Visibly Better - Designing accessible housing and buildings

Visibly Better Cymru

Visibly Better Cymru for Accessible buildings
Visibly Better Cymru supports organisations to develop and maintain accessible environments so that many more people can feel more confident in getting in and around the places they visit, work or live. Having accessible environments means that people with sensory loss such as sight loss, can also benefit from inclusive design as well as people with physical disabilities.
Design Principles of Visibly Better Cymru
The design principles support our partners to meet best practice and legislative obligations that include The Equality Act 2010; BS8300; Part M; Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS); Development Quality Requirements (DQR) and Lifetime Homes. The Visibly Better design principles include fundamental considerations to help prevent falls and promote confidence by establishing appropriate lighting level requirements. Lighting has to then be complimented by colour and tonal contrast of surfaces, fixtures and fittings to aid identification, task work and wayfinding.
Environments that have benefited from Visibly Better Cymru principles:
Hospital wards, surgeries and clinics
Community buildings
Domestic new build projects for General Needs 
Domestic new build projects for Learning Disabilities and Dementia (RNIB publication ‘Building Sight’ is referred to in DQR Part 1.1.1)
Refurbishment projects for supported living schemes 
(RNIB publication ‘Building Sight’ is referred to in WHQS Part 7d)
Refurbishment for General Needs housing
The support available to achieve the Visibly Better standard for accessible environments for buildings are workshops (please see training brochure that can be downloaded); consultancy, this can be through development meetings with technical staff or audits that are complimented by user friendly action plans.
People that can benefit from our support include:
Occupational therapists
Project managers/officers
Technical staff
Design policy makers
Interior designers
Significant policy and decision makers that endorse Visibly Better include:
Welsh Government
The Older People’s Commissioner
Chartered Institute of Housing
Cymorth Cymru
Care and Repair

Training Programme:

Take a look at our latest newsletters:

Take a look at this video of John Phillips who has been volunteering with NPT Homes to help assess that housing meets our Visibly Better standards.