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I will research and create a checklist of 20 items, suitable to use for an access audit of a shopping centre. Afterwards will carry out the access audit using the prepared checklist, clearly recording my results and findings and evaluate them. I will list my recommendations based on my results and findings and my knowledge of the principles of good practice relating to accessibility for people with disabilities. I will reflect on this project recording what I have learned from doing it and I will give my conclusion at the end. There are lots of people in Ireland now days that have some kind of disability/ capabilities and it is very important that they have not been left outside the community anymore.

The numbers are quite shocking 13% from all Ireland’s residents have disability, from 4,588,252 people 595,335 are persons with disability and 244,739 from them have a disability that affects their physical activities. The statistics shows that percentage change in persons with a disability¶y’ since previous census in 2006 is 51. 2% in 201 1 (www. CSS. IEEE). Disabled Persons as a Percentage of Total Population by Province County or City, Sex, Statistical Indicator and Census Year 201 1 State Both sexes Total persons (Number) Persons with a disability (Number) 4,588,252 595,335 Persons without a disability (Number) Persons with a disability as a % of total persons (%) 13. Actual change in persons with a disability since previous census (Number) 201,550 Percentage change in persons with a disability since previous census (%) 51. 2 (vow. CSS. IEEE) So this number has risen twice in 5 years time. Looking at this rising numbers it is clearly understandable that we all have to think about and make sure that public, community buildings are accessible to all people with disability no matter what kind of disability they are with so they could take part in immunity life, would be able to move independently and would be treated equally. Such a small thing as going to shop and get a piece of bread can become a major problem for somebody just because that person can’t get in the shop.

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And while there is many places that are well made and improved to make them accessible for everyone, there still are issues regarding accessibility and would love to examine one of my local shopping centre to find out how accessible it is for people with disability. Outline the role of the National Disability Authority The functions of the National Disability Authority (AND) are set out in law. The main function of the AND is to provide advice and information to the Minister for Justice and Equality on matters concerning policy and practice in relation to people with disabilities and to assist the Minister in the co-ordination of disability policy.

In doing so, we have functions in relation to: research; assisting the development of standards; producing codes of practice; monitoring implementation of standards and codes of practice monitoring the employment of persons with disabilities in the public sector. Recognizing the achievement of good standards and quality operating a Centre for Excellence in universal Design, promoting the universal design of the built environment, products, services and information and communications technology, so that they can be accessed, understood and used by all persons regardless of their age, size, ability or disability (www. And. IEEE). The AND work in different policy areas such as employment, training health, transport, community living etc.

The Authority does not provide direct services to public, they are working more as co-ordination and assist the Minister for justice and equality and develop disability policy. They are doing research and guiding their advice on policy and practice. They also provide inferences and seminars, are giving their advice for good practice. Our advice and guidance: is independent and impartial considers national and international evidence considers the experiences of people with disabilities and others (www. And. IEEE). AND are promoting implementation of a universal design approach by planners, architects, designers etc. “The Centre also assists in the development of standards by national and international standards bodies and produces practical guidelines” (NNW. And. IEEE).

It also advises on educational curricula. People with disabilities There are numbers of pieces of current legislation elating to special needs provision in Ireland. I will discuss following pieces of legislation: The Education Act 1 998 The Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs (EPEES) Act 2004 The Disability Act 2005 The Education Act 1 998 This was the first piece of legislation passed since the foundation of the state that directly outlined the government’s rights and legal obligations regarding education. While the act is general one encompassing all aspects of education, many part of it are relevant to special needs and special education (Flood, 201 3, peg 10).

The act is important for people with disabilities as it revived the first legal definition of disability and first legal definition of special education needs as well as Act defines what it means by support services such as psychological services and guidance and counseling services, adaptations to buildings to facilitate access and transport for students with special needs, curriculum support and staff advisory services (Flood, 201 3, peg 10). The Act states the Minister of Education responsibilities towards children with disabilities and special educational needs, it stated the functions of a school and “outlines the role and responsibilities of the school inspectorate” Flood, 2013, peg 12).

Important thing is a school plan, under the Act all schools are required to have one: The school plan shall state the objectives of the school relating to equality of access to and participation in in the school and the measures which the school proposes to take to achieve those objectives, including equality of access to and participation in the school by students with disabilities or who have other special needs (Flood, 2013, peg 13). The Educational Act is important for people with disabilities, it recognizes the children’s with special needs rights to education, rights to participation in school life and all the support that is needed. The only issue is that all these changes that has to be made to support children’s with special needs rights, should be made if there are enough money for that. It means, if there is no money for wheelchair ramps, then school isn’t required to provide them (Flood, 201 3, peg 13). The education for Persons with Special Educational Needs (EPEES) Act 2004 This is the most significant piece of legislation relating to special needs in education.

While it was meant to be fully implemented by January 2009, recent budgetary cutbacks have delayed this The Act is extensive and covers the following general areas: The issue of inclusion with regards to children with special needs in mainstream settings Preparation of individual education plans for children with special needs by educational establishments Assessment of special needs Service provision for children with special educational needs Appeals (Flood, 2013, peg 16). Under the Act, if there are concerns that a child isn’t making progress in the school, principal of the school must arrange assessment that is carried out through the National Council for Special Education (NCSC). Parents can arrange assessment as well through the HOSE.

After assessment, NCSC must come up with individual educational plan (PIPE) for child. If there is such a need, many persons can be involved in the formation of the plan- parents, therapists, psychologists etc. The principal of the school has responsibility to ensure that PIPE is implemented. PIPE has to be renewed every year by the principal of the school (Flood, 201 3, peg 17). Mainly the Act is about children with special needs education in schools together with children without such a needs and about all the plans and operations to do so. The Disability act 2005 places a statutory obligation on public service revisers to support access to services and facilities for people with disabilities.

Gender the Act, the following issues are dealt with in relation to people with disabilities: Assessment of health and educational needs Creation of individual service statements outlining the services they should have access to Independent complaints and appeals procedures Access to public buildings and public SE;CE employment Restrictions on genetic testing Broadcasting (Flood, 2013, peg 19). “Under the Act, person can apply for an independent assessment of their needs if they think that they have a disability’ (Flood, 2013, peg 19). When the assessment has been done, a person will receive an assessment report that will state if a person has a disability or not and the nature of the disability etc.

If it is found that the person has special needs, then the officer of HOSE will draw up a service statement which indicates the educational and health services that can be provided (Flood, 2013, peg 18). “From 31 December 2005, an obligation was placed by this Act on all public bodies to make their buildings and services accessible to people with disabilities” (Flood, 201 3, Peg 19). Exception applies on cases where changes and adaptations to buildings loud cause a risk to the health and safety of any person or would change the nature of business. From the same date obligation was also placed on all public bodies. They have to make sure that “services provided to them by third parties, including the supply of goods, are accessible to people with disabilities” (Flood, 2013, peg 21).

From 31 December 2007 an obligation entered into force regarding public bodies to make sure that people with disabilities can visit heritage sites without problem. Regarding genetic testing the Act states “that people may not process genetic data in relation to employment, insurance policies, health insurance, occupation and mortgages” (Flood, 2013, peg 21 Relating public service employment there an obligation will be placed on all public bodies to endorse and support employment of people with disabilities. “Public bodies must ensure that at least 3 percent of their workforce are people with disabilities” (Flood, 201 3, peg 22). 1 . Access routes are surfaced with firm, reasonably smooth and durable material. 2. Access routes are well lit. 3.

At pedestrian crossings, tactile paving and dropped Krebs are provided. 4. Designated parking spaces are provided. . There are powered sliding doors, sensory controlled. 6. Doorways used by general public have a minimum clear opening width of 1 ,Moon. 7. Entrance lobbies are designed and constructed to allow wheelchair users and a person assistant them to move clear of one door before using the next one while allowing space for another person to pass in the opposite direction. 8. The minimum width Of passageways is 1,200 mm. 9. Seating and handrails are provided in long corridors, I. E. Over 20 meters. 10. There are a clear area 1 meters x 1 ,5 meters in front of each entrance to the lift. 1 1.

The width of the car lift is at least 1,1 meters and 1 meters long. 12. Lift doors have a clear opening width of mm. 13. Floor numbers are visually and voice indicated in the lifts. 14. Lift controls are at least 900 mm from floor level and not more than 1,2 meters. 15. A half- length mirror is provided on the back wall of the lift. 16. Doors into wheelchair-accessible WAC facilities are open outwards or slide sideways. 17. Wheelchair-accessible Wow’s size is 1,800 mm x 2,500 mm. 18. Wheelchair- accessible WAC has 1 800 mm x 1 800 mm turning space. 19. Wheelchair- accessible WAC has an emergency pull cord with visible and audible indicators. 0. Wheelchair-accessible WAC has a shelf for personal effects. Exults and findings Results key: Satisfactory (all requirements in place) US Unsatisfactory (none or few of requirements in place) IN Needs improvement (some but not all requirements in place) Checklist item Rest It If endings material. S 2. Access routes are well lit. 3. At pedestrian crossings, tactile paving and dropped Krebs are provided. US There is no tactile paving at pedestrian crossings 4. Designated parking spaces are provided. 1 ,Moon. 7. Entrance lobbies are designed and constructed to allow wheelchair users ND a person assistant them to move clear of one door before using the next one while allowing space for another person to pass in the opposite direction. 8. The minimum width of passageways is 1,200 mm. There are no handrails provided, however, seating is provided. 10. There are a clear area 1,5 meters x 1 meters in front of each entrance to the lift. 11.

The width of the car lift is at least meters and meters long. 13. Floor numbers are visually and voice indicated in the lift if it serves more than one floor. Numbers are visually indicated, but they are not voice indicated 14. Lift intros are at least 900 mm from floor level and not more than 1,2 meters. 15. A half-length mirror is provided on the back wall of the lift. 16. Doors into wheelchair-accessible WAC facilities are open outwards or slide sideways. Doors are open inwards. 17. Wheelchair-accessible Was size is 1,800 mm x 2,500 mm. 18. Wheelchair-accessible WAC has 1800 mm x 1800 mm turning space. 19. Wheelchair-accessible WAC has an emergency pull cord with visible and audible indicators.

There is a pull cord, but there is no visual and audible indicators so it is not clear for what reason cord is provided. 20. Wheelchair-accessible WAC has a hell for personal effects. There is no shelf provided for personal effects. The size of my chosen building- a shopping centre, is 300,000 sq Ft and it was redesigned in period of 2004 -? 201 0 (www. Tetrachloride’s. IEEE). As the facility is quite large, popular and well attended, I was expecting it to be better made and more accessible to people with disabilities. I can say, that my chosen building has covered the minimum requirements to be accessible for people with disabilities, but not always fully usable.

Access routes of the building are surfaced with firm, reasonably smooth and durable material and they are well lit. There are no Krebs or pits and lanterns are provided around all three entrances as well as they are in parking lot. Designated parking spaces are provided at all three parking lots, so people with disabilities has an opportunity to left they car wherever and they are not forced to use only one entrance that is provided for them. This is a good equality example. Not so good situation is at pedestrian crossings, there is no tactile paving at pedestrian crossings, however dropped Krebs are provided. For people that are using wheelchair there would not be bother but for people with vision disability that definitely is encumbrance.

All three entrances of the building are well designed and constructed and are accessible for everybody and it really pleases. At entrances there are powered sliding doors, sensory controlled and they are very comfortable for using by people with disabilities, because there are no hassle with opening the door. Doorways have a minimum clear opening width of 1 ,Moon and ere easy use for people with disabilities. Entrance lobbies are well designed to allow wheelchair users and a person assistant them to move clear of one door before using the next one while allowing space for another person to pass in the opposite direction. Moving around is quite comfortable as well, the width of passageways is 1 ,200 mm.

There could be harder to move around the building in busiest hours when there are lot of people, because I experienced that even the width Of passageways fits the requirement, they should me made wider because of number of people moving around. There are seating provided in corridors (long corridors over 20 meters), but there are no handrails. It may make moving around difficult for some persons because they have to be able to get to provided seating to take a rest. Lifts fits the most regulations I looked at. There are three lifts and they all have clear area meters x 1 meters in front of each entrance to the lift and the width of the each lift is at least 1,1 meters and 1,4 meters long.

The doors have a clear opening width of mm and the lift controls are at least 900 mm from floor level and not more than 1 meters. There also is a half-length mirror provided in the back wall of the lift so people in wheelchairs can safely reverse out. The negative aspect is that floor numbers are only visually indicated in the lifts and there are no voice indicators. This again would cause problems to people with Sino disabilities. Wheelchair accessible Wow’s are in unsatisfactory condition. At the same start they turns out to be hard to access for wheelchair users because the doors into wheelchair-accessible WAC facilities are open inwards, not outwards or slide sideways as it should be.

The doors has to be pushed quite hardly to open them so that definitely would cause problems for wheelchair users. Wow’s size is more than required 1 ,800 mm x 2,500 mm, it is 1,800 mm x 3,000 mm with 1,800 mm x 1 ,800 mm turning space and there should not be any problems for wheelchair users to move in, turn around and eve out again. There should be shelf provided for personal items, but there is not. Not even the hook where to put a handbag for example. There is a requirement that wheelchair-accessible WAC has an emergency pull cord with visible and audible indicators. I found there some kind of pull cord, but there is no visual and/or audible indicators so it is not clear for what reason cord is provided.

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