Direct Access, the UK’s leading Disability Access consultancy opened its new offices this week near Manchester Airport ahead of new European Accessibility standards due to come into force this summer.
Established nine years ago by profoundly deaf Steven Mifsud, Direct Access audits existing buildings and provides consultancy services for new builds to ensure compliance with the UK’s Equality Act 2010. These standards ensure that buildings and services are made accessible for people with disabilities. The new European standards builds upon these giving people with disabilities the same level of access throughout Europe providing assistance to 80 million disabled individuals in order to give them a chance to enjoy the same rights as all members of society. The new standards apply to infrastructure (e.g. obstacle-free routes, ticketing, information desks, toilets, visual and spoken information etc) and to planes themselves. (e.g. doors, toilets, wheelchair spaces and information).
“It is an exciting time for us,” says Steven. “Our new offices enable us to increase the level of dedicated administrative support needed to deliver our access auditing services for regional and international airports across Europe. Basing our new offices near Manchester airport a key regional facility linking our offices with most of Europe was a logical step.”
Direct Access recently completed an audit of Gatwick’s North and South Terminals, the new concourse and airplane nodes. Audits of multimodal transport to support airport operations have included numerous Network Rail stations and Luas stations – Dublin’s tram network in addition to London Underground stations that deliver passengers to airports.