disabled members of the Planning and Highways
    consultation group at an early stage of development.

                                                                          SECTION 1   4
1.5   Crossings

      Crossings should be positioned on level ground wherever possible. Networks of
      dropped kerbs should be provided around town centre locations to enable
      wheelchair accessible routes between points of travel.

      Where possible, the following requirements should be considered:

      1.   Dropped kerbs

      a)   Provide dropped kerbs on each side of the road directly facing. Position
           surface water gullies on the high side of the crossing, away from the
           dropped kerbs.

      b)   The gradient of the dropped kerb should be 1:12 wherever possible.

      c)   The upstand of rounded-edge kerbstone should be 10 mm so that cane
           users can easily detect it.

      d)   If the width of a pavement gradually narrows or the pavement ends provide
           dropped kerbs to allow people to cross to the opposite pavement.

      2.   Controlled crossings

      For some years the design of crossings in Kirklees has included a full height
      kerb next to the push button. It is proposed to change the Kirklees design of
      crossing to conform to the national guidance.

      a)   A red ‘blister’ tactile paving strip should extend across the width of the
           dropped kerbs and lead to the post that carries the push button.

      b)   The push button should be on the pole at the right hand edge of the red
           tactile strip (when facing the road) unless site conditions dictate otherwise.

      c)   The top of the button box should be 1500 mm above the ground.

      d)   Provide a tactile knurled knob at all crossings and audible signals where
           they would cause no confusion. Position the knob under the button. The
           knob rotates when it is safe to cross.

           NB The knurled knobs are not just a substitute for audible signals, they
           assist deaf pedestrians who are also visually impaired.

                                                                           SECTION 1        5
Kirklees crossing design prior to 2003

New Kirklees crossing design conforming to national Department of Transport
standards. (See “Guidance on the use of Tactile Surfaces”, DETR 1998.)

The above layout replaces the full height kerb with a dropped kerb flush with the
road surface. All new crossings installed after 2003 will be to this design.
Wherever new crossing points are directly associated with existing crossings, the
old layout will be replaced to ensure consistency.

Where possible, use 450 sq mm tactile paving blocks. Tactile paving blocks that
may be over-ridden by vehicles should be set on concrete to reduce

                                                                  SECTION 1         6
      3.   Uncontrolled pedestrian crossings

      Buff coloured ‘modified blister’ tactile paving, as recommended by national
      guidance, is currently being trialed on major routes. This includes crossings in
      town and district centres, and near amenities for people with visual impairments.

      For further information on tactile surfaces see:
      "Guidance on the use of Tactile Paving Surfaces" available from DETR.

1.6   Car parks and bays

      Many disabled people rely on cars to get around and accessible parking
      facilities are essential. Where on street parking only is available dropped kerbs
      must be provided near disabled bays to allow disabled people to get onto the
      footway. Wherever possible the following requirements should be considered.

      Pedestrianisation schemes should ensure that conveniently located parking
      spaces for Blue Badge holders are provided.

                                                                     Dropped kerb
                                                                     (with tactile paving)

       3.6m (allows
       safety zone
       on kerb or
       street side)

      1.   Parking spaces for disabled people should be on level ground.

      2.   Provide direction signs to designated spaces if they are not visible from the
           car park entrance.

      3.   Display a prominent notice in Pay and Display Zones stating, "There is no
           parking charge to disabled drivers and passengers with Blue Badges."
           Any time restrictions on disabled parking spaces must be clearly signed.

      4.   Parking spaces should be as near as possible to the building entrance,
           preferably within 50 metres. Ensure that dropped kerbs are provided along
           the route from the car park to the building entrance and that the route is
           free from obstructions.

      5.   Each parking space should be 2400 x 4800 mm and should have an
           additional marked area measuring 1200 x 4800 mm to allow disabled

                                                                          SECTION 1          7
     people room to transfer from cars into wheelchairs.
     Shared transfer spaces can be used where these parking spaces are
     grouped together. There should also be a 1200 mm wide safety zone
     marked out for boot access and for cars with rear wheelchair hoists.
     Transfer areas must have a smooth surface.

6.   Clearly mark the car parking bays for the use of disabled people by
     painting the international wheelchair symbol on the ground. A sign should
     also be provided which can be seen when snow or fallen leaves obscure
     the ground.
            A sign to identify parking
            space when road markings                             1.2 m wide access zone
            obscured e.g. by snow or                             between designated
            fallen leaves                                        parking spaces

7.   The number of spaces that should be provided will depend on the
     particular service provided and size of the car park. The following figures
     should serve as a guide:

     Up to 200 spaces – 6% of the total number of spaces (minimum of 3
     Over 200 spaces – 4% of the total number of spaces, plus 4 spaces.

     Any spaces for disabled employees should be additional to these numbers.

8.   Car parks should be well lit and any lighting columns should not cause an

9.   Paint double yellow lines or white crosses by dropped kerbs to prevent
     parked cars causing an obstruction, at locations where this is likely to occur.

10. Where a payment system is in operation and disabled people have to pay,
    ticket dispensers and other procedures must be accessible to disabled

                                                                    SECTION 1             8
      11. Controlled gates or barriers must not prevent access for disabled drivers.

      12. Ensure bollards are at least 1000 mm high and painted in contrasting
          colours that can be clearly seen or be illuminated.

      13. Car park surfaces should be smooth using materials that bind together
          such as tarmac or concrete. Where setts have to be used (for example in
          heritage areas) provide flat topped setts where possible and always ensure
          that transfer areas have a smooth paved surface, or use flat-topped setts

      14. Contrasting colours should be used in all elements to assist visually
          impaired people.

1.7   Streetscape improvements & pedestrianisation schemes

      Pedestrianisation schemes must include conveniently placed Blue Badge
      parking spaces to ensure that disabled people are not excluded from
      pedestrianised areas.

      Whenever pavements are to be re-laid, the opportunity to improve access to
      adjoining premises should be taken wherever possible.

      Seats should be provided at intervals of no more than 50 metres.

      Provide features as reference points. Large open areas cause way-finding
      problems for visually impaired people.

      Avoid isolated steps and confusing gradient changes.

      All new steps in external locations should meet the following dimensions:

           Rise: not more than 150 mm,
           Tread: not less than 280 mm.

      Use corduroy hazard warning tactile paving at the top and bottom step.
      Handrails must extend beyond the top and bottom steps by 300 mm.

      Fit a central handrail to wide stairways. The width between handrails should not
      be less than 1200 mm and not wider than 1800 mm.

      If vehicles are allowed to cross a pedestrian area, a change of colour and
      surface should be used. Where regular traffic crosses there should be an
      identifiable kerb edge or use of buff coloured modified blister paving.

      Detailed consultation should take place with the Access Officer and consultation
      groups during the planning stages of improvement and pedestrianisation

                                                                         SECTION 1       9
1.8    Public toilets

       Accessible public toilets are provided at many council owned facilities such as
       Markets and Museums. Improvements to Libraries in response to the access
       requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act will provide accessible toilets at
       most locations. Many outdoor public toilets in street and park locations are
       inaccessible and outdated. A review of toilet provision will begin in 2003 with a
       view to updating the location and accessibility of public toilets throughout
       Kirklees. The review will be reported for consultation to the Disability Rights

1.9    Further information

       For further information see Inclusive Mobility: A Guide to Best Practice on Access
       to Pedestrian and Transport Infrastructure. The guide is available free of charge
       from the Department of Transport Mobility and Inclusion Unit. Tel 020 7944 8021

1.10   Highways Disability Liaison Group

       This consultation group is made up of Highways Officers and disabled members
       of the Kirklees community. It meets every two months and provides a forum to
       discuss ongoing access issues in the pedestrian environment and proposals for
       new developments.

                                                                            SECTION 1         10
                   Kirklees Access Standards
                            Section 2
Section                                        Page
2       Entering the building
2.1     Approach to the building                1
2.2     Parking                                 1
2.3     Ramps, steps and stairs                 1
2.4     Doors                                   5
2.5     Automatic doors                         7
2.6     Door entry systems                      9
2.7     Lobbies                                10
2     Entering the building

2.1   Approach to the building

      Building approaches should be designed to guide people towards the building
      entrance. This can be achieved by landscaping, signage and colour contrasts.
      The entrance to the building should be recognisable and inviting. Adequate
      lighting should be provided during the hours of darkness.

2.2   Parking

      Parking spaces for Blue Badge holders should be provided wherever possible.
      See “Car Parks and bays” in Section 1, External Environment for further details.

2.3   Ramps steps and stairs

      A level entrance is always preferable to a ramp. Building entrances should be
      positioned where the internal floor level is closest to the external ground level,
      where possible. Where there is a small change in level, it could be better to re-
      grade the ground levels rather than build a ramp.

      The beginning of a ramp should be located as close as possible to the principal
      entrance and should be designed to incorporate steps wherever possible.
      Beyond a certain height, ramps become too tiring for a wheelchair user. BS 8300
      states that no ramp or series of ramps to a building should rise in total more than
      2 metres. If the change in level is too great, or there is limited space, a platform
      lift may provide a better solution. Means of escape must also be considered.

                                                                           SECTION 2         1

1.   Ramps should preferably have a gradient no steeper than 1:20. Where
     space is limited 1:15 is generally acceptable. 1:12 is the absolute maximum
     and should only be used for short ramps of less than 2 m. In instances
     where there is no alternative to a longer ramp at this gradient, please
     consult the Access Officer.

2.   A ramp gradient between 1:12 and 1:15 should have a slope of no longer
     than 5 m between level landings. A ramp gradient between 1:15 and 1:20
     should have a slope no longer than 10 m between level landings.

3.   The cross-fall gradient of a ramp should not exceed 1:50.

4.   All ramps should have a level landing at the top and bottom. The top and
     bottom landing must have a minimum length of 1.2 m clear of any door
     swing or obstacle.

5.   Intermediate landings on a straight ramp should be 1.5 m.

6.   Any landing where there is a change of direction of 90° or more, should be
     1.5 m long.

7.   Top landings should be 1.5 m where entry to the building involves a turn of
     90° or more.

8.   The surface width of a ramp should be 1.5 m. The unobstructed width
     between handrails should not be less than 1.2 m. A width of 1.8 m will allow
     two wheelchair users to pass each other.

9.   Ramp surfaces should be even, durable and slip-resistant. BS5395-1
     contains guidance on slip-resistant surfaces. Clearly define changes in
     gradient where possible.

10. Provide a 100 mm high kerb or low-level rail at any open sides of the ramp.

11. Provide handrails at both sides at a height of 900 mm from the ramp surface,
    1 m above level landings with a good colour contrast to the background.

12. Handrails should be of an oval or circular profile, be easy and comfortable
    to grip, with no sharp edges and should not be cold to the touch. Wood
    and powdered nylon provide a suitable finish.

13. Handrail supports must allow for uninterrupted grip, without the hand hitting
    the support.

14. Provide extra guarding where there is a drop of 380 mm or more. This
    should prevent children climbing on the rails and can take the form of a
    mesh infill or vertical rails spaced no further apart than 100 mm. Refer to
    Part K of the Building Regulations for further details.

                                                                   SECTION 2        2
15. Ramps should be lit to an illuminance of at least 100 lux at the top and
    bottom of each flight. Care must be taken to avoid glare and the creation
    of confusing cross-shadows.

16. Wherever a ramp is installed, always include a stepped approach if
    possible, together with appropriate handrails with tactile markings. The
    handrail markings should denote the position of the top and bottom step.
    Corduroy hazard warning paving should be fitted at the top and bottom of
    the steps to alert visually impaired people.

                                                                SECTION 2       3
17. Hazard warning paving can cause difficulties for other users. The paving
    should be kept clear of the ramp and positioned so that it will only be
    encountered by people using the steps.

Ramps to buildings fronting the highway

Many buildings have entrances leading directly from a footpath or pavement and
the requirement to provide access to the building may conflict with the duty to
maintain a safe pedestrian environment. It may be possible to provide an
accessible entrance by locating a ramp within the building itself. This is not
always possible and in certain circumstances the Council’s Highways
Department may agree to an external ramp on the footway or to alteration of
pavement levels. In such cases a one-off payment as a licence fee may be
charged by the Council, who will then be responsible for all further maintenance
of the ramp.

Steps and stairs

1.   All new buildings must have level or ramped access. There should be no
     isolated steps or changes in level inside the building.

2.   All new stairs should meet the following dimensions:

     OUTSIDE:      Rise: not more than 150 mm.
                   Tread: not less than 280 mm.

     INSIDE:       Rise: not more than 170 mm.
                   Tread: not less than 250 mm.

3.   All steps must be the same height and width.

4.   Do not use steps with open risers. Steps without projecting nosings are

5.   Provide continuous handrails at both sides. Use tactile markings to denote
     the position of the top and bottom step. Handrails must extend beyond the
     top and bottom steps by 300 mm. Provide continuous handrails where
     there is more than one flight of steps. (See sketch on Page 1.)

6.   Fit a central handrail to wide stairways. The width between handrails
     should not be less than 1200 mm and not wider than 1800 mm.

7.   Provide ‘corduroy’ tactile paving slabs at the top and bottom of external
     steps. These should be built into the landing and stop 400 mm from the
     nosing. The rib in the paving should run parallel to the steps.

     (See sketch on Page 3 and Part M of the Building Regulations.)

                                                                   SECTION 2       4



                Corduroy hazard warning surface (used adjacent to steps)

                                                                   Slab sizes for both surface types
                                                                   450 x 450 (A=64)
                                                                   400x 400 (A = 66.7)
                                                                   200 x 133 (A = 66.5)

      8.   Use colour-contrasted lines or areas to help define the steps. Contrast the
           skirtings, the nosing of each tread and the staircase bottom.

      9.   Each flight and landing should be well illuminated, providing a clear
           distinction between step and riser. The illuminance at tread level should be
           at least 100 lux. Consider positioning lighting at a low level to illuminate the

2.4   Doors

      Consider the use of signs and colour contrasts to ensure that the relevant
      entrance is immediately apparent to people using the building particularly those
      with impaired vision.

      1.   Minimum opening widths for sliding and hinged doors:
      a)   Entrance doors to new buildings should allow a minimum clear space
           of 1000 mm.
      b)   Entrance doors to existing buildings should allow a minimum clear space
           of 775 mm.
      c)   Single leaf door: 850 mm clear (1000 mm doorset).
      d)   Double doors: one leaf should give at least 850 mm clear space.
      e)   Hinged doors that have to be opened by hand should have at least 300
           mm clear space to the side of the leading edge of the door. This space will
           enable a wheelchair user to pull the door open, allowing the swing of the
           door to clear their chair.
      f)   For extra guidance on door widths in existing buildings see Part M
           Approved Document section 2.13 table 2.
      2.   Provide glazed viewing panels in all doors located in entrances, corridors
           and offices. The minimum zone of visibility must be between 500 mm and
           1500 mm in height. Full-length panels are preferred.

      3.   When using glass doors avoid large unprotected areas of glass. Any glass
           areas should have visual warning or manifestation, such as contrast strips,
           and safety glass. Glass doors should be clearly differentiated from glass
           side panels.

                                                                                                           SECTION 2   5
4.   Tensioned door closers should be adjustable and have the minimum
     tension necessary to close the door. The recommended force for a door
     closer should be 25-30 newtons. The use of rising butt hinges will cause
     the door to close without exerting undue pressure.

5.   Use colour contrasted lever action door handles which include a return.
     These should be at least 19 mm in diameter and be 50 mm clear of the
     door frame. Door handles should be fitted 1000 mm above the floor.

6.   Thresholds should be a maximum of 15 mm in height with rounded edges
     and should be colour contrasted.
                                                                 SECTION 2      6

       7.   Where kick plates are required they should extend from the floor to a height
            of 400 mm.

       8.   All internal doors should open against a wall, not into open space in the

       9.   Where fire doors obstruct access along corridors it may be possible to hold
            them open using electromagnetic hold-back devices. These are connected
            to the fire alarm, which will release the doors to the fire protection position
            in the event of a fire.

       10. Where circulation space is limited, hinged bi-fold or sliding doors should be

2.5    Automatic doors

       Automatic entrance doors should be installed in all public buildings wherever
       possible. There may also be other areas where they should be considered.
       Automatic doors should be sensor-operated so that people do not have to locate
       push buttons to gain entry.

       There are a number of ways that doors can automated. Existing doors can be
       fitted with automatic openers; or purpose-built automatic doors or semi-
       automatic low-energy door openers can be fitted.

       With all the opening mechanisms advice must be sought from the manufacturers
       regarding suitability and emergency evacuation.

       Fitting openers to existing doors

       These are particularly useful when dealing with a listed building or a building that
       has infrequent usage. They are not suitable for high usage buildings.

                                                                           SECTION 2          7
Automatic doors

The main types of automatic door are: revolving, telescopic, sliding, folding or
swing. Sliding doors offer the best and safest option in most situations. Where
there is not enough space, folding or swing doors could be provided. Revolving
doors are not suitable for use by disabled people.

Doors can be activated by floor pads, remote controls, sensors or push pads.
Automatic activation is preferable. Consideration must be given to the building's
usage, its location, security, means of escape, etc.

1.   Push button controls should be avoided wherever possible. Where there is
     no alternative ensure that the button is carefully positioned, colour
     contrasted and well signed together with clear instructions for use.

2.   Automatic doors should have an adjustable closing delay.

3.   All automated doors should have a minimum of 900 mm clear opening

4.   A safety stop should be incorporated into an automatic entrance door to
     open the door if it is closing when a person is still passing through.

5.   Automatic doors should have a well-defined and safe approach.

6.   Doors should be fitted with an audible signal to confirm to a blind person
     that the door is opening.

Automatic swing doors

1.   Ensure that the sensor is set so that it is impossible for a person to come
     into contact with the door before it is in the fully open position.

2.   A protective rail or barrier should be provided on the hinged side of the
     door to prevent it opening onto anyone.

Semi-automated doors

These door operators are power-assisted. They can be pushed open like manual
doors with power assisted opening or will provide automatic opening by a push
pad. After a hold-open period the door closes in the same way as a conventional
door closer.

These can be useful in situations of relatively low usage where fully automatic
doors are not felt to be appropriate.

                                                                   SECTION 2        8
2.6   Door entry systems

      Modern trends have resulted in security issues becoming a major concern of
      most buildings' occupiers. Any security system will, by its nature, create a
      restriction on access. It is therefore extremely important to ensure that people
      with various impairments are not excluded or find it unreasonably difficult to
      access the building.

      Increasingly there are electronic systems on the market that will provide the

      Wherever possible, the following requirements should be considered:

      1.   Use electronic security systems that can be used by people with restricted
           hand movement such as a ‘key fob’ or swipe card.

      2.   Do not use security code systems with buttons that are small and difficult to
           use, e.g. ‘digilocks’. Not everyone has the use of both hands. Use a
           system that allows someone to operate the lock and open the door with
           one hand.

      3.   Get advice from the access officer before buying a security system.

      4.   When installing intercom systems:

           a)   Have somewhere comfortable to wait, preferably under cover.

           b)   Provide a clear set of written and tactile or audible instructions.

           c)   Movement sensors are available to alert the intercom operator that a
                person who may be blind or deaf is waiting at the door.

           d)   Have a visual signal to indicate that the intercom user has been

           e)   Provide control buttons that are easy to see and find by touch and
                colour contrast.

           f)   When the reception point is remote from the point of entry, always
                provide a camera so that the operator can easily identify the visitor.

           g)   They should be set with their uppermost point no higher than 1200
                mm above the finished floor level, preferably on the opening side of
                the door and 400 mm away from the a side wall.

           h)   Keys should not be so sensitive that they can be pressed in error. The
                RNIB suggests an operating pressure of seven newtons, with a travel
                distance of 4 mm.

                                                                           SECTION 2       9
           i)   Keypads should have the number '5' embossed with a dot (as
                telephone keypads have).

2.7   Lobbies

      1.   The dimensions and shape of a lobby should allow a wheelchair user to be
           able to move clear of one door swing to push open the next door or
           reverse to pull it open. Space should also be provided for a helper to assist
           a wheelchair user.

      2.   Wherever possible lobby doors should open in the same direction. For all
           dimensions see diagrams. Lobbies should be kept clear of any

      3.   Do not use loose mats or matwells. Any entrance matting should be laid to
           ensure easy wheelchair access.

                                                                         SECTION 2         10
SECTION 2   11
                   Kirklees Access Standards
                            Section 3
Section                                          Page
3       Internal Environment
3.1     Reception/counters/seating                1
3.2     Signage                                   3
3.3     Lighting                                  6
3.4     Equipment                                 6
3.5     Corridors                                 9
3.6     Floor finishes                           11
3.7     Internal finishes and colour contrasts   11
3.8     Internal doors                           12
3.9     Lifts                                    12
3.10    Toilets                                  14
3.11    Showers and changing areas               22
3.12    Baby changing areas                      23
3.13    Staff kitchens                           24
3.14    Staff smoking areas                      24
3.    Internal environment

3.1   Reception/counters/seating

      Reception areas should be welcoming and conform to the Kirklees corporate
      standards in terms of signage colour scheme and finishes. Seating should be
      provided in a visually co-ordinating range of different designs to suit the needs of
      different users. Facilities such as induction loop systems, toilets and children’s
      play areas should be clearly signed. Ensure that colour contrasts and lighting
      are adequate for partially sighted people. Information on alternative formats
      such as Braille, tape and large print should be available on request and this
      should be clearly stated. Reception staff should be familiar with the
      communication needs of disabled people and the requirements of the DDA.

      For further information see “Getting it Right: Including disabled people in
      communiction and consultation” published by LARIA and available from Kirklees
      Community Languages Service.

      Where reception counters are provided they should:

      1.   Be positioned where they can be seen clearly by a person entering the

      2.   Be set at two heights so that people are comfortable in a standing or sitting

      3.   Provide a high level counter surface at 900 -1000 mm for standing

      4.   Provide a low level counter for wheelchair users with a counter surface
           between 750 and 850 mm. Clearance below the table needs to be a
           minimum of 700 mm. 750 mm will allow the arms of a chair to fit beneath
           the table. At counters where wheelchair users may need to sit close to the
           table to fill in forms or make payments, a clearance of 750 mm is

           Reception counters should include an audio loop system. The section of
           the counter where the loop operates must be clearly marked with the loop
           symbol. Wherever glass screens are used a sound amplification system
           should also be installed to ensure adequate communication. Where there
           are several counter positions there should be at least one with an audio
           loop system that is clearly signed. As counter loops have a limited range,
           ensure that the sign shows a hearing impaired user the exact position
           where the loop operates.

      5.   The counter top should have a curved raised edge to help people pick up
           change and receipts, where appropriate.

                                                                          SECTION 3          1
6.   Positions must provide an alternative means of escape for the receptionist
     and be accessible for disabled employees.

Queue barriers

1.   If barriers are provided they should have firm fixed supports and rigid
     horizontal rails.

2.   Supports and rails should be colour contrasted to the surrounding areas.

3.   Queuing aisles should have a minimum unobstructed width of 1000 mm or
     1500 mm wherever there is a change in direction.


1.   Seating should be located where people are likely to wait or need to rest.
     Where a number of seats are available ensure that a variety of seating
     types are provided. These will need to co-ordinate visually and conform to
     the Kirklees corporate colour scheme.

2.   The majority of chairs should have a seat height between 450 mm and
     500 mm high. Some higher chairs at 550 mm should also be provided.

3.   Some seating should provide arm rests which extend to the front of the

4.   Some seating should provide high backs.

5.   The seating layout should include a clear space of around 900 mm wide x
     1400 mm deep to allow a wheelchair user to sit alongside other visitors.

                                                                   SECTION 3      2
      6.   A space should be provided for wheelchair users, push chairs or an
           assistance dog.

      7.   Seating and other furniture should colour contrast with the floor surface.


      1.   The top surface of writing tables intended for wheelchair users should be
           between 800 mm - 850 mm high.

      2.   Clearance beneath the table should be 700 mm - 750 mm.

      3.   Provide a depth of 400 mm - 600 mm beneath the table.

3.2   Signage

      All signage should conform to the council’s corporate identity scheme. All
      facilities in a building should be clearly signed. For example, if there is a
      wheelchair accessible toilet on the second floor only, there should be signs on
      all other floors giving its location. If the way to the toilet is complicated, use
      confirmation signs along the route to make sure people know they are going the
      right way. If wheelchair users have to take a different route e.g. to avoid stairs,
      ensure that the signs to make this clear.

      1.   Include relevant symbols, a written message and directional arrows on
           signs. Avoid signs that only provide a written message.

      2.   Letters and numbers for internal signs should be at least 70 mm high and
           produced in Berling Bold – the approved lettering style for Kirklees.

      3.   Avoid block capitals. Lower case letters are easier to read by people with
           visual impairments. Always use lower case letters except for proper nouns
           such as names of the first letter of the sign.

      4.   Blind people need the same information as sighted people. Signs that are
           within reach should include Braille or have raised or embossed lettering.

      5.   It is important to have a good contrast between the lettering and sign
           background. White or yellow lettering on a dark background is
           recommended because this avoids glare.

      6.   Signs should be well lit and positioned where they will not be obscured.

      7.   Signs should be mounted at, or just below eye level, between 1400 mm to
           1700 mm above the floor. Suspended signs should be raised to 2000 mm
           above ground level.

      8.   Other symbols can be used on signs such as British Sign Language or
                                                                          SECTION 3         3
International     Accessible
wheelchair        parking

Level access      Ramped

Telephone         Steps
with facilities
for wheelchair

Facilities for    Facilities for
blind and         hearing
partially         impaired
sighted           people
people e.g.       [inductive
talking books,    coupling
tape guides,      (‘loop’)
and large print   system]

Access for
less mobile

                       SECTION 3   4
       Gentleman’s and
       acessible toilet facilities

       Ladies and
       acessible toilet facilities

Acessible                            Baby care
toilet facilities                    facilities

Pushchair                            Assistance
route/pushchair                      dogs allowed
s allowed

Lift accessible                      Restaurant
to wheelchair                        accessible to
users                                wheelchair

                                            SECTION 3   5
      Talking signs

      These are intended to provide information to people who cannot read visual
      signs. They consist of a wall-mounted box containing a speaker, which plays a
      pre-recorded message when, activated. This can be achieved either by an infra-
      red beam or by a person carrying a special card such as the R.N.I.B. React
      system. Such systems are useful because a blind person does not have to
      locate a particular sign or switch to receive the information.

      Talking signs can be used to:

      1.   Indicate the entrance to a building.
      2.   Give directions to a reception point, toilet facilities etc.
      3.   Confirm someone’s position within a building.
      4.   Open barriers or switch on lights to indicate a person requiring assistance.

      Tactile plans and maps

      These can be used in conjunction with other features within the building such as
      tactile signs and Braille messages on handrails. They can be sited permanently
      in places such as entrances or reception areas where staff can guide people to
      them. This is useful to give people an idea of where they are in a building.
      However it is difficult to remember complex directions; maps that people can
      carry with them are more useful in this respect. Paper diagrams and maps could
      be made available from reception counters or sent to people in advance.

3.3   Lighting

      Lighting can be particularly helpful for visually impaired people establish their
      surroundings. Consider illumination in relation to colours, surfaces and the
      architecture of the building.

      1.     Provide uniform levels of lighting throughout a building.

      2.     Excessive contrasts and glare from both natural and electric lighting should
             be avoided.

      3.     Fluorescent lighting creates a harsh flat light, which is uncomfortable for
             many people.

                                                                            SECTION 3       6
3.4   Equipment

      Switches and sockets

      All switches and sockets should be within reach
      of a wheelchair user i.e. not located at floor level
      or too high to reach. They should be visible to
      people with visual impairments by contrasting
      with their surroundings and have large easy-to-
      use switching action.


      Light switches should be no higher than 1200 mm.

      Set switches at least 400 mm away from a side wall or a corner, which will allow
      a wheelchair user to approach them.

      Light fittings that have colour contrasted front plates and rocker switches are preferred.


      1.   Sockets should ideally be located approximately 450 mm to 1200 mm
           above floor level.

      2.   Switched sockets should preferably have the switches located at either end
           of the socket rather than in the centre.

      3.   The height of a telephone should be between 750 mm and 1000 mm.


      1.   The maximum height of any telephone should be 1200 mm.

                                                                                SECTION 3          7
2.   Public telephones should be provided with unobstructed access to within
     300 mm in front of the telephone and at least 800 mm wide.

3.   Acoustic hoods should not cause a hazard for people with visual
     impairments and should be a contrasting colour to the background.

4.   A small shelf should be provided beside the telephone for change, etc.

5.   The telephone should incorporate an inductive coupler in the handset.
     These can be fitted at the time of ordering or retrospectively.

Communication devices and sensory impairment

Text Telephones Email and Fax

1.   A text telephone enables deaf people to communicate over the telephone
     by means of a keyboard and display. Many deaf people are not comfortable
     using written English and do not like using text telephones to communicate
     with hearing people. Typetalk is a service, which enables text telephone
     users and hearing people to communicate by phone through an interpreter.
     To access the service simply dial 18002 before the number including the
     STD code. Further information about Typetalk is available on 0800 7311 888.
     Alternative means of communication such as fax machines, mobile phones
     or email should also be available and publicised.

2.   Each service area should have a text telephone contact number with a
     trained operator who is familiar with it’s use.

3.   A fax or email facility should be advertised as this provides an opportunity
     for a deaf person to consider the grammar and spelling of a message
     before sending it. email and text facilities are popular means of
     communication for deaf people. email is also a convenient means of
     communicating with visually impaired people who have computers
     equipped with large print or voice facilities.

Induction Loop system

Induction Loops improve the quality of sound for hearing
aid users by cutting out unwanted background noise. They
are available as either portable or 'wired in' units and can
only be used by people who have a hearing aid with a ‘T’
switch. The user needs to switch their hearing aid to the ‘T’
position to benefit from the loop, so it is essential that loop system symbols are
correctly displayed. The system works by converting sound into radio waves,
which are transmitted from a loop of wire around a room or reception desk
directly to a person’s hearing aid. This facility must be advertised by displaying
the ear and ‘T’ symbol.
Counter loops can be fitted to reception desks to improve communication with
hearing aid users. Because the range is limited it is important to display the loop
symbol on the counter in the position where the loop is located.
                                                                       SECTION 3      8
      Provide induction loops in theatres, halls, and information centres, meeting
      rooms, galleries and other public buildings. Because radio waves travel through
      walls, hearing aid users in adjacent rooms can pick up sound. If this is a
      problem, infra-red system may be used instead.

      Infra-red Systems

      This system is similar to a loop except the sound is transmitted by infra-red light
      beams to special headsets worn by users. This has the advantage of improving
      sound quality for people who do not use hearing aids. Induction couplers are
      also available for people who prefer to use their hearing aid. Sound cannot be
      picked up outside the room where the equipment is used.

      Vending machines

      These should include a coin slot and select buttons that are no higher than 1200
      mm from floor level, and which automatically return rejected coins. With
      instructions displayed in clear contrasting lettering.

      Panic alarms

      Panic alarms should be positioned within reach of the member of staff and out of
      sight of the public. The alarm should alert security without alarming the public.

      Heating/ Ventilation/ Extractor Fans

      Heating and other systems should create the minimum possible background
      noise. Where employees have access to controls for heating or other systems
      they should be mounted on the wall with adequate space for approach. The
      controls bottom edge should be a maximum of 1200 mm and a minimum of
      900 mm from the finished floor level.

3.5   Corridors

      The following points refer to the access standards only and for other legislative
      controls please see appropriate bodies.

      1.   Corridors which form major routes should have a minimum clear width of
           1800 mm. This will allow two wheelchair users to pass each other. If this is
           not possible, passing places 1800 mm wide should be provided at regular
           intervals. Corridors whose length is less than 7000 mm should have a
           minimum clear width of 1500 mm.

      2.   L-shaped corridors should allow 850 mm radius for wheelchair turning.
           Splayed or rounded angles at corners will ease circulation.

      3.   Corridors should be clear of free-standing obstacles, such as planters, bins
           or ashtrays. Recess radiators in new buildings. Where this cannot be
           avoided the obstacle must not be opposite a doorway and must be
           tonal/colour contrasting.
                                                                        SECTION 3       9
4.   For corridors over 7000 mm long provide handrails to each side. Any length
     below 2000 mm a handrail is not necessary.
     For shorter corridors please use a tonally contrasting Daido rail.

5.   For floor finishes see section 3.6. For switches sockets see section 3.4.

6.   Fire doors that cause an obstruction on corridors should be fitted with
     electro magnetic holdbacks linked to the building’s fire alarm.

      A.   A clear width of 1500 mm will allow two wheelchair users to pass each other
      B.   Depth of recess not less than the width of the door leaf
      C.   Turning circle of 1800 mm diameter at a corridor junction acts as a passage place and
           allows a wheelchair user to turn and return in the other direction
      D.   900 mm clear space where doors open into a corridor
      E.   A clear width of corridor not less than 1200 mm
      F.   Clear width of a t least 1000 mm where there is a permanent obstruction over a short

                                                                              SECTION 3            10
3.6   Floor finishes

      Many types of floor finish can be used, depending on the proposed use and
      aesthetic effect. However consideration should be given to people with visual,
      hearing and mobility impairments as well as wheelchair users.
      1.   Flooring should be slip-resistant, even when wet. In ‘wet areas’ it may be
           necessary to provide a positively ‘anti-slip’ surface.

      2.   Carpets should give a firm enough surface to allow wheelchair passage.

      3.   Tiling and carpets should be checked regularly to ensure that there is no
           excessive cracking or wear, particularly around corners and in doorways.

      4.   Joints within floor finishes and junctions between different floor finishes
           should be flush to create an even floor surface. Many floor changes occur
           at doorways, where a threshold strip should be used. These should always
           have an anit-slip surface.

      5.   Complex patterns should be avoided as they can cause confusion for
           people with visual impairment, though an element of simple patterning or
           colour change can assist in defining the edges or giving directional

      6.   Highly polished floors should be avoided. In addition to being slippery,
           glossy floors can reflect overhead lights, causing confusion and discomfort
           for some visually impaired people.

      7.   Corduroy tactile flooring is recommended for internal use to provide hazard
           warning to visually impaired people at the top and bottom of stairs.

      8.   A good colour contrast with walls, skirting, furniture and protruding
           features, such as a piece of sculpture or a spiral staircase, will assist people
           with visual impairment.

      9.   Hard floors create loud impact sound, resulting in high levels of
           background noise. This can be overcome by increasing the thickness
           specified or by using special sound-absorbent underlays. However, sounds
           can be useful for people with visual impairment. A floor finish which allows
           footsteps to be heard can inform a person that someone is approaching or
           help a person recognise their position in the building.

3.7   Interior finishes and colour contrasts

      Careful use of colour schemes and interior finishes can make an enormous
      improvement to the way that people experience a building, particularly those
      with visual and hearing impairments.

                                                                           SECTION 3          11
      Walls should be finished in pale non-reflective tones and contrast with the floor
      and skirting boards. There should be an obvious difference between the floor
      and wall tones.

      See above for details on flooring.

      Ceilings should be white to help reflect available light evenly. A contrast between
      walls and ceiling, or coving in a different colour, will help people to assess their
      surroundings. Partially sighted people will often look at the ceiling to get an idea
      of the size of the room.

      Doors should contrast with the surrounding walls so they can be easily identified.
      Door handles should also contrast with the door.

      Chairs, tables reception desks and information carrousels all need to contrast
      with their surroundings. Soft furnishings can also be used to improve acoustics.

      Provide blinds at windows where glare can be a problem

      Lighting levels should be consistent and even. Flourescent lighting should be

3.8   Internal doors

      All new internal doors should provide a clear space of 850mm (see 2.4 entering
      the building)

      When buildings are refurbished any doors which are less than building
      regulation width (850 mm clear space) should be replaced. Doors on main
      circulation routes should meet the Access standard width of 850 mm.

3.9   Lifts

      Consider the provision of a fire protected lift with its own power supply which
      can be used as a means of escape in the event of a fire.

      Lifts must be wheelchair accessible and must stop flush with each level. The
      structural opening in the wall, which gives access to the lift door, should be wider
      than the lift door width. A lift door of 850 mm width should be specified when
      ordering the lift. A clear manoeuvring space of 1500 x 1500 mm is required at
      the entrance of all lifts. Lighting levels of at least 100 lux and adequate colour
      contrasts are vital for people with impaired vision.

      A change in floor texture and/or colour should be provided on corridors to
      indicate the presence of lifts. This should be a 1 metre square. Do not use a
      raised joint between the surfaces.

                                                                           SECTION 3         12
Where usage does not justify a full passenger lift a through floor platform lift or
wheelchair stairlift should be provided. Always seek advice on means of escape
for disabled people before a lift is installed and ensure that management
procedures are in place for emergency evacuation.


1.   A lift car of 2000 mm x 1400 mm will allow a wheelchair user to turn within
     the lift. The minimum lift dimension should be 1400 mm x 1100 mm. The lift
     entrance should open to a clear width of 850 mm. This should be specified
     at the time of tender.

2.   Controls should be at the same height in all lifts. The control panel should
     not be lower than 900 mm or higher than 1200 mm. It should be placed
     400 mm or more from the corner of the lift. Controls should be in
     contrasting colours with embossed or raised numbers or symbols.

3.   Hinged perched seating should be fitted between 650 mm to 700 mm from
     the lift floor.

4.   Handrails should be fitted around the lift wall at a height of 1000 mm from
     the floor.

5.   Internal lighting should be provided to a level of 50-75 lux and should be
     uniformly distributed.

6.   A mirror should be provided on the far wall to assist wheelchair users who
     may have to back out of the lift. This should be fitted about 100 mm above
     floor level. Full height mirrors cause confusion for visually impaired people
     and should be avoided.

                                                                     SECTION 3        13

       1.   There should be audible and visual signals inside and outside the lift to
            indicate floor levels and two way voice communication for emergency

            Some research suggests that LED indicators in yellow or green on a black
            background are easier to read than in red.

       2.   Lift doors should close slowly and be fitted with sensitive door edges or a
            light beam to prevent closure while a person in entering.

       3.   There should be a button in the lift to keep the doors open while people

       Escalators should not be the only means of access to other floors in a building.

       Platform lifts

       For smaller changes in level or where usage does not justify a passenger lift, fit a
       through floor lift or platform lift which can be operated by the user. For safety
       reasons lift controls require continuous pressure or the lift will stop. A joystick
       control is easier to use than a push button. Provide clear instructions for use and
       an emergency alarm. Minimum platform size is 1050 mm x 1250 mm.

       Any change in level over 2000 mm will require an enclosed shaft.
       Always seek advice on emergency evacuation when considering the installation
       of platform lifts or stairlifts.

       Wheelchair stairlifts

       Wheelchair stairlifts can be provided if it is not possible to install a vertical lift if
       there is a suitable staircase. See BS5776 Annex A.

       Stairlifts are more difficult to use independently than platform lifts and can be
       disconcerting for users on longer flights of stairs.

       Ensure that the platform will fold down automatically and the platform can
       incorporate a fold down seat for ambulant users.

       Stairlifts which do not include a wheelchair platform are not suitable for public

3.10   Toilets

       Wheelchair accessible toilets should be provided wherever ordinary toilets are

                                                                                  SECTION 3        14
All council facilities where members of the public will spend time accessing a
council service should aim to provide an accessible toilet for public use. If only
one toilet is to be provided, this must be accessible. Do not expect disabled
people to travel longer distances than non-disabled people to get to the toilet

Provide accessible unisex toilets, as this avoids embarrassment if a disabled
person has a helper of the opposite sex. Accessible toilets should be sited
adjacent to ordinary toilets where possible. In buildings which have more than
one unisex cubicle, provide a choice of layouts allowing left and right transfer.
Accessible cubicles may also be incorporated within the male and female

Unisex accessible corner WC layout

Accessible toilet cubicle floor areas should provide as much space as possible.
The preferred Kirklees standard dimension is 2200 mm long and 1800 mm wide.
The dimensions are derived both from local consultation and BS 8300.

BS8300 stipulates a dimension of 1500 x 2200 leaving the old part M width
unchanged. Local consultation showed that the Part M width transfer zone of
800 mm was difficult to back into, particularly by people using larger powered
chairs, and the Kirklees standards have always reflected this. The wider cubicle
dimension of 1800 mm giving a transfer width of 1100 mm considerably eases
this manouvre.

It is recognised that some degree of flexibility may need to be exercised when
designing toilets to fit into existing buildings and applications where the standard
dimension cannot be met should be discussed with the Access Officer at the
design stage.

The Kirklees Access Standards corner toilet layout also differs from BS8300 by
including a drop rail at both sides of the toilet pan, the drop rail nearest to the
wall replacing the old wall mounted rail. This is because Local consultation has
shown that the wall-mounted rail is too far away to provide adequate support for
many people when attempting to transfer from their wheelchair onto the toilet.
The rail can also be moved to the upright position to allow unobstructed space if
support from a helper is needed from this side.

Toilet doors should open outward and be fitted with an internal horizontal pull rail
fitted 1000 mm above floor level. Many disabled people prefer sliding doors.
Sliding doors should be fitted with an external ‘D’ handle at a height of 1000 mm.
Sliding or bi-fold doors should be used where manoeuvring space is limited or
when a hinged door would cause an obstruction.

Self-closing devices can make it very difficult for disabled people to open doors.

                                                                     SECTION 3         15

door position
                                                   Disposal bin


                                         Hand rinse
 2 200 min

                                                                  Vertical grab rails
             Clothes                                              Alarm pull
             hooks                                                cord
                                             140 - 160
                                                                  Position of
                          Drop down                               Sanitary
                          rail                                    disposal


                                           320    320
              grab rail                      970

                               1 300 min

                                      1 800 min

                                                                                        Height of
                                                                                        drop rail

                                                                                  SECTION 3         16
Do not fit self-closing devices unless they can be adjusted to provide minimum
pressure of 20 – 30 Newtons. Rising butt hinges can help the door to close
behind a person without exerting undue pressure.

There should be at least 300 mm clearance at the side of the leading edge of a
hinged door. This space is essential to allow a wheelchair user to pull the door
towards them. (Sliding or folding doors are useful where manoeuvring space is

The cubicle door should have an easy to use throw over indicator bolt, which
can be opened from outside in an emergency.

If the cubicle is accessed directly from a corridor or public area a privacy curtain
should be included in the doorway. This will maintain privacy if a helper needs
to leave the cubicle while the disabled person uses the toilet.

Rails and sanitary ware

1.   ‘Doc M’ packs are available from most manufacturers, which include the
     correct sanitary ware taps and rails. An extra drop rail with support leg and
     an extra vertical rail at the side of the basin will need to be provided to
     conform to the new layout.

2.   The hinged support rails to each side of the toilet should be 750 mm long.

3.   The hinged support rail to the wall side of the toilet should incorporate a
     support leg to ease strain on the wall fixing. This will normally be used in
     the down position.

4.   Both drop rails should incorporate toilet roll holders that can dispense
     sheets of paper with a one handed operation.

5.   Horizontal support rails should be fitted at 680mm – 700 mm above floor

6.   Rails should be colour contrasted with the background either by using
     coloured rails or using coloured paint or tiles on the walls. Pastel shades
     will normally give enough contrast with white rails.

7.   Wash basin rims should be 720-740 mm from the floor to allow for hand
     washing by people standing as well as seated. Use shallow basins, which
     do not project more than 250 mm from the wall.

8.   Taps must be lever or sensor-operated. Separate hot and cold taps are
     preferred to a single mixer tap.

9.   Where a water heater is provided for hot water ensure that the control is
     easy to turn in the manner of a lever tap.

                                                                     SECTION 3         17
10. The basin and taps should be within reach of a person seated on the toilet.
    If full washing facilities are required a second larger basin should also be
    included and the cubicle enlarged accordingly.

11. The toilet seat should be 450-480mm from the floor. The centre of the toilet
    basin to the near side wall should be 500 mm.

12. The support rail and back-rest should allow the seat to tilt backwards and
    stay in position when raised so that the toilet can be used as a urinal.

13. Ensure that the flush handle is on the transfer side of the cistern.

Transfer space

1.   The transfer space at the open side of the toilet is necessary for a
     wheelchair user to back into, so that they can transfer from their chair to the

2.   Do not position the soil pipe or any other obstruction against the wall at the
     transfer side of the toilet bowl. Boxing the pipes or the cistern should not
     reduce the transfer space.

3.   The transfer area should include a sign stating "Please keep this area free
     of waste bins and other obstructions"

4.   The building management should ensure that waste bins and positioned in
     the correct place and that the cubicle is kept free of stored items.

5.   If the soil pipe is going to obstruct the transfer zone of a proposed toilet the
     design of the cubicle can be reversed or ‘handed’ like a mirror image. This
     can also be done to allow either left or right transfer.

6.   If you have more than one accessible toilet, a choice of left and right
     transfer cubicles should be provided.


1.   Fit an alarm pull cord with a ring to the floor level which passes through
     wall mounted guides. The ring should be at a height of 1000mm. Feed the
     cord along the skirting board behind the toilet bowl so that it is within reach
     of a person who may have fallen. The alarm should sound where it will alert
     staff who can provide help.

2.   Provide a coat hook at 1400 mm and a second lower hook at 1050 mm.

3.   Provide a full-length mirror to a width of 400 mm fitted 600mm above floor
     level and a smaller mirror 600-700 mm wide above the wash basin

4.   Provide easy to use soap dispensers that can be used by one hand.

                                                                     SECTION 3          18
5.   Provide a sensor operated hand dryer within the toilet cubicle. Roller
     towels should not be used.

6.   Provide a shelf at 740 mm in the corner of the cubicle adjoining the sink.

7.   Light switches should be operated by a pull-cord fitted with a ring. This
     should be positioned immediately inside the door where it is easy to locate
     and be fitted in a wall mounted guide.

Corner layout where extra width is available.

Where widths in excess of 1800 mm are available the toilet bowl should be fitted
further out from the wall. This will enable a larger sized basin to be fitted without
obstructing wheelchair access to the toilet.

     door position
                                                             Disposal bin


                                                  Hand rinse
      2 200 min

                                                                            Vertical grab rails
                  Clothes                                                   Alarm pull
                  hooks                                                     cord
                                                       140 - 160
                                                                            Position of
                                 Drop down                                  Sanitary
                                 rail                                       disposal


                                                320    320
                     grab rail

Peninsular layout

The peninsular or Dual Transfer layout allows for a choice of left or right hand
transfer. The Kirklees Access Standards recommend a cubicle size of 2500 x
2200 mm for this layout. This is 100 mm wider than the 2400 mm dimension
shown in BS8500, which allows only 800 mm transfer space at one side of the
toilet bowl. It gives more space to manoeuvre, for assistance from a helper if

                                                                                            SECTION 3   19
    required and for larger powered chairs. The extra space also enables a larger
    wash basin to be fitted. A disadvantage of this layout is that the wash basin
    cannot be positioned in reach of a person seated on the toilet. Part M packs are
    not suitable for this layout as a larger wash basin should be used. For
    information on fixtures and fittings see the previous section.

    This improvement is the only change from the BS8300 layout.

    The diagram below shows the Kirklees version. For heights and details of fittings
    see previous section.

                                                      The door may be in any
                                                      position along the wall
                                                      but the leading edge not less
                                                      then 300 from a return wall

               Towel rail

                                                                                        Twp clothes
                                                  Disposal                              hooks

                                   1 500 x 1 500
                                   turning space
2 200

                   Alarm                               Drop down rail
                   pull                                                          Vertical
                   cord                                                          grab rail
                                                                 pull                   Sanitary
                                                                 cord                   disposal

                                                                                  shelf for
              Vertical                                                            users
              grab rail           150                   150
                                        320     320

                                1 400                         1100

                                              2 500

                                                                                                      SECTION 3   20
Toilets for ambulant disabled people

In addition to the provision of a wheelchair accessible toilet the opportunity
should be taken to upgrade standard male and female facilities for the use of
ambulant disabled people. One or more cubicles can be upgraded by the
addition of grab rails and fitting an outward opening door. The recommended
width of the cubicle should be 800mm and the length should be 1500mm

School and nursery toilet facilities

All schools should aim to provide unisex wheelchair accessible toilets for the use
of pupils, staff and visitors. In cases where a school is unable to provide
wheelchair access and is not suitable for disabled pupils, at least one wheelchair
accessible toilet should be provided for the use of ambulant or assisted disabled
parents or visitors

                                                                   SECTION 3         21
       Accessible toilets for children

       The sizes of children’s wheelchairs vary but the space requirements for
       manoeuvre are not greatly different from those of adults and the size of cubicle
       should not be significantly reduced. Specially designed grabrails are available
       which include a second rail designed for the use of children. The second rail
       can be folded away when not needed.

       For nursery infant and first school age groups a toilet pan height of 440 mm is
       preferred. 450mm is preferred for junior and middle school ages. There is little
       guidance available on accessible toilets for children, and proposed facilities are
       best discussed with the Access Officer and relevant professionals especially if
       the work is being undertaken with a specific child in mind. As a guide, the size
       of a cubicle should not be reduced below 1400 x 1750 mm.

3.11   Showers and changing areas

       Shower facilities will need to be provided in schools sports centres and certain
       offices and depots. Disabled people need to have access either to communal
       facilities or to an adjoining purpose built accessible facility.

       The basic solution is a layout, which allows a wheelchair user to transfer to a
       seat within the wet area and to keep the wheelchair dry and within reach of the
       reverse operation.

       The floor surface should be slip resistant even when wet and a weighted shower
       curtain provided to contain the water as far as possible. Grab rails should be
       fitted as shown in the diagram. These should have a non-slip nylon coating in a
       contrasting colour to the surroundings. Shower cubicles and adjacent changing
       areas should be well-heated and uncomfortable temperature changes between
       wet and dry areas should be avoided. Hooks and a bench seat should also be
       provided in the changing area.

       1.   A shower cubicle should be minimum of 1000 mm by 900 mm deep with an
            unobstructed approach.

       2.   In shower cubicles shower controls can be positioned on the wall facing
            the shower seat to allow for right or left handed use. In larger shower
            cubicles a position on the flank wall is more appropriate to avoid over-

       3.   A tip-up seat at a height of 475 mm should be provided and should allow
            for simple one-handed use.

       4.   An alarm cord should be provided coloured red and finished within 300 mm
            from the floor.

       5.   Shower controls should be between 900 mm and 1020 mm from the floor.

                                                                           SECTION 3        22
     6.   A showerhead must be moveable between 1200 mm and 2000 mm from
          the floor.

     7.   Soap dispensers should be located within easy reach close to the shower

3.12 Baby changing areas

     Where nappy changing facilities are provided they should be unisex and

     Do not provide nappy changing facilities within accessible toilet cubicles where
     frequent use is likely to cause inconvenience to wheelchair users.

     Separate accessible unisex baby changing areas are preferred.

     There should be a bench 1500 mm long by 600 mm deep with a 750 mm clear
     space beneath. The surface height should be 850 mm. The bench should have
     a soft wipe-able surface with a raised lip on the outside edge and straps to
     restrain the child.

     Use fold-down nappy changing tables if the nappy changing area is to be
     provided in a unisex toilet cubicle. There are two types please ensure that the
     ones attached on the long side are used.

     Do not provide baby feeding facilities within the toilets.
                                                                        SECTION 3       23
3.13 Staff kitchens

       Facilities in staff kitchens are usually limited to tea making and microwave ovens
       and tend to be limited in space. Under the Disability Discrimination Act
       managers will have to ensure reasonable adjustments are made so that any
       disabled members of staff are able to use the facility. For example this may
       require a surface or table at a lower height or repositioning taps towards the
       front of a sink.

3.14   Staff smoking areas

       Where smoking rooms are provided make sure these are accessible.

                                                                          SECTION 3         24
                 Kirklees Access Standards
                          Section 4

Section                                      Page
4       Specialist Environments
4.1    Meeting and training rooms             1
4.2    Cafés and bars                         2
4.3    Créche facilities                      3
4.4    Leisure and sports facilities          3
4.5    Schools                                7
4.6    Safety and management issues          10
4     Specialist Environments
      (leisure facilities, educational centres, schools,
      residential centres and community centres)
      Meeting/training rooms
      Crèche facilities
      Access to pools
      Changing facilities

4.1   Meeting and training rooms

      1.   Should be wheelchair accessible and have convenient access to an
           accessible toilet.

      2.   Should preferably be on the ground floor with easy means of emergency

      3.   Management procedures should be in place to ensure the safer evacuation
           of disabled people in an emergency.

      4.   An Induction Loop system should be provided.

      5.   Infra red systems should be considered in rooms where computers are in

      6.   For use of portable computers etc. plug
           sockets should be designed in accordance
           with the diagram alongside and evenly
           distributed around the room.

      7.   Provide alternatives to fluorescent lighting,
           which can cause discomfort and make
           concentration difficult, such as uplighters.

      8.   Fit blinds to avoid glare where direct glare
           from sunlight.

      9.   Keep background noises to a minimum and consider acoustics.

      10. All furniture should be at a suitable height for wheelchair users.

      11. Ensure that there is adequate circulation space for wheelchair users.

                                                                         SECTION 4   1
      Conference facilities and events

      Events or meetings that involve large numbers of disabled people need
      particular attention over choice of venue. Most buildings that are classed as
      accessible are designed with the average number of disabled people in the
      population in mind. Very few buildings are suitable as more than one accessible
      toilet will be required. Venues requiring lift access to different floors will not be
      suitable, as long delays will occur as people queue for the lift.

      Emergency evacuation also needs to be considered.

      Seek advice from the Access Officer before arranging such an event.

4.2   Cafés and bars


      1.   Should be at a suitable height for wheelchair users.

      2.   Consider providing a Counter Induction Loop at the position where food is

      3.   Self-service counters should have a tray slide shelf 760 mm above floor
           level with a depth of 300 mm.

      4.   The highest food display shelf at a self-service counter should be within
           reach of a wheelchair user not higher than 1200mm.

      5.   There should be an unobstructed area at least 1200 mm wide in front of the

      6.   Staff should be available to explain food choices and prices to blind and
           partially sighted people

      Dining and seating areas

      1.   Where possible allow a minimum of 1200 mm clear space between each
           table and its chairs when the chairs are occupied.

      2.   Provide a variety of types and size of chairs.

      3.   Avoid fixed seating at tables.

      4.   Tables should allow 750 mm space from the underneath of the table
           surface to floor level.

      5.   Consider the acoustics of large dining areas, which tend to be noisy
           making conversation difficult for hearing impaired people.

                                                                            SECTION 4         2
      6.   Where designated smoking areas are provided ensure that they are

4.3   Crèche facilities

      1.   Ensure that accessible baby changing facilities are available.

      2.   Ensure clear pathways are kept between play equipment, and try to keep to
           a consistent layout.

      3.   Staff should be trained on the needs of disabled children and parents and
           be aware of general disability issues.

      4.   Play equipment and toys should be selected to be suitable for children with
           a range of impairments.

      5.   For further information contact KEYS.

4.4   Leisure and sports facilities

      Individual self-contained accessible unisex changing facilities should be provided
      together with accessible single sex provision. The aim should be to provide as
      much flexibility as possible over the use of the facilities.

                                                                            SECTION 4      3
For example, a disabled person who is part of a group or team may wish to
change alongside other members of the group in the communal facility. Others
may prefer to use a self-contained facility. Unisex facilities should also be
provided for the use of families which include a disabled individual. Facilities
should be designed to be useable by groups consisting entirely of disabled

Self contained combined toilet and shower cubicle

This layout includes a specific dry changing area and can accommodate a small
shower chair for those unable to use a tip up shower seat. This facility could be
provided in conjunction with a communal changing area or with an associated
unisex family or designated disabled changing area.

1.   A shower cubicle should be minimum of 2400 mm by 2500 mm.

2.   The floor surface should be slip resistant even when wet. A weighted
     shower curtain should be provided to contain as much water as possible.

3.   Provide a changing bench at a height of 475 mm.

4.   Clothes hooks should be positioned at two heights of 1200 mm and 1700
     mm and colour contrasted.

5.   In shower cubicles controls can be positioned on the wall facing the
     shower seat to allow for right or left handed use. In larger shower cubicles
     a position on the flank wall is more appropriate to avoid over reaching.

6.   A tip up seat at a height of 480 mm should be provided and should allow
     for simple one-handed use.

7.   Grab rails should be fitted, as shown in the diagram. These should have a
     non-slip nylon coating in a contrasting colour to the surroundings.

8.   An alarm cord should be provided coloured red and reach to floor level.

9.   Shower controls should be between 750 mm and 1000 mm from the floor.

10. A showerhead must be moveable between 1200 mm and 1400 mm from
    the floor.

11. Soap dispensers should be located within easy reach close to the shower

12. Shower cubicles and adjacent changing areas should be well-heated and
    uncomfortable temperature changes between wet and dry areas should be

                                                                  SECTION 4         4
13. A full-length mirror should be provided with the lower edge 300 mm above
    the floor level rising to at least 1800 mm to a width of 400 mm.

14. Ensure that the toilet seat includes a lid which can be lowered to form a
    seat which can be used while changing.

Family changing facilities/showers

Unisex family changing areas should be provided wherever family activities take
place such as swimming pools. These enable flexibility of use and are useful for
parents with small children where a child or parent has a disability or if a
disabled person has a helper of the opposite sex. A level access shower and
larger sized lockers should be provided within the facility. Secure storage for
equipment such as pushchairs, baby equipment, walking aids and wheelchairs
need to be considered.

Communal changing facilities/showers

Provide handrails on circulation areas to assist people with walking difficulties
and visual impairments.

Changing cubicles

Larger changing cubicles and wider changing benches should be provided for
the use of disabled people.


Showers should provide level access from the changing area with appropriate
colour contrasted grab rails


Colour contrasted handrails should be provided to the walls of circulation areas
especially where the floor surface will be wet.


Lockers need to be accessible to wheelchair users and ambulant and sensory
disabled people. A variety of sizes of lockers should be available with some
large enough to store walking sticks and other mobility aids. These lockers
should be provided at the end of rows so that the user can pull along side the
locker and reach inside more easily. These should be identified for the use of
disabled people.

Lockers designed for the use of wheelchair users should be a minimum of 300
mm wide, not more than 600 mm deep and between 400-800 mm above floor

                                                                    SECTION 4       5
Lockers intended for storing crutches callipers or artificial limbs should be at
least 1200 mm high.

Maintain an unobstructed width of 1500 mm in front of lockers.

Procedures should be devised to ensure that these lockers are available
exclusively for use by disabled people.

All lockers should have raised colour-contrasted numbers. Avoid the use of
elaborate push button security codes for lockers.

Fit colour contrasted "D" handles

Access to pools

Provide handrails and level access between changing areas and pools avoiding

Vertical pool ladders should be avoided.

A pool hoist should be available for use at all times.

                                                                     SECTION 4     6
4.5   Schools

      Schools are required to be as inclusive as possible and to cater for pupils with a
      range of needs. Access Audits have been undertaken on behalf of the Local
      Education Authority school. Schools are required to produce their own Access
      Plans and these are likely to involve changes in management and staffing
      procedures besides physical alterations and auxiliary aids. The access plans
      need to anticipate the needs of future pupils and those of existing pupils which
      may change during their time at a particular school.

      Access improvements in existing schools should provide for the maximum
      flexibility for future arrangements. Schools should aim to provide wheelchair
      access to the majority of classrooms and facilities in a school. This will enable
      management procedures to ensure that classes that include a disabled student
      or teacher can be held in accessible rooms. Unique facilities such as staff
      rooms, libraries, IT facilities, labs and dining areas must all be wheelchair

      The school should provide an environment that is welcoming, safe and suitable
      for the educational needs of all pupils, including those with special educational
      needs and disabilities.

      There are likely to be some schools that cannot be made fully wheelchair
      accessible. In such cases improved facilities for disabled parents and visitors
      should be provided even where assisted or ambulant disabled access is the best
      that can be achieved.

      Parking and dropping off areas

      Designated parking spaces should be provided close to the school entrance
      where possible. (See External Environments, 1.6.) Many schools have limited
      parking space and consideration should be given to the needs of disabled
      children and parents, particularly when setting down and picking up. Ensure
      dropped kerbs are provided on the route from the parking area to the building
      entrance. Managed solutions may need to be developed in particular situations.

      School grounds

      External routes and level changes should seek to minimise the effects of
      gradients and surfaces should be slip-resistant.

      Play and recreation facilities should be as inclusive as possible.

      Temporary buildings

      Temporary classrooms must comply with the Access standards. It can be difficult
      to achieve acceptable ramp gradients to such buildings. If space is limited
      consideration should be given to excavating the ground level to a greater depth
      to reduce the differences in level. If toilets are provided these should be
      wheelchair accessible.
                                                                            SECTION 4 7

Extensions to school premises must provide wheelchair access and floors
should match existing floor levels when linked to existing buildings.

Newly introduced upper floors should include lift access if this is needed to
ensure that the majority of classrooms are accessible. Provision should be
made for the future introduction of a lift, if this is felt not to be justified at the
present time.

Lifts with an independent power supply, which can be used as a means of
escape, should be considered.

Fire escapes and refuge areas

All ground level fire escapes should be ramped to provide a safe means of
escape for wheelchair users.

On upper floors refuge areas should be provided as part of a phased means of
escape wherever the lift cannot be used. Personal Emergency Evacuation plans
should be in place for all pupils and staff with impaired mobility.

Door widths

Providing metre doorsets may result in doors that are too heavy for smaller
children and in such cases a 900 mm doorset could be considered.


See Internal Environment, 3.10.

All schools should aim to provide at least one unisex wheelchair accessible toilet
for the use of visitors and staff. This should be sited in the most appropriate
location for events such as parents’ evenings and public events.

The design and provision of specific wheelchair accessible toilets for children will
depend on the age group and needs of the children concerned. Where space is
limited and toilets are intended for the use of children, it may be possible to
slightly reduce the dimensions of accessible cubicles. Because of the large
variation in the size of children's wheelchairs, the cubicle size should not be
reduced below 1750 x 1400 mm.

Hygiene room

This will be necessary where a school accommodates disabled pupils who have
problems with continence and require particular personal assistance and
equipment. The room should include a shower, sluce, store cupboards,
changing bed, room for assitants and a fixed or mobile hoist.

                                                                           SECTION 4     8
Magnetic door holdbacks

Fire doors on school corridors often form a barrier to access. These can often
be held open on electro-magnetic catches linked to the fire alarm.

Interior finishes

See Internal Environment, 3.7.
Make creative use of colour schemes to aid recognition of different parts of the
school and provide colour contrasts that will help visually impaired pupils locate
features such as doorways and door handles.

Acoustic design

The aim of good acoustic design is to enable people to hear clearly without distraction.

Ways of manipulating acoustic conditions include:

o    removing the source of the noise,
o    reducing background noise levels, especially low frequency sounds,
o    carefully planning where and when noisy activities take place,
o    improving the sound insulation between spaces,
o    reducing reverberation times by changing the acoustic absorption of
     teaching spaces,
o    providing sound insulation between adjoining spaces by specifying
     adequate partitions, walls and floors,
o    choosing appropriate materials, such as floor coverings. Some floor
     coverings muffle the sounds of footsteps, wheelchairs and other mobility
     aids and thus provide a quieter environment.

Induction loops may need to be fitted in areas where pupils with hearing aids are
likely to receive information.


Features of the environment play an important role in helping pupils to find their
way. Examples include:

o    the design and location of signs,
o    how easy it is to identify differences between areas in terms of their style,
     colour, size and the noises and smells from activities taking place,
o    the design of prominent landmarks for pupils to recognise,
o    the complexity of visual clutter detracting from, or obscuring entrances,
     route ways, places or arrival and signs.

See Building Bulletin 91 "Access for disabled people to School Buildings, Management
and Design Guide", ISBN 0-11 271109-X and Building Bulletin 94 "Inclusive School
Design, Accommodating pupils with special educational needs and disabilities in
mainstream schools," ISBN 0 11 271062 X. Both are available from DfEE.

                                                                       SECTION 4           9
4.6   Safety and management issues

      4.6.1 Fire alarms

      Visual alarms are designed to provide a warning for people with hearing
      difficulties or who work in areas where equipment or machinery may mask the
      sound of alarm bells. They are especially important wherever deaf people are
      likely to be alone and unable to observe the reactions of hearing people. Such
      locations could include cellular offices, toilets and changing rooms. Vibrating
      pagers can also be used, but should not be used as an alternative unless they
      are connected to the fire alarm.

      4.6.2 Building evacuation

      The successful evacuation of a building in an emergency situation is the
      responsibility of the building management. Evacuation procedures must be
      developed and reviewed regularly by management. This is particularly important
      in the case of disabled employees and visitors who may not be able to use the
      usual escape routes. The needs of individual disabled people need to be
      considered in conjunction with building managers and personal evacuation
      plans devised for each disabled person.

      4.6.3 Employees

      Never assume that it is only wheelchair users that need to have personal
      evacuation plans. Managers should discuss the needs of all employees during
      management briefings as people with sensory or invisible conditions may also
      need to be considered.

      The Plan will apply to one location and a clear strategy will be agreed. If this
      involves assistance the manager must provide designated volunteer assistants
      and arrange appropriate training for assistants in consultation with the disabled
      employee. Refuge areas should be used as part of a phased evacuation only
      and the aim should be to get clear of the building. This may involve equipment
      such as ‘Evac’ chairs if the only escape route is by stairs.

      4.6.4 Visitors

      Evacuation plans for disabled visitors, whether employees or members of the
      public, must be drawn up by building managers.

      Emergency evacuation procedures should be prominently displayed in public
      areas. It must be made clear if different routes or procedures apply to wheelchair
      users and people who have difficulties with steps.

                                                                         SECTION 4         10
4.6.5 Refuge areas

Refuge areas should be clearly signed and positioned close to escape
staircases. Depending on the escape strategy, should be fire and smoke
resistant for a specific period of time. Refuge areas must never be located next
to alarm bells.

4.6.6 Personal emergency evacuation plans

Personal emergency evacuation plans should be negotiated between the
Building Manager and the disabled person. This may necessitate training for
other members of staff and may involve the purchase of emergency equipment,
e.g. evac chairs. Building Control officers can offer advice on emergency
evacuation plans and equipment.

                                                                   SECTION 4       11

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