Disability Access Statement
Disability Access Statement also known as a Disabled Access Statement, an Access Strategy or a DDA Statement is a document that outlines an organisation’s commitment and approach to ensuring accessibility for individuals with disabilities.
It demonstrates an organisation’s understanding of the barriers faced by people with disabilities and sets out specific actions to address these barriers.
The statement or strategy can be developed by various entities such as businesses, educational institutions, government agencies, or non-profit organisations.
Here are some key components typically included in a disability access statement:
Introduction: This section provides an overview of the purpose of the document, emphasizing the organisation’s commitment to inclusivity and equal access for individuals with disabilities.
Legal and Regulatory Context: It outlines the relevant laws and regulations related to disability rights, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the United States or the Equality Act in the United Kingdom. This section demonstrates the organsation’s compliance with legal requirements.
Scope and Coverage: This section defines the scope of the statement or strategy, specifying the areas or facilities to which it applies. For example, it may cover physical spaces, digital platforms, communication materials, or services provided by the organisation.
Definition of Disability: This section provides a clear definition of disability, which may align with the legal definition or be broader to encompass a wider range of impairments.
Accessibility Objectives: The statement or strategy should outline the organisation’s specific accessibility objectives. These objectives are typically based on the principles of universal design, aiming to create an inclusive environment that benefits all individuals, regardless of their abilities.
Barriers and Challenges: This section identifies the barriers and challenges faced by individuals with disabilities in accessing the organisation’s facilities, services, or information. It may include physical barriers, technological limitations, communication obstacles, or attitudinal barriers.
Action Plan: The organisation should provide a detailed action plan that outlines the steps it will take to address the identified barriers and challenges. This plan should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). It may include initiatives such as physical modifications, technology upgrades, staff training, policy development, or collaboration with disability advocacy groups.
Implementation and Monitoring: This section explains how the organisation will implement and monitor its accessibility initiatives. It may outline the roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders, the timeline for implementation, and the methods for evaluating progress.
Communication and Awareness: The organisation should describe how it will communicate its commitment to accessibility, both internally and externally. This may include publicizing the statement or strategy on the organisation’s website, sharing it with employees and stakeholders, and providing accessible information to individuals with disabilities.
Review and Update: The statement or strategy should include a process for regular review and update to ensure its continued relevance and effectiveness. This may involve soliciting feedback from individuals with disabilities, conducting accessibility audits, or monitoring advancements in accessibility standards and technologies.
It is important to note that the specific content and structure of a disability access statement or strategy may vary depending on the organisation and its unique context.
However, the overall goal is to demonstrate a proactive and ongoing commitment to accessibility and inclusivity for individuals with disabilities.