The Provision of Visitable Housing in Australia: Down to the detail

Article by Margaret Ward and Jill Franz, published in Housing and Space: Toward Socio-Spatial Inclusion (Social Inclusion, Vol 3 No2). An Open Access Journal.

This article outlines the findings from interviews with industry personnel about incorporating the 8 features agreed in the Livable Housing Design Guidelines. This is a telling paragraph:
“In summary, when providing the eight features for visitability, the interviewees identified two themes for non-compliance (“lack of thought” and “otherness”) and three themes for compliance (“fashion”, “requirement’ and “good practice”). Although all dwellings provided some features, no dwelling provided a coherent path of travel necessary to make a dwelling visitable. Some examples of this incoherence were: a step-free driveway which led to a step at the door; a wide front door which led to a narrow corridor; and a narrow internal doorway which did not allow entry of a wheel-chair to a spacious bathroom. The provision of these access features separately and severally did not provide visitability as an outcome in any of the dwellings.

You can download the full issue of the publication here

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Accessible Design in Australia

Accessible Design in Australia 1999 front coverThis document was produced as a result of a group of passionate people believing in the benefit of setting up an Access Institute in Australia.  They consulted widely and held two symposia, one in Sydney and one in Melbourne. The document sought further comment, particularly from people with disability.  However, for various reasons, the project ended at this point and no further action was taken.  Universal Design Australia is now attempting to pick up the threads and follow through.  Download the report: AccessibleDesignInAustraliaReport2000 PDF

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Age and Place: Bringing local government on board

This slideshow was presented by Jane Bringolf at the Australian Association of Gerontology National Conference held in Adelaide in November 2014.  It outlines the course of the COTA NSW Liveable Communities Project and the work done with 23 councils in New South Wales.

Download the PDF Jane Bringolf AAG Conference 2014 presentation

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Livable Housing Design – is it likely to work?

In this paper from the State of Australian Cities (SOAC) Conference in 2011, Margaret Ward traces the history of National Dialogue on Universal Housing Design to the current organisation, Livable Housing Australia and the voluntary code, the Livable Housing Design Guidelines.  She outlines why the voluntary approach is unlikely to work and that regulations will be the only way to accomplish the roll-out of more accessible homes.

Download Margaret Ward’s 2011 paper PDF

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Norway universally designed by 2025

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The Norwegian Government has taken the principles of universal design and applied them to their planning policies.  This has the effect of making everyone responsible for inclusion at every level – in the built environment, outdoor areas, transport, and ICT.  You can download their latest action plan Norway universally designed by 2025.

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Barriers to Universal Design in Australian Housing

IMGP0308 20percentJane Bringolf prepared a 2000 word version of her PhD thesis for the FICCDAT Conference held in Toronto, Canada in 2011. In short the research question asked 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 resistance to change.

(FICCDAT is, Festival of International Conferences on Caring, Disability, Aging and Technology and is held every five years.) You can also download the slide show from the conference UD Australian Housing Bringolf slideshow

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