WEC inquiry and report: Building for Equality – Disability and the Built Environment

The Women and Equalities Committee published a report on disability and the built environment in April 2017

The accessibility of our homes, buildings and public spaces is an issue not just for those of us with a permanent physical disability. With an ageing population, it is likely that more and more of us will experience reduced mobility in our lifetime.

The report highlights the challenges disabled people face in accessing homes, buildings and public spaces. Many workplaces are inaccessible, there is very little choice of where to live and the public spaces through which people need to move can be prohibitively excluding. The Committee argues that these factors constitute an unacceptable diminution of quality of life and equality.

It makes five key recommendations, around strategic leadership, designing for equality, and increasing the accessibility of public and shared spaces.

Committee Chair Maria Miller MP said:

“Disabled people have the right to participate in all parts of life under the law; this is undermined if the built environment locks them out. Our report sets out a realistic but challenging agenda that, if adopted, can give this issue a priority and deliver the changes that we all need.”

Download the full report (pdf) or the easy read version (pdf).


The Women and Equalities Committee launched an inquiry into the accessibility of our homes, buildings and public spaces, with a deadline of 12 October 2016. The inquiry aimed to consider how accessibility needs are considered and accommodated in our built environment, and whether more could be done to increase the accessibility and inclusivity of both new and existing properties and spaces.

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