People with a disability have the right to independent, equitable, and dignified access to premises and the amenities and services therein.

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Access News

Access Standards Updates Workshop

With the reviews in Access Standards, ILC will be running workshops in the Standards updates. The workshop will include updates on AS1428 (Standards for Design for Access & Mobility), Disability Standards 2010 (Access to Premises - Buildings) and BCA.
Interested? Contact ILC Access Consultant Hamish Murray on 02-9912 5888 or email him on today.

Access Alert™ Postcard Story on Today Tonight

People living with disability can’t visit all kinds of shops, because they can’t get into the shops, and a new initiative is being launched to help people fight back. Channel 7’s Today Tonight program highlights the struggle people living with disability have in accessing shops in South Australia’s Rundle Mall. Watch the segment on Today Tonight Adelaide

The Julia Farr Association’s new Access Alert™ postcard can help people to take action. The postcard, oversized and bright red, can be completed and sent to retailers and other businesses whenever there is an access problem. for more info...

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Access to the Built Environment

Accessible Environments for Everyone

An accessible environment is one that can be utilised by all people, in an equitable, dignified, and amenable way. This includes people with a temporary or permanent disability, people with age related disabilities, as well as people with temporary restriction of their mobility e.g people on crutches, or people pushing prams. For all Australians, an accessible environment simply means those that are easier, safer, and more enjoyable to reach, use, experience and move around in.

silohuettes of different 

people that access effects including the elderly, people with a disability, parents and  those with an injury

The key to achieving a healthy and sustainable built environment is by providing a “continuous accessible path of travel”. This is defined as an uninterrupted path of travel to or within a building providing access to all required facilities (AS1428.1, 2001 clause 4.4). More than just providing ramps for people with a mobility disability, physical access also includes, but is not limited to, the provision of appropriate environmental cues and colour contrast for people with a vision impairment, sufficient lighting for people with a hearing impairment, and clear and concise wayfinding for people with a cognitive impairment.

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Who Does Access Affect?

various access barriers in the public domain

Poor accessibility in the built environment affects everyone within society including those with a temporary or permanent disability, older people, and their family and friends.

At present, there are approximately 4 million Australians with a disability. By 2050 more than 25 per cent of the population will be over 65. It is expected that as the Australian population ages, the number of people with a disability is also expected to grow and so will the number of people who care for them (Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers 1998, Australian Bureau of Statistics, 1998).

Examples of access barriers faced by people include:

  • Smooth circular doorknobs will be difficult to use if a person has poor grip or is unable to grip at all
  • Steps could deny a person in a wheelchair, on crutches, or with a pram entry into premises
  • Street furniture that does not highly contrast with the background are hazardous for people with poor vision
  • Unclear signage may cause difficulties for people who may not speak or read English well
  • Insufficient lighting may cause difficulties for someone with a hearing impairment who lip reads
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Access Through Universal Design

The Seven Principles of Universal Design

  1. Useful for people with diverse abilities
  2. Flexible in use
  3. Simple and intuitive to use
  4. Perceptible information
  5. Tolerance for error
  6. Low physical effor
  7. Size and space for approach and use

According to the South Carolina Center for Universal Design the intent of Universal Design is to simplify life for everyone by making products, communications, and the built environment more useable by as many people as possible at little or no extra cost. (1997 NC State University). This inclusive 'design for all' approach focusses on quality designs that create maximum amenity for the maximum number of people without the need for specialised designs that focus on a users level of ability.

Universal design is the design of products and environments to be useable by all people to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialised design.

Examples of the use of the universal design principle include:

  • step-less entries that will assist equally someone who moves furniture, pushes a baby stroller, or uses a wheelchair
  • a finer gauge grating on a drain will eliminate risks to people using walking sticks, wheelchairs, high heels or skateboards.

Universal design benefits people of all ages and abilities, by considering changes experienced by everyone as they grow from infancy to old age from the beginning of the design process.

Integration of Universal Design concepts to make premises accessible from the beginning of the design process is important because it avoids the stigmatising quality of accessible features that have been added on late in the design process, or after completion as a modification.

Find out more information on the principles of universal design

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Why Provide 'Access'?

An accessible built environment provides the opportunity for all people to fully contribute to and participate in community life and society. In order to provide equal opportunities it is important that the services and facilities available to the community ensure independent, equitable, dignified and amenable access by all people.

The Australian Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) states that it is unlawful to discriminate against people with a disability or their associates in relation to access to premises or services to which the public is entitled to enter or use. Not only is accessibility a legal requirement, issues related to access to premises is one of the Australian Human Rights Commission major disability rights projects.

As a business practice access encourages and allows the greatest possible number of people to access services, environments, and products equitably and independently.

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Access Consultants

What is an Access Consultant?


consultants outdoors measuring the height of signage on disabled toilets

Access consultants are those who offer advisory or other services in relation to accessible environments. Services include accessibility appraisals, audits, design, research, training, information on codes, and advice on good practice in accessibility. (source:Association of Consultants in Access, Australia Inc)

ILC NSW Access Consultancy Service assists owners; managers and developers of buildings, facilities and the wider community to identify the level of accessibility of existing or proposed premises and facilities. We provide comprehensive access audits and advice to anyone in the industry who needs to meet the requirements of the Building Code of Australia, the Disability Discrimination Act and other legislation.

Individuals and organisations seeking advice about access issues related to the built environment can view more information about ILC Access

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Access Training

ILC NSW offers the training program Accessible Buildings & Environments to provide you with the skills and knowledge to confidently design and build for the older generation and people with a disability. Workshops for designing accessible built environments and understanding current legislation can be tailored to meet individual or corporate needs.

Training staff have hands-on practical experience consulting on the interpretation of the BCA, DDA, and Australian Standards for compliance with disability legislation, auditing drawings and buildings for compliance.

We also provide a free telephone information service about your obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act, the Building Code of Australia, local government regulations and state planning policies that cover accessibility and adaptability.

  • Call us on 02 9912 5800 and ask about our presentations to design and construction professionals introducing the concepts of accessibility, adaptability and related legal obligations.

Register Now For Access Training

Claim formal training hours on our popular training program ‘Accessible Buildings & Environments ’

View course details

cartoon instructor pointing to a wheelchair on a whiteboard 

in front of class of pupils

ILC Training

We are a registered training organisation providing competency based training.

View course list