Toilets for Everybody – A Right not a Privilege

Ms. Joe Manton, Director Access Institute After spending my very early years trudging through the back yard to the outdoor ‘dunny’ in the winter, I developed a great appreciation, as did many others, for a comfortable, warm, clean, ‘spider free’ toilet, as these were introduced to homes across the country. Of course, you just need … Read More

Good Food, Good Access, Great Results!

The Comfort of Social Distancing With cafes and restaurants opening up again after the long hibernation it’s time to celebrate with a night out at our favourite eatery. With social distancing in place it may mean that people will be more comfortable at the dining table without the elbows of the diner next to them … Read More

Accredited SDA Assessor – Update 2, October 2020 Clarifications re the SDA Design Standard Interpretations

27 October 2020 A1. Role of the Accredited SDA Assessor (The Assessor) The role of an Accredited SDA Design Standard Assessor is to conduct assessments of Design (Provisional) and/or Final-as-built dwellings against the SDA Design Standard to confirm compliance with the Standard. Assessors have been trained to do this via an NDIS approved training program.  Whilst … Read More

Ensuring the Maximum Benefit from Parklets

Support to Councils providing advice and reviews of proposed Parklets Introducing Parklets to support local traders coming out of COVID 19 lockdown will be a great way to stimulate business and get the local economy moving again. Providing parking bays for use as trading and dining areas will bring vibrancy back to local precincts and … Read More

Access Instiute Response to National Registration Framework (NRF) for Building Practitioners

Discussion Paper 2020 The NRF for building Practitioners – Discussion Paper 2020, identifies an important role relating to Access Consultants, with specific expertise in regard to the National Construction Code (NCC) and access requirements for buildings. The proposed NRF has the potential to have significant impact on the role of Access Consultants in assessing compliance … Read More

Minimum Compliance Means Missed Opportunities and Mediocrity

By (Ms.) Joe Manton, Director Access Institute There is no doubt that the introduction of the Commonwealth Disability (Access to Premises- Buildings) Standards in 2011 has seen improvements in access to new buildings and some upgraded buildings, for a variety of building users with disabilities. These minimum standards reference the technical Australian Standards that provide … Read More

People, Pandemics and Premises

By (Ms) Joe Manton, Director, Access Institute Despite the challenges presented to the whole community during the COVID 19 pandemic, much significant work has continued to progress regarding how we can make life for everyone more accessible, more inclusive, more productive and more enjoyable. In terms of the built environment and buildings in particular, 2020  … Read More

What are the key elements that must be considered to ensure a building is accessible to everyone?

The common understanding is that creating an accessible building involves compliance with mandatory relevant access legislation, codes and standards. This includes standards that will have an impact on the accessibility of the premises for people with a range of disabilities including mobility, vision, hearing, intellectual ability, cognitive ability etc. There is also a variety of … Read More

Access and Public Transport

Public transport has always been a critically important mode of transport for many people in the community. This includes for people with a disability or other access challenges who rely on public transport to undertake their everyday activities. The Australian Bureau of Statistics writes, “When people with disabilities are restricted from accessing affordable and convenient … Read More

What is Universal Design?

Universal Design is the process of designing products and environments to be useable by everyone, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialised design. Universal Design incorporates the needs of women and men, people with disabilities, older adults, children and young people, people who are left handed or people who are … Read More

Architects and Access Responsibilities

Architects have a significant power in designing and creating spaces that everyone can use, every day. From the smallest cabin, to vast shopping centres and skyscrapers, architects are responsible for creating structures for all people to use and enjoy. With that significant power comes significant responsibility. Celebration of high quality architecture has traditionally always focused … Read More

Building Surveyors and Access Responsibilities

During the design and construction process, few roles require the vast knowledge base of the building surveyor. Their role, as described by the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors (AIBS), is ‘ensuring buildings are safe to occupy, energy efficient, accessible and are suitable for occupation.’ ‘As part of this responsibility, they review, analyse and assess plans … Read More

‘I found the workshop to be extremely useful, thoroughly enjoyed an informative two days, in particular I liked the practical and effective ways of conducting an access audit.’ — Naomi Thompson, City of Canterbury Bankstown