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Inclusive Play Environments that go beyond accessibility World Braille Day

Accessible Playgrounds Because every child needs play Access Codes and Universal Design


FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK by Mark Relf AM President of the Association of Consultants in Access Australia


n keeping with the spirit of the festive season, summer and holidays this edition presents inclusive playgrounds including a significant step forward with a NSW Government announcement that all new and upgraded playgrounds must provide inclusive access. While rule books and standards are grossly outdated it is the visionary designers and access consultants who must provide the impetus to make it happen. Do read on, including the document review by Cathryn Grant. Speaking of visionary designers it is with much sadness that we hear of the passing of Brian Kidd AM whom ACAA had just recognised with Fellow membership in October last. Our condolences to his wife Lauris and family.

In support of World Braille Day the committee developing AS1428.4.2 has met three times in December / January to finalise the document ready for the final ballot and publication. The Parking committee and Emergency Procedures committee have also met recently to progress the redrafting of AS2890.5 On-street parking and AS3745 Planning for emergencies in facilities. Hopefully, we will have more to report on the Australian Building Codes Board project which is developing a Verification Method on accessibility to accompany the use and development of performance solutions.

Mark Relf AM

This time of the year also hales the anniversary of World Braille Day and the birthday of Louis Braille on the 4th January.

IN THIS ISSUE From the ACAA Committee....................... 3

The Association of Consultants in Access Australia

Vale to Brian James Kidd......................... 4 Inclusive Play Environments That Go Beyond Accessibiliity............................. 6 World Braille Day.....................................10 What Is the Size of an Accessible Toilet - Really?......................................12 Access Codes and Universal Design - culture change for long term change................................................13


Farah Madon

Books & Article Reviews.........................16

December 2017/January 2018 Issue

Play Time Is Up.......................................18

Cover Photo: Lions Park Gladstone Photo by Playscape Creation

CPD Opportunities.................................. 22 Hot Apps................................................. 23


Address: 20 Maud Street, Geelong VIC 3220 Email: Phone: +61 3 5221 2820 Web:

Please email the Editor if you would like to showcase your project on the Cover of the next Access Insight



From the ACAA Committee of Management January 2018


ummary of the Decisions of the last management meeting have been uploaded to the ACAA website.

The following members have attained Accredited Level membership: • Judi Donald • Stan Fuller The following members have attained Associate level membership: • Paul O’Shannassy • Chris Richards The following members have attained Affiliate level membership: • Dominic Collignon Congratulations to all.

ACAA Committee of Management Contact Details PRESIDENT Mr Mark Relf AM VICE PRESIDENT Mrs Farah Madon SECRETARY Mrs Lindsay Perry TREASURER Mr Francis Lenny ORDINARY MEMBERS Ms Jennifer Barling Mrs Anita Harrop Ms Cathryn Grant Mr Bruce Bromley

ACAA conference The next ACAA conference will be in Sydney in 2019.

ACAA representatives on Standard Australia Committees

The management committee is holding a face to face ACAA Strategic Planning Meeting and next conference planning session on the 10th and 11th of February 2018. Details of the ACAA Strategic plan will be provided in the next issue of Access Insight.

• FP-017 Emergency Management Planning (Facilities) - Mr Bruce Bromley • MS-051 Hydrotherapy Pools - Mr Mark Relf • ME-04, Lifts, escalators & moving walks - Mr Mark Relf • ME-064 Access for People with Disabilities - Mrs Farah Madon • CE-001 – Parking facilities - Mr Mark Relf • MS-012 – Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices - Mr Mark Relf • BD-094 – Slip Resistance of Flooring Surfaces - Mr Tibor Bode

December 2017 / January 2018


Vale to Brian James Kidd


rian James Kidd AM LFRAIA FACAA (1936 – 2017) highly respected architect, access consultant, mentor and friend, passed away suddenly on Thursday morning 21st December 2017 at home with his wife Lauris at his side. Only those very close to Brian would have known that he had been valiantly fighting renal failure and multiple myeloma for some time. Throughout these years his passion for architecture and his desire to share his knowledge remained strong. He lived an extraordinary life to the very last day. Brian’s life seemed to be destined for looking out for others: from caring for his badly injured World War 2 veteran father, and a cousin with Down Syndrome, to being a guiding spirit for the architectural community through his tireless campaign for accessible environments for all and homelike environments for older people in residential aged care. With his project Aldersgate Village in 1984 he pioneered person-centred design at a time when nursing homes were medical and institutional in character.


Due to Brian’s tireless work, countless residential aged care projects in the following decades focussed on creating a domestic rather than an institutional built environment for older people. Brian was Senior Lecturer (Ageing and Human Abilities) from 1977 to 1996 and Honorary Senior Fellow (Designing for Dementia) from 2011 to 2017 at Melbourne University, influencing the thoughts of many of today’s architects. Just recently Brian wrote: “I feel like a proud uncle when I meet many of my former students and work colleagues and when I see the vital work you now do and the important roles you are now fulfilling. The greatest delight to me is that you have all remained such lovely natured and delightful people. I am now content to retire gracefully from the battle.” Brian was fond of telling the story of one of his star architect mates who, after becoming disabled later in life, looked up from his nursing home bed and admitted to Brian – “Now I understand what you were on about ! I wish I had understood earlier…”


Brian was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1990 for “services to architectural design, particularly for the needs of people with physical disabilities and the frail aged”. He was a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects, in recognition of his work in aged care and access for people with disabilities. He was awarded a Fellow of the Association of Consultants in Access, Australia His buildings and articles have been featured in several international publications.

continued. To this day, Australia has a higher level of accessibility into public buildings than other countries. Brian’s contribution of making the built environment accessible to all will be remembered forever. “Thank you, Brian, for your inspirational visionary work over many decades”.

Francesca Davenport, Kirsty Bennett, Angela Roennfeldt and Allen Kong

Brian authored several publications relating to access and inclusion, including “Outdoor Access for All” (1982 & 1985 with Ross Clark), “Hostel Design Guidelines” (1988), “Rottnest: The Universally Accessible Island” (2000), and “Planning Community Events for All “ (1988 for the Bicentennial Authority). Brian was also one of the early members of the Standards Australia committee that developed AS 1428.1 – Design for access and mobility. The high standard of accessibility into public buildings that was set by this committee has been

Brian James Kidd AM LFRAIA FACAA

December 2017 / January 2018





Inclusive Play Environments that go beyond accessibility by Tobias Volbert

Tobias Volbert is the National Business Development Manager, Landscape Architect and Open Space Planner at Playscape Creations with over 10 years’ experience in the industry. Educated in Hanover, Germany, Tobias moved to Australia in 2006 where he worked as project manager for a sustainable buildings company in Brisbane, before beginning his current role as National Business Development Manager at Playscape Creations in 2011, and co-founding the 7 Senses Foundation in 2013. He is also a Board member of the Centre for Universal Design Australia.

Example Lions Park Gladstone – Opened December 2017


layscape Creations is an award winning design and construct company for innovative play environments with a special focus and expertise in designing and building play environments for all. Most recently we created a Da Vinci inspired intergenerational play environment, collaborating with JW Concepts, HNK and Gladstone Regional Council. Attending an Inclusive Playspace Design presentation I conducted at the Parks and Leisure Annual Conference in 2015, Gladstone Regional Council’s Parks and Environment Manager was inspired to hear our take on the importance and value of integrating a sensory design methodology in playspace design to

achieve a truly inclusive outcome – beyond accessibility. Gladstone has a strong Industrial history, so when Council engaged us to design this park we drew on the pioneer of technology, Leonardo da Vinci, and then added natural inspirations to provide this “Industry meets Nature” design. The overall form is based on cogs’ interaction with each other and providing islands of play and recreation. Every aspect of this park is unique with special elements that engage and inspire – a custom climbing tower and ‘Climbmax’ challenge net climber form the centerpiece of action where children can test their limits and dare their abilities. However not everyone wants to climb, and a truly intergenerational design provides choices for everyone to enjoy the environment. The overall design incorporates sensory features accommodating children and adults with disabilities including sensory processing disorder, auditory processing disorder, visual impairment, down-syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and spina bifida. It is important for ALL to have variety of sensory experiences for healthy development. These include experiences that involve movement (vestibular system), climbing (proprioceptive system) and a mix of tactile, visual and auditory experiences. The overall design includes the planting of trees to create natural shade over the play area, and physical shade in the form of the ‘Da Vinci Flying Machine’ that is both a striking visual attraction by day and a sensory light feature by night. More shade will be added by March 2018 as shade is important for all who visit and play so that they do not experience sun or heat exposure while at the park. For some children with disabilities this shade will make the difference between their being able to play or not play. December 2017 / January 2018


FEATURED ARTICLE Their medical condition or medications may limit how long they can be in direct sunlight or high heat. Shelters are also located throughout the park to provide a shaded place to rest and enjoy a snack during the family play experience.This design includes a mix of play surface that supports the type of play experience found in that area. Some children using mobility devices might have limited access to some equipment but the wide pathways and use of rubber and concrete allow them to meander through the entire play environment. Everyone will find a full variety of sensory play experiences at Lions Park giving each the “just right” challenges. The park includes different zones – here cogs of experiences; the Swing zone, the Cozy Dome zone, the Active zone, the wet zone and hang out zones. Each of these provides children with a different type of play experience that helps them build their physical, sensory and social skills while they play. The close proximity of each area enables a parent to keep track of several children playing in different areas at one time.


The integrated art, light and misting features allow the entire community to enjoy wandering through the space as it delivers a truly intergenerational sensory experience. And at night the space becomes a sensory wonderland again, with motion activated lighting and misting allowing for increased use of this destination. The park was designed to be fun and educational, enabling children and adults to explore the 7 Senses - hearing, sight, smell, touch, taste, vestibular and proprioception, which is the sense of position and strength of movement of the limbs. The project was ultimately delivered by JM Kelly Constructions, the Principal Contractors for civil and construction work on site, with our team working closely with their program to provide the Artistic Playground and Sensory items, and helping ensure a seamless delivery of this amazing space. Overall, this park has many opportunities for play for all regardless of their medical diagnosis, age, cultural background and gender. Everyone will find their “just right”


FEATURED ARTICLE fit as it is designed to support their physical, sensory and cognitive needs while also providing them with a world of fun to acquire new skills in all these areas. The entire park provides the community with a great space to work on their socialization and self-esteem as they walk, run, roll, slide, climb, swing and spin together.

It’s a place and space for the whole community. A large amount of media has surrounded the official opening of this acclaimed Sensory Park CLICK HERE to see some action packed video and more photos, and read one of the local media stories.

December 2017 / January 2018



World Braille Day - 4 January 2018 by Anita Harrop


anuary 4 marked World Braille Day, the birthday of Louis Braille and an annual worldwide observance celebrating the life and achievement of the Braille code inventor. Louis Braille was born in 1809 in Coupray, near Paris, France. Following an eye injury with an awl, a leather working tool, as a three year old youngster in his father’s harness workshop, Louis sustained an eye infection which spread to both eyes, resulting in blindness. The Louis Braille Biography describes that schooling was challenging for Louis Braille as he could learn only by listening and memorising. It was recognised early in his schooling that he was one of the brightest children at his school and thus, he received a scholarship to the Institut National des Jeunes Aveugles (the Royal Institution for Blind Youth) in Paris to enable his education to be developed. In 1821 fortunes turned for Louis, when a former soldier named Charles Barbier visited the school to share his invention called “night writing”.

Revolutionising the system, Louis reduced the twelve dots to six and by the age of fifteen had developed a code for the French alphabet and published the first Braille book in 1829, entitled “Procedure for Writing Words, Music, and Plainsong in Dots”. By 1837 the system included symbols for music, punctuation and mathematics. While his peers appreciated the code, the system of communication was not taught at the Royal Institution until after his death, as officials were sceptical of a writing system for people who were blind that did not closely resemble the letter structure used by people with vision. In 1854, two years after his death, the French educational authorities adopted his system. Braille began a worldwide spread from 1868, when a group of British men met (the British and Foreign Society for Improving Embossed Literature for the Blind) and took up the cause. The now named Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) adopted Braille on 5 May 1870.

As a result of this meeting, Louis Braille refined Charles Barbier’s code system, addressing the major failing of the code, which was that the human finger could not touch the whole (12 dot) symbol without moving, so a person could not could not move efficiently from one symbol to the next.





Did you know that Emperor Napoleon inspired the basis for Braille as he demanded a system that allowed his armies to communicate silently and secretly at night and without light?

In 1808, a captain in the French army Charles Barbier (1767 – 1841) invented “ecriture nocturne” or night writing. This system of code used symbols of twelve dots arranged as two columns of six dots, embossed on paperboard. This code, rather than representing letters of the alphabet, was phonetic, with each dot combination representing a sound in the French language. Charles Barbier’s code system was ultimately rejected by the military as it was found to be too difficult for soldiers to learn and understand. world-braille-day napoleon-demanded-a-method-of-communication-that-would-not-require-light-or-sound-thatis-how-he-inspired-the-basis-for-braille/

USSR 1959 shows portrait of Louis Braille (1809-1852)

Commemorative two euro coin issued by Belgium in 2009

December 2017 / January 2018



What is the size of an accessible toilet – really? by Howard Moutrie ACAA Accredited Access Consultant Accessible Building Solutions Howard Moutrie is an architect with over 30 years of experience. Howard is an experienced practicing access consultant and has provided comment to numerous Councils on their Access Policy and acted as an expert witness in the Land & Environment Court.


robably the most asked question is how big is an accessible toilet and I suspect the majority of responses are incorrect. If you look at Fig 43 or Fig 52 of AS 1428.1-2009 you would be inclined to say 1900mm wide x 2630mm long, but there is more to it than meets the eye. The real answer is that it depends on the basin to be used and the door location. The critical factor is that the basin can encroach no closer than 300mm to the door swing, see Fig 51. Although this is shown on Fig 52, the basin drawn is smaller than most basins

commercially available. Also refer to Fig 1 in this article. If you relocate the door to the side wall then you get a different story. See Fig 2. If you look at the Caroma range, then based on Fig 1, the width actually varies between 1905mm to 2040mm depending on the basin used. With the layout in Fig 2, and using the same basins, the range is 1900mm to 1995mm. If you relocate the basin, the dimensions change again. I would suggest that it is a good exercise to work out the variables for yourself. I have inspected many accessible toilets where the size is apparently correct but the basin is too close to the door. This can be attributed to the basin selected, as described above, but there are also other construction issues which can play havoc with the requirements of the Standard. The above calculations are based on providing a 110mm hinge side nib, this is calculated to the face of the open door. In a brick wall this will require an impracticable small portion of brick in the nib – the builder will more than likely extend this to half a brick. If the wall is concrete block, then this may be extended to half a block (200mm). The brick/block layer is probably not aware of the implications. In each of these cases the hinge side nib will be more than 110mm. A further common problem is that the basin may not be positioned exactly 425mm from the side wall to the centre. The tradesmen working in these areas are not used to working to the tolerances required by AS 1428.1 and the architects, also do not allow sufficient tolerance. I always recommend adding a bit extra to any recommended sizes to accommodate these building tolerances. The issue of building tolerances is a whole other issue which will be addressed at another time.




Access codes and universal design - culture change for long term change by Nicholas Loder B.Arch, M.BuiltEnv, Grad Dip PSM

Nicholas is a Senior Project Officer, NSW Land and Housing Corporation, Family and Community Services. Since 2003 he has provided design policy direction for multi-unit medium density residential and major refurbishments projects for LAHC, especially on accessibility and universal design. Nicholas sits on several committees including the NSW Chapter Australasian Housing Institute. He is also a volunteer tour guide for AAA and Sydney Living Museum’s Sydney Open, a member of DOCOMOMO NSW, and of the Society for Architecture and Urban Design Incorporated (SFAUDI).


veryone I suspect wishes ‘to do the right thing for as many people with the least effort as possible’. No, this is not an additional Universal design principle to add to Ron Mace’s seven1 but an observation from nearly thirty years of experience in architectural design practice and government policy development. It’s the least ‘effort’ from the designers that could be letting us down. And perhaps a lack of advocacy on a variety of fronts for true cultural change. I spent project time juggling AS1428.1, the Schedule 3 from SEPP Housing for Seniors or People with Disabilities (SEPP HSPD) and AS4299 on my desk as I sought the client’s approval, Council compliance, and hopefully

1 See The-7-Principles/

the imagined users thanks for gaining access to their ‘adaptable’ dwellings. Turning circles, door nib dimensions, path and ramp gradients were meticulously followed, even if ramps became ridiculous imitations of conga lines up a hill side. It complied, it ‘worked’ and the projects would be approved. Many years later I’d be standing dumbfounded as three long-time wheelchair users struggled up a short 1:14 access ramp at the Sydney Opera House. I really had never put the user experience in my thinking at all. The ramp may have complied, but it was a barrier to all those without strong upper bodies. Details inside these SEPP HSPD dwellings were equally strong on compliance, with grab rails and clearances giving bathrooms that wonderfully roomy look familiar to most who have used an identified ‘accessible bathroom’. Somehow the outcome always seemed a long way from the intent. Where was the domestic aspect to compliance? I couldn’t help remembering the neatly designed (and compact) bathroom designed for my elderly grandmother, with its hob-free shower and logically placed basin and toilet suite. Where had this simplicity come from?2 Later I was introduced to Universal Design (UD) as a concept, and it certainly appeared user-focussed, especially for an ageing population and for those most in need. Challenges arose however when UD principles were to be incorporated into documents by others within the organisation. Designers were enamoured as I was to the principles but constrained by time and the need for dimensional compliance. They were where I once was. They needed ‘certainty’ so

2 Ellis Nosworthy, one of the first female architects to practice in NSW.

December 2017 / January 2018


FEATURED ARTICLE contracted external designers met the brief3. UD had a way to go. The National Construction Code (NCC) requires Class 2 common areas to meet access compliance requirements, but not into the dwellings, and, for SEPP HSPD buildings of only two storeys or less, lifts are not always provided4. The outcome then is only the ground floor dwellings benefit from these access provisions, and until a lift is provided, ‘complying’ leaves those unable to walk up or down a flight of stairs with reduced interactions. The ‘intent’ of the concession was an advantage for a social housing provider, however the universal design for as many users as possible was lost in the compliance. As one delves more into the requirements for providing access for people with disabilities it is important to acknowledge this is a human right, the basis for its 3 Made even more obvious during The Nation Building Economic Stimulus Program roll out of 2009-10. Funding was compliance based, and very prescriptive 4 A concession for a social housing provider, due in part to allocation of tenancies processes.


incorporation into the NCC. And this is where it becomes interesting. With the NCC allowing compliance to its access performance requirements by either a performance solution or a deemed to satisfy solution, one can see opportunities for providing performance solutions that relate better to the site, to users and promote integrated, ‘universal’ communities as still ‘complying’ if supported by adequate verification. Further, if one can acknowledge the rights basis of access to common areas and throughout (most) spaces within public buildings, it surely is not a big leap to extend access into all residential dwellings, whether provided by the state or as new private residential properties. If it’s a requirement for a retirement village, (which only 5% of the population may choose to enter), why not provide features that allow for easy access into all residences, which have a six out of ten chance of housing someone with a disability5? The Livable Housing’s strategy and Livable Housing Design Guidelines (LHDG) 5 See Livable Housing Australia’s Livable Housing Design Guidelines


FEATURED ARTICLE would certainly be at the forefront in advocating for ‘future proofing’6 of all dwellings as a form of universal design. Future proofing is just short hand for the future world we need to pursue for as many people as possible7. Adopting a range of UD performance requirements gives designers and their clients the opportunity to develop unique but no doubt replicable solutions, promoting innovation, accelerating research and developing their understanding of the range of disability, including age-related disability experienced within the community and by visitors. Ageing is a big factor driving new approaches - just look at the preparations underway for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics8! It is seeking UD and culture change! Big events allow cities to expand universal design, access codes and guidelines to address holistically barriers within the built environment and communications - barriers 6 Ibid 7 In a social housing context ‘Gold’ level features plus a disability modification program currently can meet a majority of disability need. Specialist Disability Accommodation at ‘Platinum’ level or higher provided by others can meet higher needs. 8 Dr Satoshi Kose gave a terrifyingly clear picture at UNSW lecture ‘Creating a Vision of a Universally Designed Metropolis - Towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic Games’ Seminar, 10 April 2017. See also gp/book/9781137435200 ‘Managing the Paralympics’ Simon Darcy et al.(eds) 2017

for those with an auditory, sensory, cognitive, vision or a health related disability, not just ambulatory - making activities with family and friends difficult or near impossible9. Think shopping centres, (sometimes too loud, busy, over-stimulating, labyrinthine), festivals, (poor signage, uneven pathways, too few change rooms), travel for business or pleasure, (infrequent signage or overlapping announcements), playgrounds - all these require an awareness of the range of users. People become tired, confused, maybe footsore and overwhelmed in unfamiliar spaces - and that’s just the adults. Standards, guidelines and codes are the start, not the end of the journey. We all can play a role by advocating for this future world. The current design culture and pedagogy still appears to be stuck catering for the fit, well and active only - this needs to be broadened to cater for all citizens. Many of us will become old, suffer a temporary injury, or have one of those ‘not so good days’. We can shift the culture by advocacy and through providing our clients with the best solutions we can design. All of us can do so much to address disability (or related) needs within the community - once it becomes the culture of both the designer and of the client - designing with and for all people will become less compliance based, more truly ‘fit for purpose’.

9 Some of the best holistic approaches can be seen in the Touched by Olivia playgrounds and others by Tobias Volbert (7 Senses Foundation)

December 2017 / January 2018





roviding access to heritage buildings can be a challenging task for architects, access consultants and Heritage Consultants but there are usually answers to the problem. A common misconception is that heritage controls are paramount and they are often stressed as there are heritage advisors, Heritage Councils and community concerns about changes to heritage places. There is no such equivalent to support access so it is left to the access consultant and the building certifier to resolve. However in reality the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) is Commonwealth legislation and will override state/territory based heritage legislation. With cooperation & careful consideration of the issues satisfactory solutions can usually be achieved. The Premises Standards acknowledge that heritage values or the significance of a building can be considered as a factor in unjustifiable hardship but there are no recent legal case histories or well researched and expanded information on this, despite the recommendation that it be undertaken.


As a result of preparing some information for the NSW and Victorian Heritage Councils a number of years ago Eric Martin has prepared some guidelines to assist practitioners in resolving access to heritage buildings in NSW and Victoria. They are presented as state specific guidelines as the heritage legislation is state based and the method of dealing with building approval and unjustifiable hardship varies. Examples relevant to each state have been sourced where possible. However there are common elements and approaches that could be applied across Australia. The guidelines documents can be accessed on Eric Martin and Associates website and include details and are available for use/reference as desired. Any comment and good examples illustrating particular points are welcomed.



Document Review: Planning for Social Inclusion in Play-spaces: An evaluation of Livvi’s Place, Port Macquarie Authors: Janice Ollerton and Rosemary Black Reviewed by Cathryn Grant, Architecture & Access Aim: The aim of this research project was to evaluate if the Livvi’s Place Playground in Port Macquarie met its goal of social inclusion.

Method: A cross-sectional design questionnaire survey was used to gather the data. There was a face-to-face survery questionnaire and an online survey. On two different days the researchers approached people at Livvi’s Place playground and at another playground in Port Macquarie. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the open questions. A total number of 193 surveys were analysed. The author’s used the principles and values underpinning Australia’s early childhood leaning framework - Belonging, Being and Becoming.

Results: A significant result is that 9% of users indicated that they had a child with a disability, which is much greater than the percentage of children with a disability living in Port Macquarie. The study found that respondent’s children want to go to Livvi’s Place, hence feel like they belong and it is used for many other activities including family picnics, parties etc… Nearly all respondents reported being happy and reported that their children were happy

whilst at Livvi’s Place. A high proportion of respondents reported that the playground encouraged social interaction between children, these fit within the being concept.

Becoming: Most respondents indicated that it was likely that children would make friendships at the Livvi’s Place, less thought they would make friends with other adults. Nearly all indicated that the playground encouraged learning. Not much analysis was given to the accessibility of the playground and the impact it had upon children especially since the aim of the playground was to be socially inclusive. However it is notable that respondents recommended that more equipment was needed for infants, older children and children with a disability; indicating that the playground could be made more inclusive.

Take home message: The research has obvious limitations which the authors are explicit about however it a useful piece of work to gain valuable insights on how a community uses the playground and what can be improved.

December 2017 / January 2018



Play Time is Up by Bec Ho

Bec Ho is a big kid at heart who believes that everyone should be able to experience the joy of play. As the Executive Officer of national charity Touched by Olivia, Bec passionately advocates for inclusion by working with councils, developers, children and communities to create inclusion through play.


magine your older brother has cerebral palsy and often uses a walker to get around independently. Your family has been invited to a friend’s birthday party. Before RSVPing,


your mum gets online - she’s looking for pictures of the park, reviews by users, and some details of the available amenities. This is what she now does before accepting any invitation, because of the countless times she’s arrived and found that she needs to turn straight back round, and head home. After an hour of research, she finds that the playground is more than 400 meters distance from the car park. There’s no paths, the playground is covered in mulch and she realises that it’s just going to be too hard. Your mum sends off the email she’s sent many times before, declining the invitation. I find it hard to swallow that in 2018, hundreds of thousands of Australian families are still excluded from the simple joy of visiting their local playground. This is despite the fact that in 2013, the United Nations accepted a general comment on Article 31 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child:



“The attainment of full inclusion of children with disabilities in the society is realized when children are given the opportunity, places, and time to play with each other (children with disabilities and no disabilities).” This is despite the fact that building a playspace that facilitates the inclusion of people of all abilities does not cost more. This is despite the fact that the public built environment is required to be at least accessible. For many people in Australia, playspaces just don’t work. I reckon we need to change that right now.

Who is Touched by Olivia? In 2006, the life of baby Olivia Perkins was cut short when she tragically died from a rare disease known as lymphatic malformation. Her parents took this tragedy into a beautiful legacy in Olivia’s honour, helping Australian children to live healthier and happier lives.

Touched by Olivia was founded only a few brief months after Olivia’s death, and within the first year we had raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to research the disease that took Olivia, and create our first Livvi’s Place. Livvi’s Place is a special place. It goes beyond access, it is inclusive, inviting people of all ages and abilities to stitch the fabric of their community together. Livvi’s Place inspired our national strategy, which is to build an inclusive playspace in every community that has a need. Adopting the theory of universal design in play spaces extends an invitation to all to meet, play, socialise and be together in an environment that caters to all people’s needs, ages and abilities. Our solution is to advocate nationally for the adoption of a set of inclusive playspace principles. The first step in this process has been to prove the principles through the creation of Livvi’s Place National Network.

December 2017 / January 2018


FEATURED ARTICLE We have created an award winning model based on partnership, bringing together community, government and corporate Australia to deliver special places that change the way our society includes and perceives the value of people who have challenges or differences. The ultimate goal is that inclusion is the standard, and that we do not exist because every playspace is inclusive.

Who’s in charge? Last year we celebrated our tenth year of building inclusive playspaces. What we’ve found in this short time is that there are lots of people who just get it. We like to call them Champions. Working with locals is key to the success. Meaningfully engaging residents of diverse background and ability ensures the potential design is inclusive and reflects the neighbourhood and community’s needs. Landscape architects, planners and elected representatives at local governments ultimately own the responsibility for delivering


playgrounds and maintaining them. Getting the opportunity to work with passionate people in your council can make the process of building inclusive playspaces child’s play. It’s easy to make magic happen when everyone is on the same page. Developers are responsible for creating new communities. Companies like Stockland have made a national commitment that all new playspaces in their communities will be built to universal design principles. Politicians who get it can make the quest for more inclusive playspaces a more painless one. In December, NSW Minister for Planning, Anthony Roberts, announced that every new or upgraded playground in NSW must be inclusive. This is a bold policy that will change the way things are done, not just in NSW but also in other states. It’s the right thing to do, and those in positions of power and influence will join Minister Roberts as champions in the future.


FEATURED ARTICLE Access consultants like you are critical in ensuring we support our champions. Making the process clear, sharing your knowledge and using your experience to help decision makers and delivery professionals get on with the business of building great infrastructure without concerning themselves with building codes, standards and the principles of universal design. You hold the key to making sure the designers get it, really get inclusion, and we’d love to see access consultants engaged to co-design all new playspaces. The time is over for an inclusive playground to be the exception. It’s up to all of us to make sure that inclusion is the norm in playground design. Because every child deserves the right to play in their local community. And you’ve got the opportunity to make this happen.

December 2017 / January 2018


CPD OPPORTUNITIES ACAA NSW Access Consultants Network Meeting


Date: Wednesday, 21st February 2018 Venue: Sargood on Collaroy Contact ACAA NSW Chairperson Robyn Thompson for details.

Guideline for design in the built environment for people with low vision

ACAA QLD Access Consultants Network Meeting Date: TBA. Contact ACAA QLD Chairperson Cynthia Lawes for details.

ACAA SA Access Consultants Network Meeting Dates for 2018: February 6th – Business Meeting March 20th – CPD April 24th – Business Meeting June 5th – CPD July 17th – Business Meeting August 28th – CPD October 9th – Business Meeting November 20th – CPD December – Breakup drinks date Contact ACAA SA Chairperson Grant Wooller for details.

ACAA VIC Access Consultants Network Meeting Dates: 23rd February 2018, 1st June 2018 and 5th October 2018 Venue: 369 Royal Parade, Parkville Time: 10:30am Contact ACAA VIC Chairperson Kellie Millar for details.

(Courtesy of Michael Small)

Download HERE

Airport design and way finding Download HERE

Universal design guidelines for homes in Ireland Download HERE

Heritage building access from the Irish National Disability Authority Download HERE

Guide on Accessible Shared Streets The Federal Highway Administration has released a guide on access to shared streets for people with vision impairments. The 40-page publication, Accessible Shared Streets: Notable Practices and Considerations for Accommodating Pedestrians with Vision Disabilities, provides guidance and best practices for designing shared streets

Download HERE

ACAA WA Access Consultants Network Meeting Dates: Tuesday 6th March, Tuesday 5th of June and Tuesday 4th September Venue: Student Services Conference room at North Metropolitan TAFE, Leederville. Time: 4pm till 5:30pm Contact ACAA WA Chairperson Anita Harrop for details.

Assisitive Technology Australia provides a Home Modification Course which includes units CPPACC5016A and CPPACC4020A. Details are available on their website through this LINK

UTS Shopfront invites you to Access Leads to Inclusion CLICK HERE for more information Open till the 27th of February 2018 5.30pm to 7.30pm Disability at UTS, an exhibition showcasing the lived experiences of students and staff members with disability at UTS.




January 2018 Hot Apps


n this section we have featured 3 different apps that are Access Industry related. If you have an app that is useful for Access Consultants, please let the Editor know so that it can be included in the next issue of Access Insight.

Seeing AI This app uses the camera of apple devices and actually reads out the text that the camera is focused on. It also provides a description of a photo such as “a group of people at XX distance”. This app is sure to be a hit with people with low vision. Check out the YouTube link for a demonstration of this app Download from Itunes Store

Ava - 24/7 Accessible Life Ava is an app for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing to participate in conversations by means of voice recognition technology. Download from Itunes Store

NDS Events & Conferences Download the ‘NDS Events & Conferences’ App which provides information on the National Disability Services’ events and conferences Download from Itunes Store Download from Google Play

December 2017 / January 2018


Ifo Sign Toilet Increased Height - S Trap

• Free standing toilet • 460mm height (excluding seat) • Tested to comply with 90% of AU commonly used commode chairs. • Integrated cistern

Enware Australia Pty Ltd (Head Office) 9 Endeavour Road Caringbah NSW 2229 02 8536 4000

Active Mobility Systems

Unit 8, 110-120 Silverwater Rd, SILVERWATER NSW 2128

P: 02 9649 2111 | E: W:

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Access Insight - January 2018  


Access Insight - January 2018