This policy was agreed by KLS Trustees on 26th April 2017. Last review September 2020.
All KLS policies are reviewed every three years (or earlier if the law changes).
It will be reviewed in September 2023.
1. About Katherine Low Settlement
Katherine Low Settlement is a multi-purpose charity that has been serving the communities of Battersea and Wandsworth since 1924. We are dedicated to building stronger communities and enable people to challenge and find ways out of poverty and isolation.
We run a range of our own community projects to support children, young people and their families, older people and refugee communities. We recognise there are many other expert local charities and community groups working with, for example, disabled people and mental health users. We invite them to operate from our premises – so together as partners we can meet the diverse needs of the local communities of Wandsworth. Each week we work with 40+ charities & groups supporting more than 1,000 people.
2. Katherine Low Settlement’s disability access policy
Katherine Low Settlement (KLS) is firmly committed to enabling all our service users, staff and volunteers to participate in our work and premises equally, with dignity and respect. This policy reinforces KLS’ commitment to ensuring equality of opportunity for all.
This policy works in conjunction with KLS’ suite of organisational policies including Equality Opportunities & Diversity policy, Volunteer policy and staff-related policies found in our Staff Handbook.
The policy is endorsed by the Katherine Low Settlement’s Trustees and will be reviewed annually to make sure it remains relevant and appropriate to the needs of KLS: its staff, volunteers, members/users and visitors.
This Disability Access Policy is freely accessible to all. This means that KLS will share copies of this policy with staff and volunteers as part of their induction and training. All KLS’ policies will appear on its website. Hard copies of this policy will be available upon request.
For the purposes of this policy, “disability” is to be understood in the broadest sense of the word and covers all disabilities coming within the scope of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. The Act defines disability as “a physical or mental impairment, which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”. Though we would extend this definition to include people with temporary, short term (e.g. someone waiting for a cataract op) or less than ‘substantial’ disability.
- Relevant Legislation
The disability equality legislation outlines a number of required duties. The Equality Act 2010 incorporated all nine separate pieces of equality legislation including the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. The Equality Act 2010 places a general duty on all organisations to promote disability equality. Under these duties KLS is required to:
- eliminate unlawful discrimination
- eliminate harassment of disabled people
- promote equality of opportunities between disabled people and other people
- involve disabled people in the formulation of actions
- promote positive attitudes towards disabled people
- encourage participation by disabled people in public life
- take steps to meet disabled people’s needs, even if this requires more favourable treatment
- identify and analyse potential discriminatory policies, practices and procedures in all aspects of KLS’ activities.
- Disability Access Policy Aims
This policy aims to:
- Ensure that all reasonable steps are taken for KLS’ members/users, staff and volunteers to be able to access our services and premises.
- Remove administrative, procedural and physical barriers that prevent equal access to services for people with disabilities.
- Integrate an awareness of disability issues into policies, practices and procedures in all areas of KLS’ work.
- Improve access, prevent discriminatory practices and fulfil our duties under the Equality Act 2010.
6. General Principles
It is KLS’ policy to:
- Actively promote disability awareness and equality ensuring that it continues to be an integral part of our strategy, service delivery and future developments.
- Continue to audit current provision to ensure that the best opportunities are taken to improve physical access to premises, and prioritise future works and refurbishments.
- Be aware that any change in services might have an effect on service delivery for disabled people.
- Ensure that current information is accessible and available in appropriate formats.
- Use all available guidance, examples of good practice and of best value to ensure an organisational response to disability access issues.
- Develop ongoing training opportunities, monitor and share examples of good practice.
7. Evaluating the Disability Access Policy
The progress of this Policy will be measured on:
- Adjustments to the way in which services are delivered.
- Greater satisfaction of disabled staff, members/users and visitors with the provision made for disabled people.
- Improvements to the physical accessibility of KLS buildings.