National Housing Conference

The 10th National Housing Conference will be held in Sydney 29 November to 1 December. As usual, much of the focus is on social and affordable housing. However, other topics such as the housing market and land use planning are included. The role of housing and family violence, closing the Indigenous housing gap, and delivering social outcomes are also key themes.Banner for national housing conference

The NDIS, population ageing and housing for mental wellbeing get a mention. For more information, you can download the program from the conference website.


A reminder that the 2017 Housing Forum organised by RI Australia and ANUHD will be held at the Human Rights Commission in Sydney on 15 August 2017. It is a half day session. A chance to update on the latest in the quest for accessible housing regulation. Registrations close soon.


2017 Housing Forum

The 2017 Housing Forum, co-hosted by Rights & Inclusion Australia and Australian Network for Universal Housing Design, will be held in Sydney at the Human Rights Commission* on 15 August 2017. This half day event will feature Alastair McEwin, Disability Commissioner, Ron Pulido from Standards Australia, Dr Andrew Martel from the University of Melbourne, and Dr Jane Bringolf from Centre for Universal Design Australia. RIA and ANUHD will also make presentations. For more detail and registration go to the RIA website or download the PDF program.  Registrations close 10 August 2017. Note the venue change from Olympic Park to the Human Rights Commission in Pitt Street, Sydney.


Upcoming events

bright pink seating in an auditoriumFor quick reference here are some upcoming events for the rest of 2017.

Accessible Housing Forum, 15 August 2017, Sydney.  

Access 2017, Access Consultants Conference, 18-20 October, Brisbane.  

Universal Design Forum, 26 October 2017, Adelaide.  

Ageing Well International Conference,  22-23 November 2017, Adelaide.  

Universal Design Summit 6, 13-14 November, 2017, St Louis University, USA.  


Access Consultants’ Conference 2017

ACAA logo header green merging to blue with white text.The Association of Consultants in Access Australia (ACAA) is holding its biennial national conference in Brisbane 18-20 October 2017. A key focus of the event is wayfinding. A new Australian Standard on accessible wayfinding signage is expected to be released later this year. So this is a good opportunity to catch up on the latest. Performance solutions that are technology based will also feature. With the Commonwealth Games scheduled for next year in Brisbane, this makes for another key topic. You can download the program.

The draft of the new wayfinding standard is open for comment until 2 August 2017. You will need to go to the Standards Australia website hub to register comments, which need to be specific suggested changes to any of the clauses.

You can find other posts on wayfinding by using the search facility on the home page.


UD Forum in Adelaide

twilight picture of AdelaideThe UD forum scheduled for 26 October 2017 in Adelaide is taking shape with a draft program almost ready. The Hon Kelly Vincent MLC will be one of the speakers. Norwegian architect Kaare Krokene will provide an international perspective, and Nathan Crane will moderate an architecture and design panel session. Other speakers are being lined up and there will be a small trade display. Watch this space for more info coming, but put the date in your diary! The title of the day is, Designing and Building for All: Adelaide Universal Design Forum. It will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre. Sponsorships and trade display opportunities are open. We are pleased to have The City of Adelaide as a major sponsor. The draft program is available now.


2nd Destinations for All Summit

Front cover of the tourism guide showing a hotel swimming pool with a vacant wheelchair poolsideThe press release for the announcement of the Destinations for All Summit to be held in Brussels in Autumn 2018 states, “With the Western population aging and the benefits of including disabled people in all facets of society, the tourism, culture and transportation sectors have no choice but to fully welcome and adequately serve all citizens, and to be particularly attentive to the needs of elderly and physically disabled people. … The second edition of the Destinations for All World Summit will provide the opportunity to assess progress made since 2014 and move closer to an international standard of accessibility, information sharing, practices and services for persons with disabilities.” You can read more from the press release and the guide and recommendations produced by the World Tourism Organization.


It’s Everybody’s House

Syney Opera House taken from a ship at sunset - the House glows yellow and orange“The Sydney Opera House is the People’s House” says the CEO Louise Herron. That’s why they have a commitment to inclusion and accessibility of both the building and performances. Further building upgrades are scheduled which will include enhanced physical access for audiences and performers. “Accessible performances” as they are listed on the website, include Auslan interpreting, captioning, and audio description.

Children are also well catered for with special educational programs that allow them to appreciate some of what goes on. For example, it is great for a blind child to talk to a ballerina and touch her tutu. There are also autism-friendly performances for families. Free Sing & Play sessions are offered in the Drama Theatre Foyer either before or after specified performances. It includes a range of fun play activities. The musical themes from the performances are facilitated by a Sing & Play music therapist.

For visitors wanting to know more about the building there are regular tours. Accessible tours cater for wheelchair users, people who are blind or have low vision, and people who are deaf or hard or hearing.

Economic inclusion has also been considered. Tickets for $5 are available for some performances for people who hold a Commonwealth Health Care Card.

You can download the Theatre Access Guide for more information about how to get around the building with the minimum of fuss. And the quick reference guide to the theatres, building tours, and availability of the shuttle bus.

If you type “Access” into the search function, this will take you to the relevant tabs and menus. Much thought has gone into accessibility and inclusion in all aspects of the House. They have set a great example for other leading organisations for the arts and other cultural experiences. This is also an example of how a heritage building, designed with no thought for people with disability, can be made fit for purpose.