DCAN 11: Access for People with Disabilities
Historically the built environment has not been designed for the needs of people with disabilities, yet provisional results from a recent study would indicate that around 190,000 people in Northern Ireland have some form of disability. Disabilities can include a lack of mobility, sensory impairments, mental disabilities or others which are not so obvious, for example, heart disease or breathing difficulties. Many other people experience a temporary disability through accident or illness. A lack of accessibility can also present difficulties for the growing numbers of elderly people in our community and for people with prams. The Department of the Environment therefore attaches great importance to the removal , as far as is reasonable and practicable, of barriers to access to new and existing development. Many obstructions to access can be avoided by careful design or by simple alterations. This Advice Note provides basic guidelines for developers.