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Disability Service Access Officers

The Access Officer sits within the Disability Service as part of the Enabling Independence Team. The role and purpose of the Access Officer is;

  • To be the specialist officer in the Council responsible for increasing awareness of the needs of disabled people, the Social Model of Disability and the Equality Act 2010.
  • To promote an accessible environment across the Borough for the whole community in line with the community priority of promoting equal opportunities and celebrating diversity.
  • To liaise with officers, e.g. architects, planning, housing, community groups and local residents across the Council to ensure that access issues are considered when service improvements are being considered for the built environment
  • To manage audits of buildings and street scene to ensure that disability issues are highlighted and responded to, e.g. dropped kerbs, ramps to building entrances, induction loops, etc.
  • To promote access improvements in partnership with the local Access Group and local voluntary groups.
  • To advise on all aspects of good practice and legal requirements regarding access issues.
  • To ensure effective consultation takes place with local disabled people on new developments which affect access.
  • To comment on planning applications against best practice and guidance (e.g. Part M, Building Regulations and Wheelchair Housing) and recommend and negotiate improvements where appropriate.
  • Provide services that are fair and accessible to all, challenging practices that do not support this, and providing a high standard of customer service.
  • Ensure equality of opportunity in service standards and delivery.

Contact information

Stephen Knell, Access Officer
Telephone: 020 8227 3099
Mobile: 07875 993653

Simon Blewett, Assistant Access Officer
Telephone: 020 8227 3809
Mobile: 0781 5535423

Barking & Dagenham Access Group

The borough has a robust Access Group that promotes and campaigns disability and access issues. They assist the Access Officers by attending meetings and site visits and take part in planning consultations. The Access and Planning Review Forum is a sub-group of the Access Group who meet each month at Barking Town Hall to discuss accessibility, share concerns and review new planning applications.

If you would like to get involved visit Barking and Dagenham Access Group or contact Neal Crowley at


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