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if a permanent resident within the home has a disability that is deemed permanent and substantial; but it does not need to be the resident with the disability who applies NOW LET’S CONSIDER ADAPTATIONS IN A MORE PUBLIC SETTING The Equality Act, passed in 2010 means that people and organisations who serve the public have a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people. In practice, this means that we all have a duty to bear disabilities in mind when it comes to our establishments and how equipped they are for disabilities. Here are some key things to bear in mind: Disabilities are not always seen Don’t assume that someone is not disabled. It is vital to bear in mind

that “disability” is a wide spectrum, and just because someone isn’t in a wheelchair, it does not mean that they are not disabled. Consequently, we must all ensure that we cater for the disabilities that are harder to “see”. As an example, some disabilities can be “sensory” and can be triggered by light or noise, and the opposite is true too, with some disabled people having a “sensory deficit”, where too little stimulation is an issue, It’s also important to remember that disabilities – like mental health - can fluctuate, and your establishment must take this into account. Key things to also consider When you are ensuring that your establishment caters for the disabled, here are some key questions: • Can your customers access you? • How can you support local organisations with their access?

What can you offer / sell to your current and new clients to support them to support their staff / customers? I hope you’ve found this useful! If you’ve got any other questions, feel free to fire them over to stuart@ promoting-independence.co.uk

Stuart Barrow of Promoting Independence is a member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists and a recognised expert in the field of home adaptations. His experience is sought by manufacturers and service providers looking for an expert opinion. Stuart also runs the Occupational Therapy Adaptations Conference (OTAC).

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