Ensuring health facilities are accessible for all

Sightsavers’ accessibility standards and audit pack offers guidance to governments, healthcare providers and other organisations on how to improve healthcare facilities in low and middle income settings.

The contents of the accessibility audit pack spread on a table, including the accessibility standards, checklist, a tape measure, pen and USB stick.

The accessibility standards and audit pack can be used to help develop national accessibility standards, assess existing health infrastructure and guide the development of new health facilities.

The pack provides step-by-step guidance on how to plan, train a team and undertake an audit, then report on and implement improvements. It offers best-practice guidance to ensure a facility is accessible, alongside simple diagrams and photographic examples.

The project was initiated and developed by Andrea Pregel, Sightsavers’ programme advisor for social inclusion and disability, with contributions from Karen Smith, senior monitoring evaluation and learning advisor at Sightsavers. It was designed and produced by Sightsavers’ online and design team.

For more information, or if you’d like to receive a physical version of the pack, email Andrea Pregel, [email protected].

Download a copy of the pack

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Please download the digital version of Sightsavers' accessibility standards and audit pack (below)

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Watch our video to find out more about the pack and how it can be used.

What’s included in the audit pack?

  • Accessibility standards guidance document

  • PowerPoint presentation on how to carry out an audit

  • Audit checklist

  • Costings template spreadsheet

  • Accessible writing board

  • Bespoke audit tape measure

  • USB stick with digital versions of all audit resources
  • Zero Project logo with the text: Zero Project award winner 2022.

    The pack received a 2022 Zero Project award, given to initiatives that improve the lives of people with disabilities.

    Read about the award

    Conducting an accessibility audit of a health facility

    A group of people wearing PPE prepare for an accessibility audit at a hospital in Malawi.

    Train a team and plan the audit

    Organise a training workshop to plan the audit with practical exercises, and ensure minimum disruption to the facilities’ services.

    A man measures the depth of some steps during an accessibility audit.

    Carry out the audit

    Ask managers to sign a consent form. Work through the checklist as you go around the facility, recording any improvements required.

    Daniel sits at a desk in a classroom. He is wearing a face mask and working on a laptop.

    Draft a report and assign scores

    After the audit, reflect on positive aspects and potential challenges, draft a report and assign an accessibility score.

    Monze Mission Hospital, Monze, Southern Province, Zambia.

    Carry out improvements

    Obtain cost estimates for each adjustment. Once all partners agree on priorities and funding, improvements to the building can start.

    Our approach to inclusive health

    Sightsavers promotes inclusive health because we believe that everyone, wherever they live, should be able to receive quality, affordable health care.

    We want to make sure that effective, affordable, accessible health services are available for everyone, particularly women, people with disabilities, and other marginalised groups.

    Find out more about Sightsavers’ inclusive health work.

    The Sightsavers-supported Inclusive Futures initiative has also produced some practical guidance to help leaders, HR executives and property managers foster inclusive workspaces.

    People with disabilities in Mozambique tell us their top tips for making health services accessible.

    Discover more ways to make your work inclusive

    Read our accessibility pack