Accessibility Challenges of designing for COVID-19

Proposed RIBA Curriculum Topic: Places, planning and communities

As the world races towards a COVID-19 vaccine many experts believe we are still a long way off from returning to how things were.  Architects have been designing in the context of the pandemic now for some time, but what about the challenges of ensuring buildings are accessible to all?

Since the start of the pandemic, Direct Access has been advising organisations across different industry sectors on integrating accessibility and COVID requirements ranging from location of hand sanitiser to implementing accessible one way systems.  RSUA has organised this one-hour seminar to equip architects with the most up-to-date knowledge to integrate disability legislation and standards into their designs.

Course content

This session will consider the following areas:

  • Considering disability issues at the feasibility stage
  • How to incorporate accessibility best practice in design
  • Key elements of access appraisals
  • Questions and answers


Steven Mifsud founded Direct Access in 2004 to work with architects on a wide range of projects from new residential and commercial developments to the refurbishment of historic Grade listed buildings. He has been identified on the Shaw Trust Power 100 list in both 2019 and 2020 as one of the most influential disabled people in the UK

Chief Operations Officer Steve Dering project managed Direct Access’ accessibility programmes in the Middle East including two years on secondment to Expo 2020 Dubai. He has also audited iconic events such as the Mariah Carey concert in Burj Park, downtown Dubai and Sharjah Humanitarian City.