Donald Trumps Can-Do does it for the Disability Vote   A reader asked me why people with disability appear vocal in their support of Trump? Firstly we need to understand the difference in US and Australian disability policy development. And second, we need to see how Trump might end the rhetoric and actually make a difference. In the USA, disability rights have traditionally been championed as a patriot movement about treating returned veterans with respect, that traces back to the Civil War and civil rights amendment to the constitution. Whereas in Australia, policy tends to...

5 insanely disabled access standards: 1 of 5 Braille Signage Growing acceptance around building law is key to improving compliance outcomes, but its a hard task to get acceptance when a law baffles logic, costs money, time and reduces our capacity to get the job done. Let’s tackle the top 5 codes that undermine all good intentions to improve project outcomes for people with disabilities. No. 1 Braille signage on toilet doors Braille signage ranks as the number one defunct access standard for reason of its prevalence and financial cost for no known community benefit. The science Best...

Cold call Access Consulting Career inquiries climbed again in 2015, and although the applicants are keen and we wish we had positions, the truth is its a saturated market and their prospects are slim. Adding to an already difficult career start for graduates is an emerging decline in jobs within Building Surveying and Local Government leaving many applicants holding vocational certificates in disability access, but not much else. The growth in Access Consulting Careers followed the introduction of the long anticipated DDA Access to Premises Standard in 2010 (APS).  The APS created a...

D-t-S or Performance Solutions - it's your choice! There has been a spate of misinformation about Performance Based Solutions and Building Surveyors overextending their field of influence in so far as the exercise of their duty.  It’s important not to be bullied into doing something you just do not have to do.  You might also consider legal action to recoup the costs and any delays for being forced to do something you DO NOT HAVE TO DO. Here's some useful links and info from the horse’s mouth:- The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) Performance or Prescriptive Solution...

AQ's independent research early findings suggest tactiles are being over prescribed at the taxpayers expense and are underutilised by the visually impaired.  In economic modeling, current estimates of annual global investment in Tactiles is just under 1 billion AUD with Australia and New Zealand leading the way with the most pervasive regulation for building installations and investment followed by Japan and the UK. Tactile Ground Surface Indicators are the penny sized lumps and bumps you see at stairs, platforms and intersection and are designed to give both visual and tactile...

Have the Australian Standards become a design Crutch? It's of great concern to us to see architects leaning on building codes and standards as architectural templates instead of their own imagination and creativity. Any decent self respecting species on the planet knows that diversity is the key to survival so what's the evolutionary advantage of standardising design?  It didn't work for Mao Zedong or Stalin and there's no evidence that stifling evolution will work for us and there's every reason to motivate our designers to innovate solutions to today's lifestyle problems. When to...

Most access consultants come from building surveying or occupational therapy backgrounds with no construction experience and poor understanding of architectural design and practice.  There’s simply too much risk. Architects need security from complaints, that's why it's important to search for an access consultant that's right for the project. Our clients are acutely aware that their obligations to the DDA stretch beyond building occupancy, long after the building surveyors and occupational therapists have washed up. That's why they search for an access consultant who...

Peninsula News - 17 Mar 2014  Boarding house objections may deny human rights Objections to a new boarding house proposed for Ettalong may result in a denial of human rights, according to the author of a new housing standard which rates housing for affordability and accessibility to work and other services. Mr Richard Brew, author of the Annex-5 housing standard, said that a failure to provide adequate housing was a failure to protect human rights. "Rejecting housing development without solid justification is at odds with the natural right to a home," he said. He said groups...

Workplaces often require areas greater than the AS 1428 access standard series and we're often asked about ramps within workplaces and Designers WHS 2012 duty of care which is reason for this guide note. The dimensions in AS 1428.1 were initially based on studies by J. Bails, Project report on the field testing of the Australian Standard 1428-1977 Part 1 and 2, Public Building Department of South Australia, 1983. It's important to remember that Bails research analysed the anthropometry of wheeled mobility users which is similar but different to workplace needs. While there's...