Persons with disabilities make up an estimated 10 per cent of the world’s population, eighty per cent of which reside in developing countries. Furthermore, a quarter of the global population is directly affected by disability, as care-givers or family members. [source: UN International day of Persons with Disabilities 2011 Introduction. See www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=1561]
To support this population, Standards Australia has developed a standard AS 1428 Design for access and mobility, to provide building designers and users (architects, property owners and regulators) with the minimum design requirements for new building work to enable access for people with disabilities. The Standards Technical Committee ME-064 was established to monitor this standard and recently facilitated a forum to discuss and consider work in the areas of adaptable housing/universal design; wayfinding and fixtures and fittings and fitments within buildings.
The CFA Representative Eleanor Sumner has been an active member of this committee for approximately 10 years.
Ultimately these standards will provide solutions to meet federal and state disability discrimination legislation and the needs of people with disabilities. We’ll keep readers informed as work on the standard progresses.