HC Deb 16 January 1986 vol 89 cc655-6W
Mr. Golding

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what study is taking place on the needs of the sensory handicapped regarding the appropriation of incorporating special requirements in building access regulations, and the provision of telephones which can be used by the hearing-impaired; and if he will make a statement.

Sir George Young

No formal study is under way on the incorporation in building access regulations of special requirements for people with sensory handicaps.

Supply Area Parameter
Anglian water authority Dersingham and Snettisham Nitrate

Building regulations apply only to buildings when they are constructed or structurally altered and they contain no powers of continuing control over buildings in use. The regulations are principally concerned therefore with the structure. The access regulations which came into force last year require certain structural measures such as ramps which will help disabled people gain access to and within buildings. The British Standard code of practice, BS5810 which supports these provisions does, however, also contain general design recommendations for additional nonstructural features which will assist people with sensory impairments.

In my earlier replies to the hon. Member of 2 July, 1985 at column 98 and 22 October, 1985 at column 88 I explained that licensing arrangements already exist to ensure that emergency telephones in lifts can be inductively coupled to hearing aids. In addition, British Telecom require that telephones in all public call boxes, should be capable of being inductively coupled to hearing aids.