This document was produced as a result of a group of passionate people who believed it was important to have a centre for accessible design. They consulted widely and held two symposia, one in Sydney and one in Melbourne. The document sought further comment, particularly from people with disability. For various reasons, the project ended at this point and no further action was taken. However, soon afterwards a small group, led by Dr Max Murray, started the Association of Consultants in Access, Australia (ACAA). Centre for Universal Design Australia has picked up the threads to follow through on the aim of having a central point for creating an inclusive Australia. Download the 1999 discussion paper in PDF: Accessible Design in Australia: A national approach for an integrated future.
The Norwegian Government has taken the principles of universal design and applied them across all policies to create maximum inclusion. This makes everyone responsible for inclusion at every level – in the built environment, outdoor areas, transport, and ICT. In 2008, the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion, launched its first Action Plan 2009-2013, which sets the goal of Norway being universally designed by 2025. In 2010, Norway amended its Planning and Building Act to include universal design. In 2016, The Delta Centre was given responsibility, and funding, to coordinate the actions in the 2015-2019 plan. This plan is more comprehensive and covers ICT and communications to a more detailed level. This is in recognition of how we are becoming more reliant on digital applications.
It’s in everyone’s interest to have our homes accessible for everyone no matter their age or circumstances. But the private housing market isn’t coming to the party. Margaret Ward challenges popular assumptions about how accessible housing will be achieved using the evidence from her PhD study on the private housing market. In the inaugural Robert Jones Memorial Oration in Brisbane in 2014, Margaret recounts the life of Robert Jones and his dream to make public spaces and places accessible to everyone. She also uses the experiences of her father and daughter to illustrate the importance of living at home until your last days.
“It takes many things for people to remain at home. Australians have agreed that it is in the public interest that people receive reasonable and necessary supports and affordable medical services to keep participating and contributing in community. There is no equivalent public interest in the design of their housing.”
Download the Word version: Margaret Ward Robert Jones Memorial Lecture 2014
From the Editor: I prepared a 2000 word version of my PhD thesis which is worth another look given the proposed changes to the National Construction Code for housing. Basically, my question was, why we are still building and designing homes as if none of us is ever going to grow old? The simple answer is that the industry runs on regulations to hold the house building system together, so nothing will change without regulations. Read the paper to find out more about the complexities of the house building industry and why there is resistance to change from both builders and purchasers. You can also download the accompanying slide show from the 2011 FICCDAT conference.
(FICCDAT is, Festival of International Conferences on Caring, Disability, Aging and Technology.)