Ian Hill access provides access consultancy services aimed at improving access for disabled people and the whole community.  Ian Hill is a registered access consultant, and his mobility impairment enables him empathise with and understand the difficulties and needs of people with disabilities and impairments.

Everyone deserves good access.  From 1 October 2010, the Equality Act 2010 (formerly the Disability Discrimination Acts (DDA)) and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 (SENDA) have given disabled people rights of access to goods, facilities and services, employment, transport, education and other areas. 

We can advise on both existing and proposed buildings and facilities, and can guide you through the implications of the legislation and standards and help you to ensure that your facilities and services are as accessible as possible to as many people as possible.  Our services include:-

  1. desktop audit of an existing building
    Typically, the client (building owner or tenant) provides plans of the existing building together with photographs, which we can then appraise, comment on and make recommendations for improving features and access.  However, without a site visit, this approach has serious shortcomings for all but the most basic of comments and observations.

  1. desktop appraisal of a proposed building
    Typically, the client architect provides plans of the proposed building which we can then appraise, comment on and make recommendations for improving features and access.

    It may also be that service delivery and management policies, procedures and practices are appraised, commented on and developed.

  1. full consultancy service for larger projects requiring ongoing input
    Typically, the client (architect, commissioning body and/or future occupants or users) appoints Ian Hill access to provide services appropriate to the nature of the project.  This will usually consist of an initial appraisal and report of the outline proposals, attendance at design team meetings, intermediate updated reports as design development progresses and a close out report at site practical completion.  Often there will be an access management plan commissioned in order to ensure that the accessibility of the facility is not compromised by any management policies, procedures and practices.  Examples of full consultancy can be found on the projects page, such as Sky Mirror, Riverhead Theatre, LDMC and Buxton.  This level of service is typically required for publicly funded schemes such as for Heritage Lottery Fund, Art England, Sport England and Local Authority schemes.

Ian Hill also provides:-

  1. accessible and inclusive design solutions
    as both an access consultant and an architect, Ian Hill can advise on and provide design solutions that enable the benefits of access for all through inclusive design.

The benefits of addressing the issues and providing accessible buildings and environments are tangible.  Good access is good business and delivers good public relations:-

  1. enhanced accessibility

  2. enhanced commercial and marketing profile

  3. visibly enhanced demonstration of customer care

  4. visible high quality of business practice and service

  5. extended availability of goods, facilities and services and related sectors

  6. legislation implications addressed

  7. reduced likelihood of on-cost and inappropriate solutions

The challenge and the benefits - it is estimated that around 20 per cent of the adult population (approximately 11.7 million people), are categorised as disabled under the definition of ‘disability’ in the Equality Act.  It is also estimated that these people have an estimated spending power of some £40 billion. Including family, friends and carers, it is estimated that a further 18 million people will benefit from accessible environments.  (former Office of the Deputy Prime Minister).

We have adopted an approach that aims to be as inclusive as the Equality Act intends and our clients require.  The Ian Hill Access Consultancy Service is based on a committed and pragmatic approach aimed at marrying the needs of building users, the resources of the building owner and the implications embodied in the Equality Act and related legislation and standards.

We address and consider the needs of a wide range of impairments:-

All work is undertaken in accordance with the National Register of Access Consultant’s Terms and conditions for the engagement of an access consultant.

Client Guide - This contains information about the background and principles of the National Register of Access Consultants (NRAC) and information on how to use the NRAC to identify an Access Consultant or Auditor (download)


access consultant and architect

Access Consultancy

  1. site audit of an existing building
    Typically, we will visit the existing building and undertake and access audit on order to identify the physical features and management procedures which may compromise access for people with disabilities.

    Audits typically provide information and observations from which recommendations can then be made.  Recommendations, be they for physical features or management procedures, may be given priority rankings relating to how big an improvement to access will be achieved, cost banding and urgency (often relating to safety).

    Audits are designed to meet the needs of the client and situation in each instance.  Audits can range from a simple “walk and talk” with the client and /or building user or service deliverer, resulting in a one page bullet point synopses of the main points, to an extensive audit resulting in a full report with priority rankings and illustrations and photographs.  An example of a “walk and talk” service was for DETA.  A more detailed audit and report may be appropriate such as the Sheffield Cathedral example.  Please see the projects page for these examples