Access Control System: Any technique used to control passage into or out of any area (

Ambulant People: People who can move or walk about. (Source:

Assistive Technology: Any product or service designed to enable independence for people with disabilities and older people. .

Communication Aid: Anything that helps an individual communicate more effectively with those around them (Source:

Compartmentation: Restricting the spread of fire within a building by sub-dividing it into compartments separated from one another by walls and/or floors of fire-resisting construction. (Source: Part B Technical Guidance Document, Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government).

Door Closer: Device that makes use of a spring for closing, and a compression chamber from which liquid or air escapes slowly, to close a door at a controlled speed. (Source:

Evacuation Chair: Devices to allow people with disabilities, particularly those with mobility difficulties, to be helped to move down and, in some case, up stairs during an evacuation.

Induction Loop: A system enabling partially deaf people to hear dialogue and sound in theatres, cinemas, counters etc., consisting of a loop of wire placed round the perimeter of a designated area. (Source:

Magnetic hold-open devices: Devices that enable doors to be held open in a fixed position, allowing unobstructed or at least much easier and useable access for all building users, especially older people and those with limited strength, reach or dexterity. When the power supply to these devices is interrupted by a smoke detection signal, operated by a manual release mechanism or power failure, the doors close under the power of the closing device.

Nosing: An edge part of the step tread that protrudes over the riser beneath in a flight of stairs.

Passenger Lift: A conventional motorised lift enclosed within a structural shaft and rising one or more storeys within a building. Lift and door movement is automatic.

Platform Lift: Sometimes Vertical platform lift - A guarded platform that travels vertically and is designed to accommodate one wheelchair user and one companion. Vertical platform lifts do not require a structural shaft, but are required to be enclosed if they rise more than 2000mm. Also termed vertical lifting platform; vertical-rise platform lift; short-rise platform lift (up to 2000mm rise); enclosed platform lift; hydraulic platform lift; and scissor lift.

Reverberation Time: Reverberation is the persistence of sound in a particular space after the original sound is removed. (Source: Wikipedia)

Riser: The vertical portion between each tread on the stair.

Soundfield System: Soundfield is a speech intelligibility audio system that provides clarity of voice and distributes sound evenly in a classroom or learning environment. (Source:

Speech Intelligibility: a measure of the degree to which a person can be understood by a listener. (Source: Bernd J. Kröger, University Hospital, Technical University Aachen)

Tactile Paving Or Tactile paving surface: A profiled paving or textured surface that provides guidance or warning to pedestrians with visual difficulties.

Transfer Space: The space beside the toilet in an accessible bathroom where a wheelchair user will normally position themselves before transferring onto the toilet seat

Turning Area: An area where a wheelchair user can change direction, ideally a circle of 1800 diameter

Universal Design: Universal Design refers to the design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people, regardless of their age, size, ability or disability.

Vibrating Alarm: Portable devices that are normally linked to the fire alarm system that can provide a vibrating signal to warn the person to evacuate the building.