Towards better legislation, policy and regulations
This chapter looks at whether the evolution of our legislation, regulations and technical standards has created a barrier to designing inclusively. It argues that the historical evolution of our approach – the ‘special provision’ route of amending the design to include a wheelchair user rather than designing to include the wheelchair user from the outset – has been ‘normalised’. During the 1990s, a combination of anti-discrimination legislation and comprehensive building regulations seemed to be accepted as the way forward, not just in terms of the design of our buildings, places and spaces but also in helping to change society’s attitude towards disabled people. Improvements to the 2010 Equality Act, planning legislation and the building regulations could result in better implementation and more robust enforcement of good inclusive design. An opportunity to embed accessibility requirements into the legislation was missed when the Marriage Act was introduced in 1994 and local authorities were required to approve premises for wedding ceremonies.