What is an Access Audit?

An access audit is the first step towards identifying barriers within the said premises and its surrounding areas, providing a base with which appropriate suggestions can be made. Based on the results of the access audit report, one is better equipped to execute an action plan to implement accessibility hence including people with Special Needs into main stream lifestyle.

It is very important that the appointed auditor has a personal experience in this area and is in complete empathy with the sensitivity of the accessibility issues and no one can be more qualified to carry out such an audit other than a person who experiences these challenges every day.

Why is an Access Audit important and to whom?

As a business owner of a construction company, a corporate, hospitality industry, mall–multiplexes, places of public interests, it is relevant to your business to ensure that your building is made completely accessible. Implementing accessibility to your building is only going to enhance the credibility of your business further. Inclusive designing should be one of the key requirements that you provide your architects with, so that it can be included in their design process. Involving the auditors during the implementation would make it possible to ensure that all aspects are incorporated correctly and will enable all concerned including the architects involved, to understand the importance of accessibility requirements and the concept of inclusive designing.

What is the right time to get an Access Audit done?

It will prove to be very fruitful to get an Access Audit conducted on the drawing board stage, as soon as the layout plans are ready and way before the construction begins. This will also save any future alteration costs.

Is Access Audit possible in an existing space?

Yes, an Access Audit is possible in an existing space to incorporate accessibility. The procedure differs from that of a new or under construction premises. It involves more physical inspection of the site to ensure inclusivity.

If an audit has to be carried out for an already existing structure, it requires extensive ingenious ideas to incorporate accessibility correctly for the people with special needs.

What is required from a business owner for an Access Audit?

Our audit consultant will need you to provide the following:
Architectural Drawings and Layouts with exact carpet (area) dimensions.
A complete physical review of the proposed site/design, with the consultant.

What will the access audit consultant deliver?

The access audit consultant will inspect the site physically for existing structure or study the floor plans for proposed or under construction projects. There after a complete technical audit report will be prepared, based on American with Disability Guidelines (ADAG), which are the global specifications/standards recognized world over.

The reporting will pertain to:

Accessibility inside the built (structural) area and the outdoor surrounding area
Accessibility Signs (indoors and outdoors)
Once the report is submitted the consultant can be contacted as and when required to clarify any doubts towards the solutions provided or its implementation and if necessary to personally inspect/supervise the work.

Elements covered in an Access Audit:

Getting to the premises – access from the road and car park
Getting into the premises – main entrance doors, lobby/reception areas
Getting around the premises – corridors, doors, stairs, lifts, signs, work area, floor surfaces etc.
Using the services in the premises – Common Cloak rooms, Guestrooms, Bathrooms, Restaurants/Cafeterias, Recreational Facilities, Office Cabins, and Furniture etc.
Health and safety issues
Management and staff training in regards to attitude and interaction with special needs people and on usage of disability equipment.

What is the scale of the Audit?

The elements covered in an access audit depend on the type and nature of the environment and services taken. Every site has its very own specific requirements

What are the Audit charges / fees?

We provide various services like, visiting and surveying the site, taking onsite photographs, extensive series of discussions with the management and architects, preparing a technical report, periodic site visits to inspect/supervise the work, supplying of equipment, training etc. Hence the fees usually vary, depending on the nature of services rendered.

Generally the services are charged on an hourly or per sq. ft. area basis, costs of travel, training and equipment cost. Again depending on the scope of work involved, a customized consolidated package can be worked out.