Adaptations are alterations to you home or place of work to improve your ability in everyday tasks, some of which are eligible for local authority grants. To simplify matters they can normally be divided into two categories, minor and major;
- Hoists and lifts
- Kitchen alterations
- Bathroom alterations
- Ramp installations (internal and external)
- Door widening
- Stair lift installations
- Through floor lifts
- Alterations to the existing heating systems
- Ground floor extensions
- Existing facilities improvements
- Walk in shower cubicles
- Wheelchair access for home or place of work
There are numerous types of disability including those that limit a persons ability to walk or which requires them to use a wheelchair for mobility, in addition some people have impairments that affect their sight and or hearing.
Section M2 ‘Access and use’ paragraph (1) of the Building Regulations states that “reasonable provision shall be made for disabled people to gain access to and to use the building”.
Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG's)
Section 23, Part 1 of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 deals with DFG’s granted by local authority housing departments. All grant aided work should be correctly specified and managed and the Client should always appoint a qualified Surveyor familiar with disabled adaptations, to both specify and oversee such works from inception through to completion.
JAC LTD has over 30 years of experience in dealing with occupational therapists, carers and the end user.
DFG’s are available for a wide range of works needed to help disabled persons live more independently in their home. All DFG’s are means tested and normally recommended by the Environmental Health or housing department of the local authority. Social Services then appoint an occupational therapist to carry out a site assessment under Section 2 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act.
The most popular types of grant currently available are mandatory & discretionary grants;
Mandatory, for disabled persons in need of essential adaptations to allow them better access into and around their home and to make the best use of the essential facilities within it.
Local authorities have powers to give this specific type of grant for a wide range of works that will assist the disabled persons with accommodation, welfare and or employment needs.
Disability Equality Act 2010
The current Disability Equality Act 2010 makes substantial amendments affecting public authorities and supersedes the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
Since October 1999 all service providers should be implementing a planned programme of improvement to their private and public buildings, to ensure that they provide reasonable access for all disabled persons, by providing reasonable alternative means, if so required.
Does this affect us? Well if you own, manage or operate any of the following, the answer is a definite YES !
- Hotels or guest houses
- Shops,restaurants and public houses
- Factories, offices and general places of work
- All public buildings
- All educational buildings
- Owners of service provider private buildings
- Public transport service provider
Are there any consequences if we fail to comply?
The DDA has been legislated by the Disability Rights Commission with effect from April 2000. There objectives will include site investigations, disciplinary actions and in extreme cases civil court proceedings where service users fail to comply.
Service providers are now required to commission physical access audits, arrange necessary funding, prepare specifications of works, invite tenders for the contract works and fully implement the act, where applicable