Office of the Ombudsman Accessibility Initiatives

Built Environment

The organisation operates from two buildings - 18 Lower Leeson Street and Longphort House. The address of the organisation is 18 Lower Leeson Street. Access to Longphort House is not generally available to members of the public. An accessibility audit of 18 Lower Leeson Street was carried out in August 2007. The following works which were identified as part of that accessibility audit have been carried out:

  • The office has recently installed a ramp at the front of the building to improve access for visitors with ambulatory difficulties. The surface of the steps leading up to the front door has been increased to facilitate the rotation of a wheelchair and the front door threshold is now flush with the top step.
  • The front door now opens with light pressure and a platform lift has been installed in our reception area.
  • A wireless intercom was installed at the railings on street level.
  • The back staircase between 18 Lower Leeson Street and Longphort House was covered in tactile flooring with contrast coloured stepnosing. Additionally, colour contrasted stepnosing was placed on the steps in the reception area.
  • Induction loops were installed in the reception area and lower ground floor conference room in 18 Lower Leeson Street. A portable loop for use in the interview rooms in 18 Lower Leeson Street was also acquired.
  • One leaf of the doors leading into the lift lobby area on each floor was automated to facilitate wheelchair access. The door in the basement lobby leading in from the car park was automated as were the double doors at reception leading in to the interview rooms. Again these works were carried out to facilitate wheelchair access.
  • The cotags in respect of the automated doors were lowered.

Availability of Expertise

Section 26(1)(c) of the Disability Act 2005 provides that a public body must, where appropriate, ensure the availability of appropriate expertise and skills to advise it in relation to making its services accessible. The National Disability Authority's "Code of Practice on Accessibility of Public Services and Information provided by Public Bodies "states that "such expertise can be made available within the organisation, or, where appropriate, sourced externally." The organisation has taken the following steps to ensure that the appropriate expertise and skills is available to it.

It has ascertained the existing level of skills/training within the organisation for dealing with people with disabilities. Disability awareness training has been provided to all members of staff. It has compiled a database of contact details, costs and notice required for suppliers who provide the following services:

  • Translation of documents into Braille
  • Sign Language Services
  • Plain English Documentation
  • Accessibility Works

Access Officer

In accordance with section 26(2) of the Act, the organisation has appointed an "Access Officer". Further details regarding the organisation's Access Officer are available in this section of the website.

Procurement Policy

In accordance with section 27 of the Act the organisation has developed a policy to ensure that relevant accessibility requirements for people with disabilities are, where appropriate, included as part of the organisation's procurement procedures. Further details in relation to this policy are available in "Accessible Services" section of the website.

Information Technology

Each of the organisation's websites have recently been re-designed. The websites are constructed to be as accessible as possible. The organisation is continually striving to improve accessibility to its websites. Here is a link to the accessibility statement for this website.