Is My Access Consultant Doing His Job?

 By: Kenny Ingram
The building Access Consultancy is a profession that is tied into a complete package called the Building Survey. The Access Consultant is responsible for accessibility aspects of the building project. An Access Consultancy report is prepared. This accessibility report involves not only the issue of ready movement to and around the building, but must also include compliance with federal and state mandates.

The Access Consultant will start by looking at the public transit stop or the sidewalk next to the street. They will make sure that the property can be accessed appropriately from outside the property walls first. Then they will travel in and through the parking lot, making sure that all regulations are incorporated into the design of the parking spaces, the travel ways, and front door access. This is where they will take into account how access is granted to the building and facilities from the parking lot all the way into the front lobby. Is the building accessible with a handicapped ramp? Are there adequate railings and steps? Next is the path of travel to the front desk. Is there adequate access to all of the restrooms? Are there adequate access points to the different floors and office spaces? Access points for the complete building is to be measured and reported on.

The Access Consultant will also take into affect the uses of the building to provide for people with disabilities. It is recommended that every business, corporation and public entity begin with an accessibility survey report.

This report includes a full range of accessibility compliance services. The accessibility survey report draws attention to deficiencies or items that are not acceptable as standard regulations. This report will list Items or elements such as wide range site inspections. Also included is a complete self evaluation assessment or analysis of the policies and procedures that must be incorporated in the overall building project. We mustn't forget the task of analyzing the complete project to make sure that everything is in conformity with federal, state, and local accessibility regulations.

Federal and state standards must both be considered when evaluating buildings. If a state standard requires a greater level of accessibility than the federal, for example, the state standard would apply. Public entities and businesses have difficulty in evaluating their sites for compliance due to the relationship of the standards. Corporations that have businesses in several states, such as hotels and restaurants, have the challenge of scoping and complying with different standards.

The accessibility survey report provides much more than just the listing of items that are out of compliance. The solution to bring the item into compliance must also be addressed. Therefore it must be known which federal or state requirement must be adhered to. Just think of the consequences of not being compliant, and having the state or local entity come back and order your building to be readjusted to the correct standards. This could bring about a critical catastrophe. In order to prevent this catastrophe, you should make use of a professional service that will not only inform you of state and local requirements, but will also advise you of the actual cost analysis for each item that needs attention. This will give you the assurance that you have a real plan you can work with.
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