2009-10-17: Some of you are already hitting the Internet Search Engines … with fierce intent altogether … about Disability Access Certificates (DAC’s) !
Is it Time to Panic ? No.
For a simple and direct hit, the 2 most relevant Irish Legal Instruments are:
1. Statutory Instrument No. 352 of 2009 – Building Control Act 2007 (Commencement) Order 2009.
This states …
” The 30 September 2009 is appointed as the day on which the provisions of Sections 5 and 6 of the Building Control Act 2007 shall come into operation.”
Section 5 covers the Amendment of Section 6 (Building Control Regulations) of the Building Control Act 1990.
Section 6 covers the Amendment of Section 7 (Appeals) of the Building Control Act 1990.
2. Statutory Instrument No. 351 of 2009 – Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2009.
This states …
” These Regulations shall come into effect on 1 October 2009, except for the provisions of Article 8 which shall come into effect on 1 January 2009.”
Article 8 covers Disability Access Certificates and Revised Disability Access Certificates.
For you, yourself, to properly examine all of the ‘ins and outs’ of this New Certification Scheme … download the PDF File below … and then search the document (making sure that it is not case-sensitive !) using the phrase ‘Disability Access Certificate’. You will find 99 instances where the phrase is used.
Ireland: Statutory Instrument No. 351 of 2009 – Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2009
Click the Link above to read/download PDF File (223 Kb)
In order to make full sense of all that is happening, and is intended to happen in the not too distant future … there are a few other Legal Instruments, related to the two listed, which also need to be consulted … but that is an exercise meant for masochists !
In comparison, the European Union Lisbon Treaty was a sweet bedtime story ! Seriously !!
Is it Time to Worry ? Yes.
Here are just a few random ideas for your cogitation …
- If the Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government (DEHLG) pays little heed to Submissions made during and after this summer’s ‘consultation’ process … the proposed New Technical Guidance Document M: ‘Access & Use’ will end up looking like a real dog’s dinner of an absolute mess ! FUBAR.
Years were spent in the preparation of the New TGD M. When it does eventually appear, it will be an accurate reflection of technical capacities within both the Department and the National Disability Authority (NDA).
Deeply regretted is the absence of Mr. Kevin Spencer … a gentle soul … from the DEHLG. Things have not been the same since his departure. He knew what he was talking about.
- Who will deal, at a technical level, with Applications for Disability Access Certificates in the Local Authorities ? Will they be competent to do so ? Will their interpretation of the Part M Legal Requirements be harmonized … not just with other/different Authorities … but even with other technical personnel in the same Authority ???
- In order to make this new certification scheme work, will the Guidance Text in Technical Guidance Document M (whatever version appears !) be operated as if it were Prescriptive Regulation … which will be totally illegal ?
This has been exactly the story … for many years … with the Guidance Text in Technical Guidance Document B … in the course of operation of the Fire Safety Certification Scheme. FUBAR.
- If, as I hinted above, the proposed New Technical Guidance Document M: ‘Access & Use’ will be a real dog’s dinner of a mess … falling far short of what can now be reasonably described as minimal accessibility performance (see the Draft International Accessibility-for-All Standard ISO 21542) … this will certainly open Building Owners/Managers of newly completed buildings to Complaints under Irish Equality Legislation. Why is the Disability Sector so inactive with regard to making complaints ?
and finally …
- Are the relevant Irish Decision Makers, as I suggested might happen in a previous post, in the process of actually sleepwalking into an unquestioned acceptance of the inadequate British Standards BS 9999 : 2008 and BS 8300 : 2009 ??? Do they know how to do anything else ?
For some sublime moments of meditation, however, please chew on the information provided at these Pages on the SDI Support WebSite …
Disability Rights & Removing Physical Restrictions on Participation in Society ;
Towards a Sustainable Social Environment, Accessibility-for-All & Facilitation Design (2001 WHO ICF) ;
Fire Evacuation-for-All & Principles of Fire Engineering.