Did you know that the owner of a property is liable for claims under the Disability Discrimination Act?
This means that claims can be made against the owner by any individual with a disability that feels as though they have been discriminated against in relation to access to the building. Access is becoming increasingly important as one (1) in four (4) people have a disability condition to some degree.
What is an Access Appraisal?
Similar in concept to a building appraisal, in basic terms, it’s a general idea of how the accessibility is to and within the building. Generally the access appraisal report does not include technical advice, but rather simply states that there is a issue or numerous simliar issues with a building. Appraisals dont get the clauses relevant to the breaches and should include photo examples of the nominated issue.
This type of service is very helpful in getting a general idea of the level of accessibility and potential issues that exist within the current building.
It is important that we take into consideration possible access issues that may arise both now and in the future. Having Accredited Access Consultants on board will ensure that your building complies (meets requirements) and is accessible for all people.
ASN offers an access appraisal service to ensure there is as much consideration taken for a range of possible circumstances and that all buildings and designs/plans comply with relevant and current legislation. To find out the main differences between an access audit and an access appraisal click here.
Legislation supporting the actions of ASN consultants are as follows:
Disability Discrimination Act
Building Codes of Australia
Equal Opportunity Act – (Victoria Only)
If you would like an Accredited Access Consultant to conduct an Access Appraisal of your building and/or designs/plans please contact ASN.
ASN’s disability access audits are extremely comprehensive and include multiple elements. Likely elements to be audited are:
Car Parking: including ratios, required numbers of bays, signage, delineation, gradient and kerb ramp provisions. Locations of bays will also be audited.
Pathways: all pathway systems from the allotment boundary and to and within the premises will be audited. Inclusive of principle entrance points.
Wayfinding: although wayfinding is silent in the Australian Standards our auditing is inclusive of assessing the interaction of required elements such as, TGSI’s & signage, to ensure these provide good wayfinding information and meaning.
Ramps: there are numerous requirements for ramps to achieve compliance. Each ramp will be audited accordingly against specific requirements determined by the type of ramp it is.
Walkways: like ramps, walkways to have numerous requirements to achieve compliance. Each walkway will be audited accordingly
Stairs: Stairs must be assessed to ensure there is compliant treads, risers and nosings. Other stair requirements such as handrails and TGSI’s will also be audited.
Doorways: doorways will be audited as there are width, force, swing and luminance contrast requirements. These will all be audited for all doorways to and within.
Circulation Spaces: there are many situations within the built environment where it is required for correct circulation spaces to be provided, such as at doorways. All requirements for circulation spaces are included in our auditing.
Handrails: the design and installation of handrails must be in accordance with the Australian Standards, mostly AS1428.1 – 2009. Every handrail required to comply will be audited.
Grabrails: the design and installation of grabrails must be in accordance with the Australian Standards, mostly AS1428.1 – 2009. Every grabrail required to comply will be audited.
Gradients: all graded surfaces will be audited. Gradients such as, 1:8, 1:10, 1:14, 1:20, 1:33 & 1:40.
Lighting Levels: minimum LUX levels are required within different setting types. LUX levels will be recorded and audited accordingly against the specific setting.
Lifts: there are different types of lifts and hence different requirements for minimum compliance. Lifts will be audited according to type.
Fittings & Fixtures: counters, customer service, seating, controls, classrooms, vending machines, information stand and the like are audited and assessed to ensure ease of use for a wide range of people.
Sanitary Facilities: have the most specific and extensive set of requirements. There are specific requirements for unisex accessible sanitary compartment, showers, ambulant sanitary facilities and change rooms. ASN’s auditing include such building areas.
Emergency Egress: it is essential that as the accessibility into a building is audited that the same be for the emergency egress from a building. This is particulary important since the release of the Australian Standard AS3745.
Luminance Contrast: probably one of the most complex areas within disability access. ASN is considered by peers as the expert in luminance contrast.
Tactile Ground Surface Indicators (TGSI’s): both directional and hazard TGSI’s are audited against the requirements of Australian Standard AS1428.4.1 – 2009 and according to the types integrated, discrete and composite discrete.
Signage: identifying accessible features as well as navigational / informational signage is required to meet the BCA deemed to satisfy provisions.
Services: delivery of services must be in an accessible form. Although service delivery cannot be directly audited against a set Australian Standard, ASN assess service delivery against industry be practices.