Summary In this technical report, thefirst chapter will show you an in depth look into a variety of visual, hearingand mobility impairments that hinder the use and navigation of buildings.
It includes conditions such as Parkinson’swhere the side effects of the disease cause muscle spasms, A lapse in visionand stiff joints meaning that the way in which a person is to operate abuilding will be greatly limited without assistive care and technologies beingput into place. This is also applicable for conditions such as spinal injurieswhere the user has become wheelchair bound, this will mean that for them to beable to use the majority of buildings they will need access to ramps and liftsin order to manoeuvre them. Another issue would be blindness, this means thatthere is either limited or no vision being produced from your eyes, this is dueto issues such as cataracts which is clouding of the lens or retinopathy whereblood vessels leak into the retina. This issue alone will mean that withoutassistive care or technological help, someone with these impairments wouldn’tbe able to use a building. The second chapter focuses on theDisability Discrimination Act and the Equality Act.
The DisabilityDiscrimination Act was an act produced in 1995 which made it against the law todiscriminate against people with disabilities in relation to how they wouldwork, their educational needs, provision of goods and services and transport (NHS Employer, n.d.).This mean that a new wave of acts has enabled people with disabilities to fightback against unlawful conduct by employers or landlords in relation to theirdisabilities. The amendment of these laws in 2010 has led us to what we havenow which is the Equality Act 2010, the difference between this act and theprevious Disability Discrimination Act is now the Equality Act stopsdiscrimination where someone is treated less fairly than an individual withoutdisabilities or impairments due to protected characteristics including sex, ageand race. The third chapter looks at ApprovedDocument M, this is one of a collection of documents produced by the Secretaryof State that give clear, practical guidance on the individual and technicalparts of the building regulations. Part M of the Approved Documents looks ataccess to and use of buildings, this includes how to make suitable access to abuilding in regards of sloped ramps, how sanitary accommodation will bedesigned in a way that wheelchair users or people with limited movement nowhave enough space (Welsh Governement, 2010), this includes howcorridors will be wide enough to allow 2 wheelchair users to pass by each otherwithout the chance of a collision happening. The issues raised in the ApprovedDocument M suggests supportive technologies and building modifications to allowa more equal and independent way of life for all of those whom choose to usethe building.
The fourth chapter of the report covers a wide range of assistivetechnologies used to create a more equal opportunity to those with disabilitiesin terms of how they will manoeuvre within and around a building. Thesetechnologies are things such as adjustable wash basins that can move up anddown to assist both people in wheelchairs, and those with short stature,another would be the UltraCane, this device allows visually impaired people togo out and walk without the risk of collisions happening due to the sensorsthat alert you when you’re near an object or person. As a conclusion, it’s clear tosee that there has been a vast improvement in not only the assistivetechnologies enabling disabled people to have their independence again but withthe legislation and how that is making much more of an impact into how disabledpeople can maintain their independence.