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Update on AS1428.4.2 Mentoring opportunities

The Brief History of the Access Movement in Australia Blind Speed-Inclusion by Design in Action


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


or the record I wish to thank Bryce Tolliday and all the Queenslanders involved in planning our Access 2017 Conference. It was a great event, great speakers and a wide range of topics for the audience to choose from. The conference had an excellent blend of Queensland and national coverage plus international topics and presenters as a bonus. Of course thanks must also go to our keynote speakers, Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Alastair McEwin, Maha Sinnathamby, Stephen Minning and the other 30+ speakers who spent considerable time and effort to develop their presentations and be in Brisbane for the event. A special thanks to John Deshon for his presentation of the Max Murray Oration and Jane Bryce, our MC for the conference dinner, which also featured the awarding of two members with fellow membership, congratulations John Deshon AM and Brian

Kidd AM for their contributions to making the built environment more accessible and inclusive. The trade exhibition brought together a select group of manufacturers and distributors who were keen to display and inform delegates of new products and services that are essential in delivering inclusive access. As a continuance of the series on the history of the access movement you must read Brian Kidd’s article – a great insight into the struggles to start a movement and keep it going to create change … motivation and persistence being the key drivers. I also hope that some our members took up the invitation to apply to the Australian Building Codes Board to join a Subject Matter Experts group on “Accessibility”. If you haven’t don’t worry, Access Insight will keep you up to date on developments as they occur.

Mark Relf AM

IN THIS ISSUE Dr Max Murray Ovation............................ 3 Fellow Membership.................................. 4 The Brief History of the Access Movement in Australia............................. 5 Blind Speed.............................................10 From the ACAA Committee......................12 Thank You Terry......................................13 Mentoring................................................14 CPD Opportunities...................................15 Update on AS1428.4.2.............................16 Update on WA.........................................17 ACAA Conference Dinner.........................18 Book Review............................................19 Conference Trade Exhibition................... 20 Hot Apps................................................. 25


The Association of Consultants in Access Australia

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

Farah Madon

October / November Issue Cover Photo: Photo of Ben Felton

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



Letter to the Editor 26th October 2017 I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people involved in planning and presenting the Access 2017 Conference. The conference offered both newer consultants and more experienced members alike an excellent opportunity to both learn and update their knowledge and to network. Well done all and thank you!

Farah Madon with Maha Sinnathamby

I was however disappointed that on occasions during conference Q and A sessions, delegates found it necessary to make comments, which simply promoted themselves, demonstrated their own knowledge or criticised the speaker’s presentation rather than to ask questions which clarified aspects of the presentation. We are a small organisation, reliant on other peak bodies, however if we develop a reputation for this sort of delegate behaviour, our ability to attract speakers will be greatly reduced and our relationships and opportunities for positive collaboration with the organisations they represent will be damaged.

Mark Relf with Alastair McEwin

In anticipation of the next conference and future CPD events, I ask members to please think carefully before you comment publicly and please respond to speakers respectfully. We are all working to provide dignified accessibility, let us be seen as an organisation whose members represent and promote this attitude in all their activities.

Robyn Thompson

Dr. Max Murray Oration The first of Dr Max Murray Oration was presented by John Deshon AM at the 2017 ACAA Conference Dinner. The full Oration can be downloaded from:

November 2017



Access Insight – Fellow Membership Fellow membership of The Association of Consultants in Access, Australia (ACAA) is appointed by the management committee and recognises members that have held at least ten years continuous membership with the association as an access consultant and have made a significant contribution in the field of access. This year, the management had the pleasure of awarding two fellow memberships at the 2017 Conference Dinner. This honour goes to Mr Brian Kidd and Mr John Deshon.

Lindsay Perry, co-chair of the ACAA membership committee, awards Brian Kidd AM the ACAA Fellow Membership Award. The award was accepted by Allan Kong on behalf of Brian Kidd AM.

Mr Brian Kidd AM

Mr John Deshon AM

Brian’s achievements form a very long list over half a century and it is impossible to chronicle all of them here. With respect to “access” Brian has achieved many things and has contributed tirelessly for 50 years. Some of his achievements are as follows:

John has maintained long standing support for ACAA being a founding member and contributor to the policy development of the organisation. His other achievements within the sector include the following:

• Brian was an original member of the ME64 committee and its forerunner that developed AS 1428. • He authored a book on Outdoor Access in the late 1980’s published by Villamanta Press. • He is a founding member of ACAA and has presented at ACAA conferences. • Brian lectured university students and mentored many young architects in the whys and how to design accessible buildings. • Has continued lecturing for many years beyond the average retiring age.


Farah Madon, co-chair of the ACAA membership committee, awards John Deshon AM, the ACAA Fellow Membership Award.

• John was an expert witness in the landmark DDA case Cox v State of Queensland (Qld Anti-Discrimination Act) 1993, and Cooper v Holiday Coast Cinema Centres Pty Ltd (Disability Discrimination Act) 1997. The judgement in the former led to changes in the BCA, requiring equitable access through the principal entry of public buildings. • He authored one of the first tertiary courses in Access Consulting for TAFE NSW in the mid 1990s. • John has written many conference papers on accessibility. • He has contributed to the ME 64 committee regarding AS1428.



The Brief History of the Access Movement in Australia By Brian J Kidd, AM M.Arch, Dip TRP, LFRAIA, FACAA


im Nugent is generally credited as the originator of the campaigns for access. He was born in 1923 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His father was partially blind and deaf, and his youngest sister was also legally blind. In his early years he was diagnosed with a heart murmur and for ten years his physical activities were restricted. In 1940, possibly influenced by his family experience, Nugent enrolled in a health education and physical education course at the University of Wisconsin. He then saw active service in France, Belgium and Germany from 1941 until 1945. Returning to Wisconsin, he completed his BS degree in 1947. His key interest was in rehabilitation education, and he joined the health services staff at the University in Champaign-Urbana. Concurrent with societies attitudes at that time, there were no facilities for disabled students on the Champaign-Urbana campus and there was no funding provided. University administrators considered that disabled students involved extra costs and liabilities. If they did graduate there was little prospect of employment. In addition, it was considered that severely disabled students could be demoralising and distracting. In 1951 the University administration put a quota limit on the number who could be enrolled. Nugent was committed to developing rehabilitation services for students with disabilities. There was no funding from the University and Nugent had to do the fund

raising for his program. The majority of the students with disabilities who enrolled at the University in the late 1940s were disabled due to war injuries. The United States Veterans’ Administration was the federal agency responsible for their welfare and education. Nugent had a contract to provide appropriate services. Other funding came from groups like the Illinois Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, which sponsored some students. Nugent was devoted to his students and their rehabilitation, but he adopted a Spartan approach. He insisted that students get about independently, utilise existing facilities, and manage their own lives. They had to adapt to the existing built environment. Many others later took up the cause in the USA, most notably Ed Steinfeld at the University of Buffalo in New York State. Steinfeld has been a major researcher and teacher in this field for nearly 50 years. In the UK access became a major issue with the influential publication in 1965 of Design for the Disabled, a major research project by Selwyn Goldsmith on behalf of the RoyaI Institute of British Architects. Future editions improved our scope and knowledge and promoted the concept of universal design. This set firm parameters in the UK and Australia, and sparked off major campaigns. At last we had some clear empirically tested anthropometrical data.

Australia The Access campaign in Australia commenced in 1962, when Jean Garside, the Executive Director of ACROD (the Australian Council of Rehabilitation of the Disabled) formed a Committee on Access and Mobility in each state. The purpose was to conduct awareness campaigns among Government agencies, the architectural profession and the general public,

November 2017


FEATURED ARTICLE and eventually to enact design regulations to ensure access to public buildings for people with disabilities Jean Garside arranged for secretarial support to the State and National committees. Su Taylor and later Helen McCauley were both dedicated to the cause of Access and performed enormous amounts of contact and follow up of meetings and campaigns. Jean’s successors, Janet Braithwaite and Denys Correll embraced the cause and continued the momentum. I was a young architect who had just returned from working overseas. I was given the job of designing a new paraplegic/quadriplegic unit at the Royal Perth Hospital. I was empathetic as I had spent my youth helping my badly injured war veteran father, and assisting my family to care for our Downs Syndrome cousin Norman. In common with the time, I had a swift learning curve, and was instructed by Sir George Bedbrook, the leading orthopaedic surgeon championing the project. In 1962 I was appointed to the inaugural ACROD WA Committee on Access and Mobility, chaired by Athol Richards, Chief Architect with the Commonwealth Works Department, and later by Frank Dargan, the Chief Occupational Therapist at RPH Shenton Park Annexe. The inaugural National Chair was Michael Fox, who had worked with Lionel Watts (a paraplegic with a powerful and determined personality) to develop the “House With No Steps” in Sydney in about 1960. I have a strong feeling that Lionel was involved on the ACROD Board and was very influential with Jean Garside in forming the first State committees. Several deeply committed members involved over the years included: • Michael Fox, Lionel Watts, and Jean Halcrow (NSW) • Frank Dargan, Athol Richards, Pip Daly-Smith (WA) • Paul Gilby (Tasmania) • Judith Adams, Cynthia Curtis, Wayne Chenery, Valerie Bllair, Margaret Lester (Victoria). State issues and personalities influenced the various campaigns. Twice a year the State chairpersons met in Canberra to share progress 6

and ideas and to identify key National strategies. These included: • Public Awareness programs. • Lobbying of Government Departments and Ministers. • Architects awareness campaigns. • Negotiating with Standards Australia for appropriate Codes to supercede the only available reference at the time in CA 52. • Production of a major document on Design for Disability, summarising identified issues needing to be addressed. • Australian Standards Committee involvement. • Negotiations with the major airlines. • Building Regulations Committee. • Accessible public transport. • Parking permits for drivers with a disability. In Western Australia, we concentrated our early efforts on converting the architectural profession to regard access as a primary consideration in all projects. We even produced a very impressive metal plaque and awarded it to the firms who responded with basic access, such as a step free entrance and an accessible toilet facility. The early provisions were primitive by today’s standards, but were a breakthrough that increased in popularity and began to shame non-responders. The Perth Airport was an early success. The entrance steps were replaced with ramps, and the public reaction of passengers carrying heavy luggage was very positive. Other State committees also conducted campaigns based on local issues and working around local Government personalities. Successes were shared and adopted by the other state committees.

Accessible Transport Campaign In 1979, the Victorian ACROD Committee on Access and Mobility became concerned at the lack of government action on making public transport accessible. Up to that point our emphasis had been on access to public buildings, but we realised that this was not complete unless people with disabilities were able to get to the facilities. As Chairman of the Victorian ACROD Committee at that time, I wrote to the then Minister for Transport, the


FEATURED ARTICLE Honourable Robert Maclellan, on 19th March 1979, requesting him to receive a deputation to discuss the need for access to public transport. Our letter quoted the statistics from the 1974 ABCS on “Chronic Illnesses, Injuries and Impairments� which determined that 8.9% of the Australian population had limited mobility as a result of chronic injury, illness or impairment. Note that this figure has now been established as 18.9% of the population. Our request also noted that 1981 was to be the International Year of the Disabled, and it would be satisfying if Victoria should by then have followed the precedent of other progressive countries of the world by ensuring that all future public transport is accessible to people with a disability. Both disabled and (presently) able-bodied people benefit if access becomes a normal part of our community. We noted that in many states in the USA, public transport purchased with government funding must now be accessible to people with disabilities. As there was no initial reply, I wrote again on 27th July, on 10th August 1979 and on 11th October 1979, following which a meeting was arranged for Monday 5th November 1979. The deputation comprised myself, (Chair of the ACROD Victorian Committee on Access and Mobility), Ray Hannah (Secretary of the National Federation of Blind Citizens), Ann Fulcher (Director of the Victorian Council on the Ageing), Edith Hall (Director of the Para-Quad Association of Victoria), and Mrs Uren (Rheumatoid Arthritis Association). Our letter also included a list of 14 items for consideration. The committee was politely and positively received with promises for Government investigation and action. This was a clear case that persistence in a good cause eventually succeeds. In 1985, there was an issue of great concern for people with disabilities attending the rehabilitation facilities at Yooralla in South Melbourne. Yooralla under the leadership of its CEO Geof Say, were valuable supporters of ACROD and the Access campaigns. The workshops were well served by the nearby railway station which provided access for Yooralla clients. The Government decided to close this station, but Yooralla protested that

the trams were not accessible, depriving many people of access to their programs. The government argued that it was not possible to make trams and boarding stops accessible. In 1984 I had spent a three months study leave program with Ed Steinfeld of the University of Buffalo in New York, where a fully accessible light rail system had just been opened, complete with raised accessible platforms and fully accessible carriages. Fortunately the Government transport engineers did eventually catch up with international developments and we now have an enviable system operating in central Melbourne.

Australian Standards ACROD participated in working groups which produced AS 1428-1977, and this revealed the necessity for more research tested data. With the approach of 1981, (the International Year of the Disabled), the Commonwealth Government co-operated by funding two major projects. The first was a major research project conducted by John Bails, an engineer in the Public Works Department in South Australia. John was a meticulous person and produced a pile of November 2017


FEATURED ARTICLE valuable research data a metre high, which formed the basis for the work being conducted for the proposed new AS 1428-1988. The Government also funded an Accessibility Checklist for 1981. This was made available to architectural practices to highlight the issues applicable to all buildings. A working committee comprised of Gordon Rushman (as leader), Doug Pattenden and Brian Kidd worked on this comprehensive publication.

Airlines Campaign During April 1987 we stepped up our campaign to educate the airlines on the needs of passengers with special needs. A video was produced for training of airline staff. This involved the many issues involved: • Education re the scope and nature of disabilities. • Instruction on the needs of passengers with disabilities. • Awareness sessions that people with disabilities must be treated with dignity and respect. • Booking programs. • Checking in programs. • Boarding procedures and special considerations. • Special seating arrangements near front of cabin. • Seating for assistant companion for a blind or vision impaired traveller. • Minimum aisle width to permit passage of an on board wheelchair. • Storage for on-board chair. • Consideration of the layout and design of on board toilet cubicles to provide one wheelchair accessible booth. By the end of the year, the two main national Airlines, Qantas and Ansett had responded positively and implemented the recommendations. One of the key concessions was that people with severe visual impairment are allowed a spare ticket for an accompanying carer. ACROD was always desperate for funding and we took advantage of this. Chris Stewart was a very active member of the vision impaired community and so I travelled to meetings in Canberra as his carer. Chris was one of the many people with disabilities that 8

I have encountered and been inspired by. He only had 2% vision and yet he taught me so much about independence, positive thinking and overcoming disabilities. For our first meeting it was arranged that we meet at the Melbourne airport check-in counter. I had been given a picture of him and recognised him going down the escalator while I was travelling upwards. I reached the top and took the downwards escalator, but it took me a 100 metres sprint before I could catch the genial giant. I jokingly chided Chris for being a fraud – moving with such confidence and without a cane – and we chatted about the benefits of the airlines policy. Chris laughingly said – “Here is a case in point. I am classified as a passenger with a disability and instructed to sit still in case of emergency or a crash, as other able passengers have first right of exit. No way said Chris! If there is an emergency, or the plane fills with smoke, follow me, because I will be the only passenger qualified in such a situation”.

Special Parking Concessions Another campaign achieved special parking bays for drivers with a proven disability. These were denoted by International blue markings on the ground surface and a symbol on a post, and they were referred to as ACROD approved parking bays

City Maps The Melbourne City Council formed an Access Committee in about 1979/80, under the leadership of the City Health Officer Dr Belle Ford. It was one of the first local committees. At that stage the city was involved in a program of renewing pedestrian crossing ramps at city intersections. People with disabilities complained to us that this renewal was random, and that one or two corners at an intersection were renewed, leaving people stranded. The resolution was made to produce an Access Map of the City, showing accessible routes and connections, as well as the location of publically accessible toilets. The initial work was conducted by architectural students at the University of Melbourne. and then was used by the City Engineering Department to develop the


FEATURED ARTICLE ramped kerb renewal program in an orderly and connected manner.

Volunteers For approximately the first twenty five years, the campaign was conducted by dedicated volunteers in each state. They were thin on the ground. Demands on the volunteers for free advice and auditing grew and were beyond the scope and time-abilities of the committee stalwarts in every state. For a brief time we flirted with the idea of charging for audits and advice, assisted by the input of Margaret Lester, an architect confined to a wheelchair. Margaret was a great asset to the cause of access, and was both a “spotter” and capable of giving appropriate advice. The new State Theatre in Southbank was a particular and successful target. Margaret was at many times our arbiter in light of the lack of regulations. Our maxim was that if Margret couldn’t access a building, then it certainly needed correction. Others from the user groups also added their valuable experience and knowledge. A study of navigation techniques used by people with visual impairments was submitted to the Standards Association and contributed in the production of AS 1428.4. The two legally blind researchers on the project with me were Chris Stewart and Bryan Grant. In 1980, with the support of ACROD, I was awarded a grant from the Victorian Department of Sport and Recreation to produce a design manual on Outdoor Access for All. Ross Clark worked on the project with me, which was awarded the Institute of Architects Public Award in 1981 and helped publicise the cause of Access. Similarly a publication was produced for the Bicentennial Authority in 1988, emphasising the necessity for celebrations to be accessible and inclusive for all people. 1981 proved to be the catalyst. ACROD had long held the aim that people with disabilities would assume a greater role in all committees involved in issues affecting their lives. Committees sprang up in many local government areas. In 1994, my 10 year term as National Chairman concluded. I was succeeded by Edith Hall, a

wonderful and highly skilled negotiator. Edith was a member of the ACROD Board and CEO of the Para/Quad Association of Victoria. She contracted polio in the 1948 epidemic and was unstoppable. She was extremely effective in dealing with politicians and had the ear Of Prime Minister Hawke. Thereafter new players emerged, building on the now firm foundations. The new players, such as Max Murray and John Deshon and others, brought much needed new energy, administrative, legalistic and technical skills. The guidelines and Standards were legitimised with the introduction of the Premises Standards. In response to the new requisites, a new profession of Access Consultancy emerged and has prospered. The journey has been long and hard fought, but the battle has been won through the co-operative and untiring efforts of very many dedicated people in all states of Australia. After years of negotiations, we and other agitators were all delighted when the new Building Code of Australia in 1980 included the first references and regulations for Access.

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November 2017



BLIND SPEED- Inclusion by Design in Action by Farah Madon, Vice President ACAA


en’s story is a great example of how inclusive design and support for an individual can maximise a person’s abilities and with a little help from technology, innovative programing and support can lead to amazing achievements and personal satisfaction.

Blink and you will miss him. The need for speed drives this man to go where few people with all abilities tremble to enter. But then what would you expect from a high achiever who has always tried to be the best at what he does, whether representing Australia in the blind cricket or his pet Sailability program. It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Ben Felten. I met Ben when he worked for Penrith City Council as the Council’s Disability Access Officer and is actually the person


responsible for giving me a great insight to the field of access and for that I will be eternally thankful. But that is Ben for you in a nut shell always looking to help people around him. Ben was diagnosed with a genetic eye condition call Retinitis Pigmentosa post an accident he had on a motorbike when he was just 15 years old. He gradually lost his eyesight and went completely blind by late 30s. In his own words he woke up one day and thought the sun wasn’t shining. That is when I believe he decided to become a bit of a guiding light for people of all abilities. Ben set up the Nepean Blind Sports Club and then gave up full time employment to become the Co-ordinator of Western Sydney – NSW Sports Council for the disabled. Later he went on to establish Sailability Penrith Lakes and was instrumental with the establishment of Para Rowing. Ben is a former world champion and has a host of medals and records to his name in Rowing and Cricket. Many current athletes and Paralympians owe their start to Ben’s passion and drive. What sets Ben apart from the other


FEATURED ARTICLE advocates of “giving people with disability opportunities” is Ben’s passion for inclusion. He encourages everyone, with or without a disability to pursue his or her dreams and turn them to reality. Currently Ben’s pursuits involve attempting to break the world land speed record for fastest speed for a motorcycle ridden blindfolded (current record is 265.33km/h) with Ben’s Australian record being 251.46 km/h. Ben and his navigator former MotoGP racing legend Kevin Magee are preparing to compete at Speed Week 2018 from 12 to 16 March and challenge the land speed record at World Speed Trials Australia from 17 to 19 March 2018 on a huge salt lake in South Australia. Kevin Magee (Magoo) says, “Navigating the blind guy down the track is the most challenging task of my racing career”, Magoo navigates Ben using an analogue radio as there is no delay like a digital radio and Ben

must react instantaniously especially at speed. “When we are going at 250km/h we are travelling at about 70 metres per second so precision and concentration is the key.” Ben has also been nominated to be the Commonwealth Games baton bearer in the Penrith leg of the Queen’s Baton relay on February 4 2018. He has recently started his own charity called “In Sight Of Dreams” which aims to inspire, mentor and challenge people who have acquired a disability to prepare for life and achieve their dreams: • through programs aimed at personal and professional development, coping with change, build resilience and develop life planning skills acquisition and training, • through Mentoring and supporting people who live with an acquired disability to empower them to live more independently and enjoy a better quality-of-life and • through challenging people with an acquired disability to achieve their dreams – no matter how big or small they might be. To find out more about Ben’s latest adventure or to see how you can contribute, go to:

Photos courtesy of

November 2017



From the ACAA Committee of Management November 2017


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

The following members have attained Accredited Level membership: • Bernard Clifford The following members have attained Associate level membership: • Juleia Moore • Adam Buzasi The following members have attained Affiliate level membership: • Peter Samon • Paul Mulholland Congratulations to all. At the 2017 AGM the elected committee members are as listed below • • • • •

President: Mr Mark Relf Vice-President: Ms Farah Madon Secretary: Vacant Treasurer: Ms Lindsay Perry Ordinary Members: » Mr Francis Lenny » Ms Anita Harrop » Ms Cathryn Grant » Ms Jennifer Barling

Due to the vacancy of the Secretary position, the COM decided to ask for expressions of interest from the elected members. Lindsay Perry was nominated and has accepted the role of the Secretary. Francis Lenny was nominated and has accepted the role of the Treasurer. Based on the expressions of interest received for filling the casual vacancy on the ACAA COM, Bruce Bromley will be invited to join the COM from December of 2017 as an Ordinary Member. 12

Meet your 2017-2018 Management Committee Members PRESIDENT Mr Mark Relf AM (One-year term) VICE PRESIDENT Mrs Farah Madon (Two-year term) SECRETARY Ms Lindsay Perry (One-year term) TREASURER Francis Lenny (One-year term) ORDINARY MEMBERS Jennifer Barling (Two-year term) Anita Harrop (One-year term) Ms Cathryn Grant (One-year term) Mr Bruce Bromley (Appointed by ACAA COM for a One-year term)

ACAA representatives on Standard Australia Committees Due to the vacancies created by passing away of Dr Max Murray on a number of Australian Standards Committees, expressions of interest were called from the Membership on the 28th of August 2017. Based on the applications received by the 16th of October 2017 deadline, the ACAA COM has voted the following members in to fill in the vacancies: • FP-017 Emergency Management Planning (Facilities) - Bruce Bromley • MS-051 Hydrotherapy Pools - Mark Relf • ME-04, Lifts, escalators & moving walks Mark Relf • ME-064 Access for People with Disabilities - Farah Madon



Our Heartfelt Thanks to Terry Osborn By Lindsay Perry, Secretary ACAA “The Association is only as good as the sum of its parts - the membership, you!” Terry Osborn


erry has served as the Secretary of ACAA for the past 17 years and will continue to support ACAA in an administrative capacity. Our heartfelt thanks go to Terry for amazing service to ACAA As the incoming secretary, it is an honour to be walking in Terry’s footsteps. He is synonymous with the Association having been the first point of contact for many of our members. Back in the early days when I joined the Association in 2002, I remember the first time I met Terry. He was sitting at the registration desk of our little conference, warmly welcoming the newbies and encouraging them to participate. “Oh, you’re Lindsay Perry” was the first thing he ever said to me and I felt at instantly at ease. I would personally like to celebrate the work Terry has done for the Association and for the tireless (and often thankless) contributions he has made. It is certainly a hard act to follow and I only hope I can do half as good a job. Some words for Terry from the past and current ACAA Presidents.

“Terry has always had his heart in the right place and has been committed to ensuring ACAA got off to a good start and continued that way. At times frustrated that issues/ items did not go smoothly was only evidence of a deep support to ACAA. At times set in his ways but having set up so much of the administration support and systems he knew what was best. A likable colleague and a pleasure to have worked with”

“I first met Terry when ACAA came into being as an incorporated association, and Terry took on the role as the inaugural Secretary. I signed up very shortly after. 17 years later, after a tireless commitment to the association, I am pleased to see him step down and regain some of his life back. Terry, you have always had my utmost support in carrying out your often thankless duties, putting the association first. Over the years you have had to manage all types of situations with the vagaries of our committees and members, which you have done so in a professional manner.Thanks again Terry, from myself and the ACAA community.” Past ACAA President Chris Porter

“Only a very few special people have the tenacity and persistence to hold a position for 17 years, not out and Terry certainly fits the bill. Unlike most committee positions the role Secretary for ACAA in the first 17 years was also a defacto administrator which Terry has given an immense amount of volunteer time and dedication to. From the get go Terry built the foundations of ACAA in terms of administration and not having an existing system to simply follow on with Terry started from scratch and I commend him for his tireless work. Thankfully we are not saying goodbye, but sincerely I say thankyou and hope you will continue assisting ACAA as our part time administrator for a long while to come.” ACAA President Mark Relf AM

Past ACAA President Eric Martin AM

November 2017



Mentoring by Francis Lenny


e all have to start somewhere! There are many of us working in the Access profession, who may have been surprised when we began our working lives to think that our careers would be as Access Consultants. Like the profession we are engaged in, it is recognised & understood that we are all different: • • • • •

We have a range of skills We have a range of backgrounds We all have different personalities We have varied interests It’s acknowledged that different people have different interests

But at the end of the day, we are all equal, and need to be respected for our differences. Noting the above, many of us have taken different pathways to arrive at our current role as an Access Consultant today. Those pathways/backgrounds may include (but are not necessarily limited to): • Personal experience of someone that has a disability • Architecture • Building Surveying • Occupational Therapy • A move from overseas We may have opted for a change of career for one / more of several possible reasons, but its acknowledged we all have a broad or specific interest in the field of Accessibility and Universal design to be where we are today.

»» Completing the Cert IV in Access Consulting »» Post Graduate study in Accessibility / Universal design or a related field BUT, there is no substitute for experience. ACAA wants to help develop that experience for all of us. The ACAA Accredited members working in the Access space over a prolonged time can assist, nurture & encourage those new to the industry, hence the development of the Mentoring Program. The ACAA actively seeks both Mentors and Mentees to sign up for the Mentoring Program. By doing so, we can all aspire to improve the services we provide which will lead to a more welcoming and usable Built Environment for all of us, that recognises that as people we are all different. Some of the key guidance that may be provided by being part of this program include: • Advice on / interpretation of the DDA • Understanding the project brief • Application of legislation to project types for example health, transport and residential projects • Encouragement and a “sanity check” for mentees in relation to project deliverables What have you got to lose? For Mentors – it is an opportunity to give back to your profession and maintain the reputation of our industry.

In our working lives, we have all strived to augment our skills and professional development as Access Consultants in many ways including:

For Mentees – it is an opportunity to supplement and enhance your knowledge; gain confidence and experience and to aspire to be one of the best in your profession (and a future Mentor as part of this program!).

• Attendance at courses & Conferences • Further study; including »» 3rd level education

Please visit: for further details.



CPD OPPORTUNITIES ACAA NSW Access Consultant Network Meeting Date: Wednesday, 21st February 2018 Venue: Sargood on Collaroy Contact ACAA NSW Chairperson Robyn Thompson for details.

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

ACAA SA Access Consultant Network Meeting Date: TBA. Contact ACAA SA Chairperson Grant Wooller for details.

ACAA VIC Access Consultant Network Meeting Date: TBA. Contact ACAA VIC Chairperson Kellie Millar for details.

ACAA WA Access Consultant Network Meeting Date: 5th December 2017, 4pm to 5:30pm Topic: Lifts - what happens when it doesn’t comply. 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 though this LINK

U.S. Access Board Webinar: Looking Ahead – “Frontier Accessibility Issues” (December 7) The next webinar in the U.S. Access Board’s free monthly series will take place December 7 from 2:30 – 4:00 (ET) and will review new design trends, products, and technologies that impact or advance accessibility for people with disabilities. Examples include mobility devices used on commercial airlines, inclusive exercise equipment, adult changing tables, autonomous vehicles, and wayfinding technologies. Visit for more information or to register for the webinar.

UTS Shopfront invites you to Access Leads to Inclusion 5 December, 5.30pm to 7.30pm CLICK HERE for more information. Disability at UTS, an exhibition showcasing the lived experiences of students and staff members with disability at UTS.

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November 2017


UPDATE ON AS1428.4.2

Update on AS1428.4.2 by Robyn Thompson


s most members will be aware, the second public comment draft of AS 1428.4.2 has concluded. This time there were over 500 wide ranging public comments when compared to well over 1000 from the initial public comment rounds last year which all goes well for the work which remains to get this Standard finally published. The intention remains, for this Standard to be referenced by the NCC in 2019, and the Access Code as part of the review of the Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards sometime in the not too distant future.

Wayfinding Handbook. While work progressed on the main Standard, within the time constraints of the NCC, the Handbook has been put on hold as much of this work remains to be completed. In the future it is hoped the Handbook will potentially be a useful tool however at this point in time, a lack of time and willing volunteers with the required expertise has not made this possible. As I reported last year and this year, I remain disappointed that AS1428.4.2 which was initially conceived as a Standard on accessible wayfinding has become an accessible signage Standard. However it is still wonderful that hopefully once referenced by the NCC, signage will be legible to a large number of Australians who would otherwise be excluded.

The ME-064-02 working committee, has almost completed the work necessary to respond to the latest public comment round and finalise the draft, as well as preparing the document for publication. It is no longer proposed to develop a Handbook to be published with the Standard. The challenge of preparing a wayfinding Standard that could potentially be included as a normative document in the NCC has proved immense. There was little appropriate research available and internationally very limited similar material available. On commencement of the task of writing a Standard from scratch a huge amount of time and effort went into preparing appropriate material for a Wayfinding Standard, it then became apparent that the if the Standard were to provide measurable design requirements, that were both useful for the vision impaired community and acceptable to the building design and construction industry a compromise was required. Hence the decision to develop a Signage Standard and a 16



WA Access Happenings! by Anita Harrop

Now Pip is happily enjoying a more leisurely life, painting and travelling as well as being a Kings Park Guide.


ecently Kris Keen, consulting architect and access and heritage advocate, advised the WA access networking group of his retirement from architecture, at a splendid 80 years young! Kris has had a varied career including practicing in many geographic regions of the world from the UK and East Africa where he “designed and managed almost everything except a Turkish bath” and finally to WA in 1971 where he started working at WAIT (now Curtin University), enabling people with disabilities to access their studies. Kris has been a member of the WA Institute of Architects Access Committee and the State WA Access Committee since their inceptions. Kris is now spending more time with his passion for painting and is playing a lot more golf! Pip Daly Smith, WA’s first ACAA State representative has also retired. Pip qualified in occupational therapy, recreation, communication and access and jumped at the opportunity to work on the Disability Access Services Plans initiative for public authorities at Disability Services Commission. WA was the first Australian State requiring such plans and Pip found ACAA to be an invaluable network, especially when developing access policies and resources. Travelling statewide to help improve access was a highlight. Another was when Pip travelled America on a Ray Young Scholarship to study access legislation and implementation – then, as a direct follow-up, WA successfully hosted Australia’s inaugural Universal Design Conference.

Another recent retiree from the industry of Access Consulting in WA is Ann O’Brien. Ann qualified in occupational therapy and went on to work in a variety of clinical settings before leaving to raise four children. On her return to her career she worked at the Independent Living Centre (ILC) for 10 years and during this time she gained an understanding and specific interest in how people with a range of disabilities navigate the environment and how providing a more accessible WA could change lives. When the ILC was asked to undertake access audits for public authorities (to meet their requirements of the Disability Access Services Plans) Ann jumped at the opportunity to become involved and soon headed up the ILC Disability Access Consultancy, and, it was during this time she won the contract to be the Access Consultant on the new southern rail line from Perth to Mandurah. In 2004 Ann became an independent consultant and continued to lead the way in providing advice on small and large projects in WA. As the business grew Ann and Anita Harrop formed a partnership and continued as O’Brien Harrop Access to make a significant contribution in changing the face of access for people with disabilities in WA. Since retirement Ann has taken up a small mentoring role with younger access consultants, she is enjoying quality time with her grandchildren, traveling more and stopping to smell the roses! With recent and pending retirements, it reminds us in WA that we have much to learn from access consultants that have preceded us and those who continue to work in this exciting and diverse field. November 2017



ACAA Conference Dinner By Patricia Flores


he Queensland ACCESS 2017 Conference Committee, led by our “fun” event’s organiser extraordinaire, Emily Tolliday embarked on the goal to providing a heart felt but yet laid back, relaxed fun evening for all conference dinner attendees and trade exhibitors. All would agree that John Deshon presented a memorable oration signifying Max Murray’s life and great contribution to our industry. The evening also offered many light-hearted moments, where Jane Bryce and Emily Tolliday lit up the room with their distribution of conference delegate awards in eight categories ranging from ‘who has travelled the longest from outside of Australia’ to ‘which

company with the most delegates at the Conference’ and the ‘newest member who attended the conference’. This was followed by a new item on the Conference Dinner program, that we hope to see at future conferences, the trade exhibitors raffle. All delegates could participate through raffle tickets found under their bread and butter plates. This is where, with 3 hours’ notice, trade exhibitors had to get creative and provide a prize. Trade exhibitors prizes ranged from two bread rolls that were on the dinner table, pens and minties, to a delegate satchel and quite a surprise to the raffle ticket winners, which resulted in some very funny moments. I am sure that all who attended would agree this was a most enjoyable evening. Thanks to all who attended and for their contributions to a successful night.

The awards were as follows: • Longest Distance travelled within Australia to ACCESS 2017 Conference Dinner – Sony Snowsill • Company with the most Delegates at ACCESS 2017 Conference Dinner – Architecture & Access • Most Comments on the ACAA E-Forum – John Deshon • Runner Up for the Most Comments on the ACAA E-Forum – Gary Finn


• The Newest Accredited Member – Lynda Wilem • The Newest Associate Member – Riana Greenberger • The Newest Affiliate Member – David Choe • The first Trade Booth Sponsor to ACCESS 2017 – Con–Serv • The Trade Booth that took the longest to set up – RBA Group



Book: Inclusive Design, Implementation and Evaluation Authors: Jordana L. Maisel, Edward Steinfeld, Megan Basnak, Korydon Smith and M. Beth Tauke Published: October, 2017

Reviewed by Cathryn Grant Architecture & Access

Aims: This short book is part of the Pocket Architecture: Technical Design Series, published by Routledge. This book, and the others in the series, are to be a “first source” reference for design professionals, contractors, builders, developers or building owners.

Results: The book has an introduction and four chapters. The preface and introduction give a history of inclusive design and why inclusive design is important for human health and social participation. Then each chapter covers a design phase with the fourth being occupancy. In the first three chapters the book describes how inclusive design can be implemented with the fourth chapter, occupancy, focusing on the evaluation of inclusive design. Chapter One, Pre-design, invites readers to consider who are the stakeholders and who will be a part of the project team including consultants, clients and end users. It discusses using a variety of methods to gather data on the end users including focus groups, interviews, surveys etc. Site selection and

proximity to good transport are discussed. It provides some suggestions on how reframe discussions about the cost of inclusive design by not framing it as an “add on” but adding rather a value-add to the project. Chapter Two covers the “design” phase and essentially runs through the elements of a building and provides suggestions for inclusive design. The construction phase is discussed in Chapter Three and highlights the need to educate builders about inclusive design. It highlights the need for good notes on drawings and details are provided in the book about level thresholds and a ramped threshold. The Fourth chapter, Occupancy, focuses on evaluation. Subjective and objective measures of building performance are discussed. The authors purport post occupancy evaluation will assist designers improve their practice in future projects.

Take home message: It is a good introductory guide on inclusive design for those working in the design and construction of buildings.

November 2017



Conference Trade Exhibition ACAA would like to thank our Trade Exibitors. Please find the contact details as listed below

Con-serv To get in touch with supplier: Contact Ian Carmody




Braille Tactile Signs (Aust) To get in touch with supplier: Contact Peter Lorenc

ClearaSound To get in touch with supplier: Contact Andrew Stewart

Britex Group To get in touch with supplier: Contact Tracy Quach

November 2017



Active Mobility Systems To get in touch with supplier: Contact James Pridham

Universal Braille Signs To get in touch with supplier: Contact David Hay

Maxwood Technologies To get in touch with supplier: Contact Michael Donnelly




Enware To get in touch with supplier: Contact Tim Fisher

Signcraft and Visualise Braille & Tactile Signs To get in touch with supplier: Contact Trevor Pitt

Raise Lift Group To get in touch with supplier: Contact Greg Russell

November 2017



Para Mobility To get in touch with supplier: Contact Sally Farrow

Architecture and Access / Access Institute To get in touch with supplier: Contact Chris Porter CPorter@architectureandaccess.

RBA Group To get in touch with supplier: Contact Kel Lupis




November 2017 Hot Apps


n this section we have featured 4 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.

VisualBraille Lite Would you like to check if the Braille on the signage is actually correct and relates to the text used in the signage? Then this free app is for you. Simply type in the text written on the signage and the app will show you what the Braille translation of the text looks like. Download from Itunes Store Since this app is not available for android devices, this website provides the text to Braille conversion for free:

Handy Grade Converter As Access consultants we are looking for slope grades in terms of a ratio like 1:10 or 1:14 etc. However the laser grade meters on the market provide slopes in degrees or percentages. This handy app allows you to feed in the value as a degree or percentage value and find out the ratio with just a click of a button. At this point of this app is only available on Itunes. Download from Itunes Store Since this app is not available for android devices, this website provides the conversion calculator for free:

Decibel X - dB Sound Meter Have you wondered how quiet is your room or how loud is a rock concert or sport event? With a Standard measurement range from 30 dBA up to 130 dBA, “Decibel X� will help you answer your sound questions. Download from Itunes Store

Sound Meter While Decibel X is only available on Itunes store another app called Sound meter provides a similar service for android devices. Download from Google Play

November 2017


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Access Insight - ACAA Newsletter Oct/Nov 2017  
Access Insight - ACAA Newsletter Oct/Nov 2017