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.
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.
For 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.
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.
“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.