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  • Introduction | DESSA
    as the medical model and the social model Medical Model According to this traditional way of thinking about disability the exclusion of people with disabilities from everyday activities results from their impairments For example people with disabilities may be unable to go to the cinema because their physical disability prevents them from walking up steps or their hearing impairment means that they cannot hear the soundtrack According to this way of thinking the exclusion of people with disabilities is inevitable unless society decides as an act of charity or goodwill to make the environment more accessible Social Model According to this more recent way of thinking about disability the exclusion of people with disabilities from everyday activities is the result of the way in which society organises itself For example people with mobility impairments will be able to go the cinema if there are no steps or if the cinema has a lift and hearing impaired people will be able to enjoy a film if the cinema has a loop system According to this way of thinking the exclusion of people with disabilities is not inevitable People with disabilities have the right to participate and it is up to society to organise itself better so that they can In a society which sees Disability through the Medical Model things are organised to suit the non disabled majority disability is seen as something that deviates from the norm anything that is done to facilitate the needs of people with disabilities will be seen as special or as a concession or an add on extra non disabled people make all the decisions about what people with disabilities need By contrast in a society which sees Disability through the Social Model everyone has the right of access to the places and services of their choice disability is seen as part of the continuum of everyday life as something normal For example small children older people pregnant women and many others cannot run very fast Some athletes can run like the wind That range is normal in any population The lines that we draw with normal on one side and not normal on the other are arbitrary and change over time and place For example a person might be considered very able by their family but be called stupid at school A society which sees disability through the social model will not regard features put in place to provide access for people with disabilities as special concessions They will just be a seamless part of how things are done and will form an integral part of all planning and development How Ireland is thinking now Ireland is in the process of changing from seeing disability through the medical model to seeing it through the social model Legislation like the Equal Status Acts 2000 2004 and the Building Regulations is intended to ensure that people with disabilities have full access to the places and services of their choice Community based projects with their emphasis on

    Original URL path: http://www.dessa.ie/introduction (2016-02-07)
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  • How equality legislation applies to community-based projects | DESSA
    available in ordinary print large Print on tape on diskette and in braille Your obligations under the Equal Status Acts The Equal Status Acts 2000 2004 say that providers of goods and services including community based projects must not discriminate against people with disabilities including people with mobility sensory mental health and intellectual impairments must accommodate the needs of people with disabilities through making reasonable changes in what they do and how they do it where without these changes it would be very difficult or impossible for people with disabilities to obtain those goods or services unless it costs more than a nominal cost It is important to note that the law says that service providers including community based projects must make reasonable accommodations as these changes are called The only defence they can use if they fail to do so is that it costs more than a nominal cost There is no upper limit on what you can spend and the law allows you to take positive action in favour of people with disabilities You can take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that people with disabilities can use your premises and services It is important to remember that the law covers access to services all the things that projects do as well as to buildings The idea is that people with disabilities can access the same services as everyone else The law doesn t require you to provide extra services just for people with disabilities though you can if you like What is meant by nominal cost exemption Community based projects like other service providers are not obliged to provide special treatment or facilities where the cost involved is greater than a nominal cost Nominal cost exemptions depend on the circumstances of each case A recent Irish employment

    Original URL path: http://www.dessa.ie/how-equality-legislation-applies-community-based-projects (2016-02-07)
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  • How the Building Regulations apply to community-based projects | DESSA
    deal with paths car parking playgrounds or other outdoor parts of your site It is important to remember that the Building Regulations and their associated technical guidance like many building codes around the world do not guarantee the universal right of access They are minimum standards They specify the least people must do not the best or the most Some of the standards are quite skimpy For example they assume that wheelchair users have neat manually operated chairs whereas a lot of people have motorised or larger than average chairs They do not cover all aspects of buildings They concentrate more on getting into and around buildings and out again especially in emergencies than they do on detail design or on using what is available within them They do not specify how the design of buildings can assist people who have impairments such as intellectual disabilities and mental health difficulties They define people with disabilities only as people who have an impairment of hearing or sight or an impairment which limits their ability to walk or which restricts them to using a wheelchair Because of these facts most service providers have to go beyond the Building Regulations to be sure of providing reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities Important Even if your premises are subject to the Building Regulations you must still comply with the Equal Status Acts On the other hand your building might comply with the Building Regulations but your services might still be in breach of the Equal Status Acts This is because the Building Regulations are minimum standards relating to building design while the Equal Status Acts are rights based are much broader and work from the notion of universal access What the Regulations say The Building Regulations are divided into a number of sections The one which refers to access for people with disabilities is Part M As previously noted Part M s definition of people with disabilities is narrower than that in the Equal Status Acts which means that compliance with the Regs is not necessarily the same as the provision of reasonable accommodation The aspect of each Part of the Building Regulations which people have to comply with is called the Requirement It is a very short description of what is required There are three sections to Part M M1 Access and use Adequate provision shall be made to enable people with disabilities to safely and independently access and use a building M2 Sanitary conveniences If sanitary conveniences are provided in a building adequate provision shall be made for people with disabilities M3 Audience or Spectator facilities If a building contains fixed seating for audience or spectators adequate provision shall be made for people with disabilities Technical Guidance Documents The Building Regulations are accompanied by Technical Guidance Documents commonly known as TGDs which give guidance on how to construct a building so that it complies with the Regulations If works are carried out in accordance with the TGDs they are automatically in compliance

    Original URL path: http://www.dessa.ie/how-building-regulations-apply-community-based-projects (2016-02-07)
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  • The parts that the Building Regulations don't reach | DESSA
    buildings for maximum accessibility retro fitting and refurbishing buildings The information in Building for Everyone is intended to be applicable to many kinds of building and settings in the external environment Other publications and websites have extra detail which is useful to designers External Environment Community based projects do not have to be concerned with most aspects of the external environment Streets parks beaches and forests are not your responsibility You may however want to make sure that they are accessible to the people with disabilities in any groups you may be taking to these places Building for Everyone will help you to know what to look out for The aspects of the external environment which most concern you lie within your boundary wall Your premises may include paths parking spaces a playground or a garden If so you will need to make sure that they provide reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities Want to know more Building for Everyone has information on all of these aspects Visit www ncaonline org playgrounds for more detailed information on playgrounds Follow the links to very useful publications and articles Documents like this from the US see others below use imperial measurements feet and inches rather than the metric system so can be a bit confusing This site www ncaonline org also has information which would be useful to community based organisations which involve people with disabilities in outdoor activities camping etc Read the Design Solutions Package part of Creating Inclusive Child Care Facilities DESSA has a copy or you can order it cost 10 via www design ncsu edu cud pubs childcare htm It is also important to consider how people with disabilities get to your building from the street For example How accessible is the route from the nearest bus stop or other public transport Are the pavements level and in good order with little risk of people tripping Is there a dished road crossing that is with a slope instead of a kerb and marked with tactile bumpy paving that tells people with visual impairments that they have reached a crossing If it s a busy road is there an audible crossing signal to assist people with visual impairments If you don t have your own parking area is there a suitable disabled person s parking place nearby Want to know more about what to look for in your area Read chapter 5 of Building for Everyone If the features you want are not there or if they need upgrading you can talk to your local authority about providing them Most local authorities have signed up to the Barcelona Declaration a Europe wide agreement to facilitate the requirements of people with disabilities so they should be committed to providing reasonable accommodations Contact the Access Officer or Roads Department first Providing reasonable accommodation to your services As previously noted accessible premises don t automatically guarantee accessible services Wittingly or unwittingly there may be barriers in place which prevent people with disabilities

    Original URL path: http://www.dessa.ie/parts-building-regulations-dont-reach (2016-02-07)
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  • Dealing with architects and designers | DESSA
    beginning that accessibility is a key concern of your organisation and that your commitment is to inclusive design that goes beyond the requirements of the Building Regulations Assess their reaction to this Ask them about the accessibility features of other preferably similar projects that they have done Ask if you can go to see them Ask them what resources on accessibility they use Do they have a copy of Building for Everyone What do they think of it Are they aware of BS 8300 2001 an important British Standard on access for people with disabilities What do they think of it Ask them if they have been on any courses about inclusive design or access for people with disabilities Briefing an Architect or Designer Give them a copy of your statement of commitment to universal access Be as clear as possible about how your premises will be used how often by whom and for what not just now but in the future For example you may have no children with disabilities in your after school group at the moment but you may intend to in the future Encourage them to explore how to make sure that your aspirations are translated into bricks and mortar by if they haven t already got them getting copies of key documents such as Part M Building for Everyone other publications on accessibility relevant British Standards etc visiting www riai ie public downloads accessibility05 pdf to get a list of standards and publications relating to creating and auditing access for people with disabilities in the built environment using the resources of the NDA Library Explain that you want the architect or other project manager to pay particular attention during the construction and fitting out stages to ensure that no changes are made on site that

    Original URL path: http://www.dessa.ie/dealing-architects-and-designers (2016-02-07)
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  • Making your existing premises more accessible to people with disabilities without breaking the bank | DESSA
    tidy up now benefit from a good level of lighting with no glare or confusing shadows and task lighting if they are doing something that needs it be able to find their way better with colour contrast indoors kerb edging on paths outdoors etc need to hear important information that other people might just see benefit from tactile information underfoot like textured rubber matting to indicate doorways or colour contrasting strips on top and bottom steps all of which assist safe navigation So think about your layout colour contrast furniture how you give information etc People who have Impaired Hand function may find it hard to operate some kinds of taps doorknobs dimmer switches etc People who have breathing difficulties may find they get worse in dusty environments or where certain kinds of paint wood preservative or cleaning agents have been used People who have Intellectual Impairment may find complex places confusing and may benefit from logical layout clear signs with symbols as well as words etc People who have mental health difficulties may also become confused or distressed in unfamiliar surroundings So what can you do What is a loop system A loop is just that a loop of insulated wire fixed around a designated listening area and connected to a power source an amplifier and a microphone When someone talks into the microphone the sound goes into the amplifier which then sends the sound round the loop Hearing aid users in the area of the loop who switch their aids to the T position can then receive the amplified voice without interference from all the background noise being amplified too Loops come in all sizes from very small ones worn round the neck useful for individuals to others which fit round the edge of a room such as a meeting room or auditorium They can be fixed or can be hired for temporary use at events Want to find out more Contact Deaftech the technology service of NAD National Association for Deaf People on www nadi ie or call 01 8723800 Something for next to nothing In the boxes below there are some ideas for useful things that any project can do to make its premises and services more accessible to people with disabilities They are just examples There are an endless number of small adjustments that you can make that will have a significant effect on accessibility The examples are all very general Thinking about your specific circumstances is very important for example exactly where in your particular premises you position a photocopier so that a wheelchair user can operate it One thing you should certainly do is check your health and safety statement and policy to make sure that they deal with people with disabilities who use your services Make sure that your escape routes are usable by people with disabilities and that any alarm system incorporates flashing lights to alert people who are deaf or hard of hearing as well as bells or other sounders

    Original URL path: http://www.dessa.ie/making-your-existing-premises-more-accessible-people-disabilities-without-breaking-bank (2016-02-07)
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  • Conclusion | DESSA
    no assets to speak of and maintenance was no problem the building was so grotty nothing seemed to make that much difference so we weren t really hung up on the cleaning and repairs Nine years later we are sitting in what can only be described as a flagship for accessible community buildings We have bought the premises Originally we were tenants on the ground floor Today we occupy two floors Our building is also a major asset belonging to the community So now groups do not have their own key cleaning and maintenance is a full time job and depreciation is an issue we have to plan for in the future To protect our premises we require a caretaker who is funded through a CE scheme thanks to FÁS Even keeping that resource in place is a piece of work But having a helpful person who is also discreet and sensitive on site is a support perhaps particularly in the case of people with mental health issues So if we are in the business of community development why you might ask are we now running a building and taking on all the administration and management work that is required to run it well The answer to this is very simple THIS IS AN EQUALITY MEASURE We are not in the business of managing buildings But we are very definitely in the business of inclusion enabling and encouraging participation in project and community life We also aim to work in line with best practice We wanted to build a project not just bricks and mortar that would meet the needs of all people but paying particular attention to the needs of people with disabilities older people parents and families Since Tralee CDP opened in 1996 we have had people with disabilities engaging with us as voluntary management members and as group participants From the start this gave us the chance to observe at first hand people s experience of using our building When it came to designing our refurbished premises we also had people using the centre to consult with Before meeting our architect we drafted a questionnaire which was given to all groups and project users We went to huge trouble to make sure that we met the needs of people with a wide range of impairment or other needs such as parents with buggies etc We spent as lot of time on the comfort health and safety of project users The information we got from the questionnaire raised concerns about things such as fire escapes access to the first floor what type of room size the different groups would need When we met the design team we set a few basic quality standards The guiding principle was universal design for use by all the tool was Building for Everyone We also insisted that we would not open the first floor until our lift was installed and operational In fact we ended up opening the ground floor nearly two

    Original URL path: http://www.dessa.ie/conclusion (2016-02-07)
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  • Resources | DESSA
    ie DESSA Fumbally Court Fumbally Lane Dublin 8 Tel 01 416 3548 Fax 01 453 6861 E mail info dessa ie Web site www dessa ie DFI Disability Federation of Ireland Fumbally Court Fumbally Lane Dublin 8 Tel 01 454 7978 Fax 01 454 7981 E mail info disability federation ie Web site www disability federation ie Equality Authority 2 Clonmel Street Dublin 2 Tel 01 417 3336 Lo call 1890 245545 Fax 01 417 3331 E mail info equality ie Web site www equality ie Forum of People with Disabilities 24 Hill Street Dublin 2 Tel 01 878 6077 Lo call 1850 367867 Fax 01 878 6170 E mail info fpd ie Website www fpd ie NAD National Association for Deaf People 35 North Frederick Street Dublin 1 Tel 01 872 3800 Fax 01 872 3816 Fax Text 01 878 3629 Videophone 01 817 1400 E mail nad nadp ie Website www nadi ie National Council for the Blind of Ireland NCBI Whitworth Road Drumcondra Dublin 9 Tel 01 830 7033 Lo call 1850 33 43 53 Fax 01 830 7787 E mail info ncbi ie Website www ncbi ie NDA National Disability Authority 25 Clyde Road Dublin 4

    Original URL path: http://www.dessa.ie/resources-0 (2016-02-07)
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