To get a thorough picture of a town or city we carry out professional detailed access audits. The audits cover accessibility of outdoor spaces and pedestrian travel routes for the widest range of visitors and citizens, including a variety of access requirements. This will then support the public executive management team in improving accessibility of the public outdoor environment and infrastructure. In turn, this contributes to a more comfortable, friendly, safe, and attractive environment for visitors and locals alike.
Physical accessibility is a major issue in the urban environment since it concerns a very large proportion of people who have access requirements. People such as seniors, parents with small children and those with either temporary or permanent mobility, sensory or intellectual impairments need to be considered. Way-finding and provision of information in alternative formats is also of great importance for tourists who may not speak English as the first language, or who have difficulty in perceiving or understanding written information.
Application of the relevant Irish regulations on accessibility is necessary in urban planning and design. However, experience shows that achieving good access is not only a matter of conformance to rules and regulations. By following a “Universal Design” approach, where the design of streets and pavements responds to the widest range of user requirements, the outdoor environment can better accommodate all users – including those with disabilities – while achieving cost-effective and sustainable solutions. As a result, accessibility becomes a factor of higher quality for the town, offering a more welcoming, inclusive, and safe environment for all visitors and local residents.
Universal Access select the streets and routes that are to be audited in agreement with the management of that town or city and start the audits at the point of a visitor’s entry by transport to that destination.
The access audit of the “public realm” includes everything required in terms of accessibility for the broadest range of visitors.
The audit covers elements of the accessible tourist routes, including: footpaths, paving/walking surfaces, kerbs, bollards, crossings, signage, designated car parking for people with disabilities, public transport stops (where present), seating, public toilets, access barriers etc.
We also deliver the following at the end of the audit:
- Photographic record of all assessed features
- Written record featuring gap analysis and map of the access audit area
- PowerPoint presentation of results
- Written action plan