Designing homes for inclusion and independence

Front cover of the guidelines showing three people standing and one in a wheelchair looking out over a beach sceneThe aim of the NDIS is to create independence and inclusion. And that includes providing suitable homes in mainstream settings. So no more segregated group homes, but more homes in regular neighbourhoods. Federal funding for NDIS recipients has increased demand for specialists in the accessible housing field. To assist designers and builders produce specialist housing, Summer Housing has produced design guidelines, Designing for Inclusion and Independence – An Explanatory Guide to support the Briefing and Design of Accessible Housing. They are keen to build sector capacity and share knowledge and resources.

This guide serves as a practical tool to develop the brief, design and specifications of high quality accessible housing. Key considerations are social inclusion, usability, homelike environments, amenity and cost-efficiency. The guide includes checklists as well as practice tips and includes current design benchmarks such as the Livable Housing Australia Guidelines, and Specialist Disability Accommodation Design Category requirements. The guide has six parts:

      • Introduction
      • Part A: Spatial Planning – Typology
      • Part B: Spatial Planning – Accessible Dwelling Elements
      • Part C: Construction and Detailing – Building Elements
      • Part D: Construction and Detailing – System Elements
      • Appendices

Summer Foundation also published a report, New Housing Options in November 2015. The learning from their early projects informed the new guidelines.

SDA Consulting has a free checklist for Specialist Disability Accommodation.