A disability access certificate is issued by the building control section of the local authority. It certifies that the proposed works have been assessed and that the proposed drawings, when built, will meet the requirements of Part M of the building control regulations.
Compliance with Part M relates to the building and site in terms of approach, access, egress, and ease of use by the widest possible range of users. This allows for all people regardless of disability to have the freedom to achieve movement throughout the development. Where possible, the DAC application shall recommend layout amendments in an effort to improve accessibility.
An application for a disability access cert requires a consultant to undertake an appraisal of the proposed works and report on this appraisal.
The term 'accessible' was originally used to describe environments, which could be used by wheelchair users. As wheelchair users comprise of only 4% of disabled users, the term has evolved to include design standards which are accessible to a broad range of users including elderly, families with young children, those pulling suitcases, those with sensory impairments, cognitive impairments as well as those it was intended to assist, users with physical impairments.
Universal Design / Accessible Design is intended to make activities easier and safer to perform for the maximum number of people. Hoping to provide access for everyone to all areas may be difficult, and in some cases unattainable. This information should be available to visitors before embarking on their journey to the site.