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Latest News

Design Professions commit to inclusive design
Minister for Communities Stephen Williams and Minister for Disabled People Mark Harper have set out a new construction industry action plan to make buildings and public spaces more inclusive.

Link to webpage


Wales Vision Strategy
The new Wales Vision Strategy for 2014-2018 launched at the National Assembly Government for Wales in October sets out plans to improve eye health and meet the needs of people with sight loss.

Access Design Solutions is proud to support the Strategy Implementation Group working for a society in which people with sight loss can fully participate

Link to document


Supplementary Planning Guidance on Accessible London
The Mayor has published guidance ‘Accessible London: Achieving an Inclusive Environment’. While London focused the guidance will be of wider interest

Link to document


Government challenge
Communities Minister Stephen Williams chaired a roundtable discussion (20 October 2014) with key professional bodies and challenged them to do more to make buildings, streets and public space more inclusive and accessible to all

Link to webpage


Retailers Missing Out: Research Report from Really Useful Stuff
Survey of over 350 disabled people to tell, in their own words, if they believed Britain’s retailers had improved in accessibility and reasonable adjustment provision since the launch of the Disability Rights Commission in 2000

Link to Report


Disability Wales have published a Good Practice Guidance Toolkit 'Planning for Inclusive Access in Wales'

Access Design Solutions and Lewis Consultancy were commissioned to produce the guidance

See our Projects Page


Information Resources

Some of the key standards, regulations and design guidance related to accessibility, inclusion and sustainability are listed below. This is not a comprehensive list, as that could run to many pages, but we have aimed to list resources we consider most useful. If you have any suggestions for resources to include here or require information on specific sector guides please contact us.

Wherever possible we have included links for you to download the resource in your preferred format. In some cases, however, only a PDF version is available to download directly (see Adobe link in right-hand column) and you will need to contact the relevant organisation to request a word document or a version in a format accessible for you.

Most of the resources we have listed are available to download free. Where there is a cost we have indicated this.

British Standards
Building Regulations
Historic Buildings
Design and Access Statements
Guidance Documents


Tip: When opening any of the links, open in a new tab so that you can also stay on this page.


British Standards

BS 8300:2009 + A1:2010 Design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people – Code of practice, British Standards Institution, 2010, can be ordered from the British Standards Institution's website (cost: £240 or £120 to BSI members)

Tel: 0208 996 9001

BS 9999:2008, Code of practice for fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings, British Standards Institution, 2008, can be ordered from the BSI website (or contact details above) (cost: £319 or £159 to BSI members)

BS 18477:2010 Inclusive service provision. Requirements for identifying and responding to consumer vulnerability, British Standards Institution, 2010, can be ordered from the BSI website (or contact details above) (cost: £162 or £81 to BSI members)

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Building Regulations

Part L (Conservation of fuel and power) Approved Document Free to download

Part M
The Building Regulations 2010, Approved Document M: Access to and use of buildings (2010 edition)

Approved Document M - Access to and Use of Buildings (2013 edition)
(will take effect on 6 April 2013 for building work carried out in England and for excepted energy buildings in Wales as defined in the Welsh Ministers (Transfer of Functions) (No. 2) Order 2009).

Both versions of the Approved Document M, plus a document which lists the 2013 amendments to Approved Document M are free to download


Building Regulations were devolved to Wales in 2011. Currently the existing 2010 edition of Approved Document M will continue to apply in Wales.

Northern Ireland:

The Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012, Technical booklet R: October 2012 – Access to and use of buildings 2012 free to download.


Non-domestic Technical Handbooks, Scottish Executive, 2011,
Domestic Technical Handbooks, Scottish Executive, 2011. Both free to download.

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The National Planning Policy Framework: Planning Policy in England; Scotland; Wales; Northern Ireland

Technical Advice Note 12: Design, Welsh Assembly Government, 2009
Free to download

Designing Places, 2001 and Designing Streets, 2010, Scottish Executive. Design policy documents for Scotland. Free to download

Development Control Advice Note DCAN 11 (Draft): Access for all - Designing for an Accessible Environment, Department of the Environment, Northern Ireland Free to download

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Code for a sustainable built environment. Free to download

Code for sustainable homes. Department for Communities and Local Government. Free to download

BREEAM New Construction Technical Manual 2011. Free to download

HM Government Strategy for Sustainable Construction, 2008
Strategy to deliver a radical change in the sustainability of the construction industry. Free to download

Sustainable Development Indicators in your Pocket – DEFRA 2008.
Free to download

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Housing Sight, best practice guide to building accessible homes for people with sight loss (cost £19.95) can be ordered from the RNIB bookshop

Design for Dementia: improving dining and bedroom environments in care homes, 2010, Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design Free to download

The design of housing for people with dementia, Damian Utton, 2009, Journal of Care Services Management Vol 3 No. 4 pages 380-390 Free to download

Living in the Community: Housing Design for Adults with Autism, 2010, Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design Free to download

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Historic buildings

Easy Access to Historic Buildings, English Heritage, 2012, can be downloaded from the English Heritage's website Free to download

Access to the Built Heritage – Technical Advice Note 7, 1996, Historic Scotland (cost £6)

Overcoming the Barriers – Providing Physical Access to Historic Buildings, CADW, 2002. Free to download

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Design and access statements

Design and access statements: how to write, read and use them, Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), 2006. Free to download

Design and Access Statements, Welsh Assembly Government, 2009 Free to download

Design and Access Statements in Wales, Design Commission for Wales, 2008 Free to download

Access Statement guidance (relating to applications for planning permission and listed buildings consent), Planning Aid Wales and Wales Access Groups, 2010. This guidance booklet can be downloaded from: Free to download It can also be made available in alternative formats.

Please contact Planning Aid Wales on 02920 625 009
or by email to:

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Guidance Documents

The Principles of Inclusive Design
Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), 2006.
Free to download

Sign Design Guide – a guide to inclusive signage, JMU and the Sign Design Society, 2000, (cost £20) can be ordered from the RNIB bookshop

Building Sight, RNIB, 1995, (cost £20) can be ordered from the RNIB bookshop

Designing for Accessibility, 2012, includes extensive plans and dimensional data illustrating internal and external features that commonly need attention in public buildings (cost £20) can be ordered from CAE website

Dementia Design Checklist: Design checks for people with dementia in healthcare premises, 2007, Health Facilities Scotland and The Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling. Free to download

Personal Emergency Egress Plans, Northern Officer Group, 1993, (cost £6) can be ordered from CAE website

Manual for Streets – Guidance for practitioners involved in the planning, provision and approval of new residential streets and modifications to existing ones, March 2007. Free to download

Manual for Streets 2 – Wider Application of the Principles, a companion guide to Manual for Streets, published by the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, September 2010. Free to download

Inclusive mobility: A guide to best practice on access to pedestrians and transport infrastructure – Department for Transport, 2002, Free to download

Inclusive Streets: Design principles for blind and partially sighted people
Guide Dogs, 2010 Free to download

Inclusive design for getting outdoors, series of publications from I’DGO Too Research, 2012. Free to download

Guidance on use of tactile paving surfaces, Department for Transport (DfT), 1998, Free to download

Accessible train station design for disabled people: a code of practice, Department for Transport 2011 Free to download

A Good Practice Guide to Countryside Access for Disabled People
the Fieldfare Trust, second edition, 2005. (Cost £51) This can be ordered from the Fieldfare Trust website

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Braille Audit signage toolThis audit tool enables you to specify and check Braille on signs, and understand practical Braille considerations.
For information and to order a copy see the description on our Vision Impairment Specialism page.

Equality and Human Rights - logoThe Equality Act 2010: Codes of Practice and Technical Guidance available from EHRC

EHRC website

A London borough's decision to depart from national guidance on the use of tactile paving to assist people with vision impairments was unlawful, a High Court judge has ruled.

Link to legal case

A new website resource has been launched by North Somerset Council providing physical access design guidance for businesses, organisations, community groups and professional designers.

Visit Website

The National Register of Access Consultants (NRAC) and the Royal Institution of Charted Surveyors (RICS) are collaborating to bolster the role of access consultants in land, property and construction.
RICS and NRAC announcement

Adobe Acrobat Reader
Documents in this section may require Adobe Acrobat reader software which you can download free from Adobe

Adobe download page

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