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Access to the Built Environment

Home Modification Information Clearinghouse

The Home Modification Information Clearinghouse (HMinfo) is an information service that collates, reviews and creates the evidence base for best practice in modification of the home environment to support people with self care, participation and autonomy.

Consumer Factsheet: Arranging Home Modifications

Home modifications increase people’s wellbeing and reduce the need for care at home. This publication helps people arrange modifications that will enable them to be safer and more comfortable in their home. The steps to decide which home modifications are the best for your home as well as ways to apply for funding are included.

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Designing home environments for people who experience problems with cognition and who display aggressive or self-injurious behaviour

Three HMinfo publications (Evidence Based Practice Review, Industry Factsheet and Consumer Factsheet), addressed to different audiences, provide information to assist people with cognitive impairments and their carers to arrange modifications that will enable them to be safer and more comfortable in their home. Strategies to reduce potential triggers and minimise the risk of property damage and of harm for people are provided.

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Consumer Factsheet: Home Lighting

This factsheet aims to inform older people, people with disability and their carers about the properties of the most common household lights and assist them choose the right light bulb for their needs. Lighting is an important parameter in home design, enabling safety and comfort for the performance of everyday tasks, such as walking, reading, cooking, etc.

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Consumer Factsheet: Bidet douche seats, flexible hoses and bidets

This report informs consumers about the function of bidet douche seats, flexible hoses and bidets and about the hazards associated to non-compliant installations of these fittings in their bathrooms.

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Guidelines on Applications of the Premise Standards

Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes, released a guideline that will assist building professionals and those concerned with access to better understand how the Premises Standards apply to new and upgraded public buildings. The Disability (Access to Premises – buildings) Standards 2010 commenced on 1 May 2011.

The Guideline on the application of the Premises Standards is available online at

Australian Network for Universal Housing Design

The Australian Network for Universal Housing Design is a national network of housing industry bodies, housing professionals, government professionals, designers, builders, researchers and home occupants who believe that the homes we build for today’s Australia should be fit for all of tomorrow’s Australians.

Visit their website for various publications and resources at

Access Consultants in Australia

The Association of Consultants in Access Australia provides a comprehensive list of Access Consultants in Australia.

For more information, visit their website at

Access to Buildings and Services: Guidelines and Information

If a person with a disability cannot get into your building or cannot access your goods or services they could make a complaint of discrimination under either State or Territory discrimination laws, or the DDA. The Human Rights Commission have provided information that may assist.

For more information, visit their ‘Access to Premises’ page on their website at

Disability Standards for Access to Premises

The Disability (Access to Premises-Buildings) Standards 2010 (Premises Standards) aim to ensure greater and dignified access to and use of buildings by people with a disability as well as to provide certainty to the building industry in meeting its obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

NSW Department of Planning and Environment – Planning Policies for Housing for Seniors and People with Disabilities

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has a number of policies relating to housing for seniors and people with disabilities, as well as links to resources for affordable housing.

For more information, visit their relevant page on their website at

Standards Australia

The Standards Australia website provides information and access to the various standards which relate to access to premises.

Some of the Standards you may need include:

Design for access and mobility. Part 1: General requirements for access – New building work.

Design for access and mobility. Part 2: Enhanced and additional requirements – Buildings and facilities

Design for access and mobility – Requirements for children and adolescents with physical disabilities

Design for access and mobility: Tactile indicators

Adaptable Housing

Interior Lighting – Safe Movement

Interior Lighting. Part 1: General principles and recommendations

Interior Lighting. Part 2.1: Circulation spaces and other general areas

Interior Lighting. Part 2.2: Office and screen-based tasks

Interior Lighting. Part 2.3: Educational and training facilities

Lifts, escalators and moving walks: Facilities for persons with disabilities

Parking facilities. Part 1: Off-street car parking.

To access the full list of standards, visit the Standards Australia website at

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly – Design and Construction for Access

A look at 14 examples of the most common problems and misinterpretations in applying today’s Building Code of Australia (BCA) in the area of access. The good, the bad and the ugly shows in words and pictures why a thorough understanding and application of the BCA is vital to ensuring access.

The good, the bad and the ugly can be used as a self learning tool or used as part of a continuing education program, for example, in a Local Government Building Section or within an architects firm.

To view the publication, visit the Human Rights Commission website at

Access Chart

This access guide was developed by the Australian Institute of Architects National Access Work Group, and it outlines useful information on minimum height and width to consider when planning wheelchair accessible spaces. These dimensions conform with the Disability (Access to Premises — Buildings) Standards 2010.

To view the chart, click here to download the PDF from the Australian Institute of Architects website.