The Importance of Accessible Design

With attitudes surrounding the subject of accessible design changing for the better, it is time your business thought about the accessibility and inclusivity of their space and facilities…

There are legal stipulations surrounding basic accessibility, such as access ramps, toilets and cash/ reception desks however, Resolution Interiors are passionate about helping their clients exceed expectations when it comes to accessibility and inclusivity.

The Science Museum Group

Resolution Interiors were privileged to be a part of the rapidly growing Changing Places scheme, creating accessible toilets, and changing facilities for all, within public spaces. Part of this ongoing scheme was renovating and improving the facilities at 4 of the 5 Science Museum sites across the UK (in London, Bradford, York and Manchester). We created large rooms with space for hoists, beds, an adjustable sink, and other specialist equipment. The addition of these spaces has made these attractions accessible for the thousands of people living in the UK, with various or complex disabilities. As stated by the Changing Places organisation themselves; “standard accessible toilets (or “disabled toilets”) do not provide changing benches or hoists, and most are too small to accommodate more than one person. Without Changing Places toilets, the person with disabilities is put at risk, and families are forced to risk their own health and safety by changing their loved one on a toilet floor.This is dangerous, unhygienic and undignified.”

Neurodivergent Design

Accessible design is an integral consideration when creating or refitting a new space, whether it is in the public or private sector. It is also important to remember that accessible design does not always mean wheelchair accessible. “It’s estimated that 15-20% of the global population are neurodiverse” (British Medical Bulletin, 2020) so it is important to consider these people in inclusive design too. Sadly, people in the neurodivergent community are often left feeling excluded from office spaces, attractions, or even public facilities. Elements such as acoustics and noise levels should be heavily considered as well as clear signage to be able to navigate spaces easily. Designers should also consider colours and materials for example; soft colours will naturally promote a calming environment. Seating should be soft yet sturdy and lighting should not be harsh or flash aggressively.

RI Insights

In our recent publication How can the Design and Construction Industries Improve their Environmental Footprint? we discuss a fantastic example of a commercial space that have considered the needs of its neurodivergent employees. They worked with consultants and specialists in the subject, as well as undergoing extensive research themselves. The results are incredible; what looks like a ‘regular’ office space is really a haven for those with Autism, ADHD or Dyslexia, for example. Soft colours, textures, and lighting help to maintain a calm yet inspiring and productive environment for all. There are various spaces for different types of work; quiet spaces for solo work and break out spaces for group projects or casual meetings.

We can help you!

We feel this is an important subject to consider, as many employers are reconsidering office spaces and how we work as a result of the pandemic. Is there anything in your workspace that could be changed to make your work day easier? Are you in need of some more inclusive facilities? Get in touch with Resolution Interiors today – we would love to discuss your project with you!

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