Skip to main content

The Access Manual: Auditing and Managing Inclusive Built Environments, 2nd Edition

The Access Manual: Auditing and Managing Inclusive Built Environments, 2nd Edition

Ann Sawyer, Keith Bright

ISBN: 978-0-470-75793-2 January 2008 Wiley-Blackwell 280 Pages


Please make the most of what you find in this volume, but please don’t use it merely to achieve compliance. Use it to spark creativity, humanity and urbanity in the buildings and public spaces we all use every day, so nobody need feel “this place isn’t for me” and everyone feels welcome. Richard Simmonds, Chief Executive CABE

I welcome this guidance which should enable people to understand access requirements and to undertake access audits… The law is important but how much better if those organisations simply did it right in the first place so the law did not need to be used. This book should help do just that. Bert Massie, Chairman of Disability Right Commission UK

This manual covers the design, improvement, maintenance and management of accessible environments. It shows you how to provide and run buildings, services, and employment facilities to enable independent and convenient use by everyone.

The Access Manual was first published in November 2003 and has been used by architects and facilities managers needing to meet the requirements of new legislation in 2004. It was well received by design, management, access, and health professionals.

This is a fast moving area and there are now several additional pieces of legislation and guidance central to inclusive design and making buildings accessible to all.

This new edition follows the same structure and approach and updated the following areas of legislation:

• Disability Discrimination Act 1995 & 2005
• Building Regulations: approved document to Part M (2004)
• The Planning and Compulsory Purchases Act 2004
• British Standards: amendment and updating of BS8300

The authors have also updated the material on access auditing, providing additional examples and sample access audit reports and access statements can be found at

With its comprehensive information on standards, legislation and good practice, the manual will make sure you can:
• be fully aware of the issues involved in accessibility
• understand your legal obligations and the guidance available
• commission access audits
• create and manage an access improvement programme
• maintain accessibility in buildings and working practices

From the reviews of the First Edition:

‘Both authors are well known for their work on access… between them they have produced a useful book that is helpful in the context of our current built environment and what steps can be taken to improve access.’ Barrierfree

'This is a well written and practical manual, recommended reading for building engineers concerned with the creation, planning and management of buildings.' Building Engineer

‘incredibly informative … will enable you to keep the edge over non-enlightened competitors’ Architectural Technology
'This is an excellent book' Access Journal




Chapter 1 Access audits and appraisals.

Why carry out an access audit? Add nos.

Audit preparation.

The audit.

The report.

Access appraisals.

Access statements.

Chapter 2 Access management.

Ongoing access management.

Occupying the building.

Information and training.

Chapter 3 Legislation, regulations and standards.

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

The Disability Discrimination Act 2005.

The Building Regulations.

BS 5588 Fire precautions in the design, construction.

and use of buildings.

BS 8300:2001 Design of buildings and their approaches.

to meet the needs of disabled people - Code of Practice.

BS 7000-6: 2005 Design management systems. Managing.

inclusive design.

Planning legislation and guidance.

Occupier Liability Acts.

Chapter 4 Design criteria.

External environment.


Horizontal circulation.

Vertical circulation.


Communication and wayfinding.

Emergency egress.

Appendix A General acceptability criteria.

Appendix B Information sources.


"Altogether this book is a fascinating read full of useful hints and ideas concerning access and the built environment. It is not a book to be read and discarded, but more a book for the office shlef, to be picked up and used time and again when the need arises or when a challenging aspect of access design needs addressing."

Building Engineer

Access Statements Fact Sheet

If you are unable to view the Word document and the others below, you can download the free reader from Microsoft.

Part M and BS8300 Fact Sheet
Sources of Good Practice Guidance

  • Both authors have had major roles in developing the new legislation; updating building regs; and adding new British Standards
  • Reults of court cases have clarified some of the ambiguities of the 2004 act - e.g. what is 'reasonable provision'?
  • First book to cover 6 major areas of change in legislation, building regulations, and British Standards