Disabilities Discrimination Act Guidelines
What you can specify
Recommendations and guidance for specifiers and installers
The DDA and requirements of part III requires the provider of services to the public to consider ‘reasonable adjustments’ to physical features that may make it difficult for disabled people to make use of their services. BS8300 is the BS standard, which contains guidance on the recommendations for door furniture in public buildings.
Document M is the building regulation containing building compliance for access and facilities for disabled people.
DDA Pull Handle Recommendations
The DDA and requirements of part III requires the provider of services to the public to consider ‘reasonable adjustments’ to physical features that may make it difficult for disabled people to make use of their services. In conjunction with the above act and the recommendations of guidance contained in BS8300 (2009), ASH Door Furniture & Entrance Specialists Ltd, have made careful consideration of how to improve its own range of products in order to ensure that their use, wherever practical can meet the criteria contained in both publications.
It is important to note that the guidance for visually impaired people contained in BS8300, in particular the areas covering colour contrast and luminance are open to interpretation due to insufficient authorative information available for detailed guidance. However it is generally accepted that a ‘contrast’ between door colour and texture of its finish combined with handle luminance should be adopted, to enable a distinct identification to be made between the two surfaces. No data is available on the merits of any two distinct combinations recommended, so the choice of colours must be left to the individual when specifying their requirements using the criteria in the publication. ASH have in conjunction with various clients and users carried out their own studies to determine better, what combination would best be offered to assist the visually impaired. the general feeling was that a matte background (door surface) and a contrasting foreground (door handle) would perhaps offer the best combination. In considering this conclusion it is important to note that other governing factors must be taken into consideration when deciding on the type of materials used to form the door furniture.
BS8300 also makes note that ‘external’ handles should be ‘warm to the touch’. In using this guide it is useful to note that there are varying differences between given materials and their properties of thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity. Using data from test of the following materials as a guide can be taken from the results provided, it should be noted that the following tests were measures at a constant 20°C . Thermal conductivity is a property that describes the semi static situation, the temperature gradient is assumed to be constant. As soon as the temperature starts to change other parameters enter the equation. Thermal diffusivity is the ‘response’ time of a material measured in m2/s.
Door furniture temperature
External door opening furniture should not be cold to the touch. (Document M) Given the many different variants in external temperature throughout the year and the different thermal conductivity of materials, we have concluded that the ‘poorer’ conducting materials would be best suited for external doors. Below we have tabled some comparative independently tested figures to indicate the thermal conductivity of materials used in door handle manufacture. The ‘lower’ number equates to a poorer conductor. It should be noted that the following tests were carried out at a constant 20 °C.
Door furniture and door colour contrast
i. Door furniture should be readily apparent against the background of the door and contrast visually with the surface of the door. (Document M)
ii. It is important to note that the guidance for visually impaired people contained in BS8300, in particular the areas covering colour contrast and luminance are open to interpretation due to insufficient authoritative information available for detailed guidance.
iii. No data is available on the merits of any two distinct combinations of finishes to the surface of both door and door handles, as such the choice of finish should be left to the individual when specifying their preference. It is generally accepted that ensuring that there is a minimum of 30 points of LRV difference will in the majority of cases help to ensure that visually impaired people are not discriminated against.
iv. A guide to finish combination is shown in the photographs below.
Door furniture on manual doors
Door furniture on manually non-powered doors should be easy to operate by people with limited manual dexterity. (Document M) See diagrams 1, 2, & 3.
A principal entrance door should be provided with a glazed panel giving a zone of visability from a height of 900mm to 1500mm from the finished floor level wherever the opening action of the door could constitute a hazard. (Document M) See diagram 4.
It would be our recommendations that either of the above mentioned materials, wood, stainless or nylon coated be the preferred use in door furniture manufacture, due to their low conductivity properties. Combinations of the materials can be incorporated into the majority of ASH’s product range.
For best visual performance, high gloss finishes should be avoided.
Stainless use either a 240 grit, brushed/satin or matt bead blast.
Colour coated should be matt or satin finish.
Timber can either be light or dark dependent on wood and will be light waxed.
A selection of nylon and stainless combination handles from the ‘COMBI RANGE’.
For ease of operation it is recommended that the centre of the vertical door handle should be no more than 1000mm from the finished floor level and not less than 400mm either side of this point. Therefore a minimum overall length of 800mm would be suitable. Further information and guidance can be obtained from our office.