Access Insight - Spring 2020

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Changes to car parking: NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation Design Standard Food for Thought: AS 2890 Parts 1 and 6

The Ugly, the Bad and the Good of Accessible Parking Parking: Some Anomalies




TREASURER: Mr Howard Moutrie

From the President’s Desk............................3


Congratulations from the Committee of Management................................................4

Ms Cathryn Grant Ms Claire Cunningham Mr Francis Lenny

ACAA State Access Consultants Network.......4

Mr Richard Seidman

The Ugly, the Bad and the Good of accessible parking ......................................6 Food for Thought: AS 2890 Parts 1 and 6.....8 Parking: some anomalies............................10 Changes to car parking: NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation Design Standard...................................................12 Review......................................................17

Address: 20 Maud Street, Geelong VIC 3220 Email:

Phone: +61 3 5221 2820 Web:


Anita Harrop

Spring 2020 Issue Cover photo credit: iStockphoto Please email the Editor if you would like to showcase your project on the Cover of the next Access Insight


President of the Association of Consultants in Access Australia


t is with pleasure that I write this 'From the President’s Desk' as the first female president of ACAA. A huge thankyou to Mark Relf for everything he has done during his time in the President’s chair. Mark, your dedication and knowledge will be very much missed by the Committee. Yours are big shoes to fill but I’ll give it a go! Before the silly season officially begins, we have the upcoming AGM, coming to you this year via zoom. Following the AGM our forum topic will centre around how ACAA can support you, the members, post COVID-19. The Committee is keen for your input and I personally encourage you to have your say and offer suggestions so that it can be reflected in our strategic plan that will be updated in the new year. I am keen to get members involved in ACAA activities through subcommittees and panels. So if you are at all interested in assisting the Committee, please feel free to contact me personally to discuss and/or volunteer. More people brings a greater variety of skills which can only be a good thing. The committee is currently exploring options for a virtual conference next year and also the development of a CPD webinar series. So if anyone would like to be involved, or present to our members (and the broader community) on their area of expertise / interest, again I

encourage you to raise your hand and volunteer. Don’t be shy! Technical or theoretical, lets once again get passionate about access issues and see where this takes us as an organisation. A collaborative approach is always exciting as it means knowledge is shared and opportunities arise. Back to the matter at hand, this issue of Access Insight is all about carparking. How many of you get really irritated every time you‘re out and about, seeing the dreaded kerb ramp in the shared area or signage referring to 'disabled space'? I know I do!! We have a range of insightful articles for you to deliberate over, including a discussion of some anomalies in the standards, information on SDA carparking requirements, the lowdown on driverless vehicles and an interesting account of 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' of accessible carparking. Finally, as this is the last edition of Access Insight for the year, I wish you and your families a festive silly season (whatever that may look like this year). Stay safe and I hope the new year brings you all peace and happiness. Enjoy this issue!

Spring 2020



Congratulations from the Committee of Management The ACAA Committee of Management congratulates the following members on upgrading to Associate or Accredited membership and welcomes our new Affiliate members! Congratulations all!



• Annabel Drynan

• Fiona Chammoun • Luke Curtain • George Fuller • Owen Kleidon

ASSOCIATE MEMBERS • Nicholas Dixon • Peter Samon • Mark Solomon

• Jacob Matthew • Jennifer Wright

• Edward Lukac • Jean Dany Nahanneah • Kelly Smith • Rachel Whymark

ACAA State Access Consultants Networks NEW SOUTH WALES NEW SOUTH WALES Contact: ACAA NSW Chairperson Robyn Thompson SOUTH AUSTRALIA Contact: ACAA SA Chairperson Grant Wooller QUEENSLAND Contact: ACAA QLD Chairperson Angela Chambers VICTORIA Contact: ACAA VIC Secretary Mr Paul Eltringham WESTERN AUSTRALIA Contact: ACAA WA Chairperson Anita Harrop


NSW coordinated a Zoom event with speaker Shyamika Peeligama, a Principal Investigator/Conciliator with the Australian Human Rights Commission. Shyamika spoke on the Disability Discrimination Act and the Human Rights Commission complaints process, she answered many questions related to the types of complaints received and the conciliation process. This was followed by a presentation on The National Registration Framework Discussion Paper the presented by Ms Nazra Hameed from the BCR Framework Implementation Team at the Australian Building Codes Board.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA Due to the challenges presented to us in finding an appropriate venue in these COVID times an informal Access Network meeting was held at the Oxford Hotel in Leederville on Tuesday the 8th of September 2020. We had a small group, but it allowed an informative sharing and discussion session regarding access issues between all parties. Several members sent their apologies as they were unable to attend. The WA network is still searching for a venue for more formal meetings (one offer has been made for a meeting room in Fremantle). In the interim, the plan is for another informal gathering perhaps at the Oxford Hotel for the end of year meeting on Tuesday 24th of November 2020. Also noting both Judi and Anita are standing down from co ordinating roles so if anyone feels they are able to take on this role for the WA Access network meetings let one of us know.




The Ugly, the Bad and the Good of accessible parking by Nick Morris

Nick Morris a former Paralympian, a Director of MGAC and is an accredited Accessibility and Universal Design expert and advisor. Nick’s status, experience and commitment has seen him become a role model within the industry, a mentor to many organisations Australia and worldwide where he is helping to foster an accessibility and Universal Design culture.


n my opinion there really are only two reasons for accessible parking. Simply people who use mobility aids that need to be assembled or unloaded from the side or rear, that requires more space free from


obstruction. And those with mobility impairments, illnesses or injuries, who need to be close to an entry or seating due to assisted mobility, fatigue, or limitation of movement, be they sensory or the like. Both sets of users benefit from being away from passing traffic. I have had three interesting experiences: vigilantism, mobility aid excursion and parking location. Firstly, as a young good looking guy (self-assessed on both fronts, I might add) I have been questioned and interrogated by people as I park in a space, that I should not be using the accessible parking space.


FEATURED ARTICLE My response of 'wait a moment' gives me time to see the blood drain from their face, when they see me pulling out a wheelchair from my back seat. Thanks for your concern, but who made you the boss?! Yes, I was concerned when an elderly gentleman got out of his car with a gym bag, obviously about to do some rehab on the dodgy hip, only to see him suit up for 3 sets of squash. Or the lady who said she was shopping for her mum even though her Mum was at home drinking tea. But by far the best was the antenna installation van occupying a space with a permit clearly displayed. I am sure there are many other stories. Moral of the story: invisible disability, impairment or illness are sometimes truly invisible. Not long after my accident I parked in a parallel parking space and assembled my chair, turning to get my backpack only to see it take off down the hill amongst the traffic. Over its 50 metre journey, I don’t know what was funnier: seeing people’s faces of a light weight chair with no one in it, moving at speed down a hill? Or the two good Samaritans hearing my yells of 'get the chair!', then look at me, look at the chair, look at me again and twig that the pursuit was on! Moral of the story: put your brakes on after you put the wheels on. The last experience was having a misguided lawyer, with personalised plates, park in the shared zone between two legitimate parkers, myself and an elderly gentleman. I am sure many people who use chairs or mobility aids have had to ask a stranger to get in their car to reverse it out of a space, because the shared space or the parking space next to you no longer has the same gap when you arrived. After getting my car out and taking a picture, I duly posted to Facebook the situation. Within 2 hours I had the lawyer (who, I might add, specialises in representing people in personal injury), plead with me to take it down. He had clients ring and cancel, and various attacks from people saying he was a serial offender.

Moral of the story: make sure you insist on a bollard in the shared zone and don’t park in the shared zone with personalised plates. Lastly here are some recommendations from my experience: • Natural surfaces are ok for parking, just make sure you add a 10% concrete stabiliser to the decomposed granite. • Car stackers should not negate provision of accessible parking, particularly out the front of a retail premises. • Where parking is not required for a development, contact the Council to provide street parking. • Ensure the wheel blocks are far enough into the parking space, so that when a twin cab ute with a tow bar (tradies ute) reverses into a space, it leaves more than 600mm. • Parallel parking on main or busy roads should never be designed or installed. The duty of care or safety in design, to ensure safe movement is our responsibility. As I write this, my life has changed. I have been in a rehabilitation hospital for three weeks (with a further two to go), due to rupturing my bicep while playing with my daughter. I have gone from a very independent wheelchair user, to a person who needs a hoist to get into and out of bed, as well as on and off a commode with staff assistance. My mobility is via an electric wheelchair. I have firsthand knowledge now of why Changing Places facilities and drop offs for rear loading vehicles are so vital in our community. All the best, especially to those in lock down or front line medical or care staff.

Spring 2020



Food for Thought: AS 2890 Parts 1 and 6 by Howard Moutrie

Howard is an architect and access consultant with 40 years experience and is a member of the working group of the ME64 committee.

6. Finally, there were other considerations, which included how structural elements related to the parking space and this included the accessible parking space.


So now, if we use the same process with AS 2890.1-2004 and AS 2890.6-2010 the process is:

am often asked to write a performance solution for a column beside the accessible parking space and the shared zone. This has made me think about how AS 2890.6 is used, generally in isolation, when it should be read in conjunction with AS 2890.1. If the two are read together things become a lot clearer. I shall explain. Please note that this is my opinion, which I believe to be correct, but others may disagree. Before explaining my approach, I think it is worthwhile looking at the process for planning a carpark prior to the introduction of Part 6, using AS 2890.1-1993. The process was:

1. Refer to table 1.1 of AS 2890.1 and determine class of parking. Accessible parking is Class 4. The table refers to AS 2890.6 for the size requirements. (emphasis is mine) 2. Refer to Figure 2.2 of AS 2890.1 which provides the size for the various classifications and different angled parking configurations. For Class 4, Parking for people With A Disability, this again refers to

1. Refer to table 1.1 of AS 2890.1 and determine class of parking. Accessible parking was Class 4. 2. Refer to Figure 2.2 of AS 2890.1 which provided the size for the various classifications and different angled parking configurations. 3. Then there were requirements for general parking areas, such as wheel stops, barriers, etc. 4. Clause 2.4.5 of AS 1428.1 then provided specific requirements for the accessible parking spaces. 5. Then in subsequent clauses there were requirements for ramps and aisles, line marking, etc.



FEATURED ARTICLE AS 2890.6 for the size requirement and the requirement for the shared areas. Figure 2.2 also says in Note 5 that aisle width are the same as noted in the table for the other parking classes. 3. If we then revert back to Part 1, the requirements for general parking areas, such as wheel stops, barriers, etc are provided. 4. Then, again within Part 1, there are requirements for ramps and aisles, line marking, etc. 5. Finally, in Section 5 are the other considerations, which include how structural elements (including columns) relate to the parking space. This section applies to all carparks, so it can be assumed it applies to accessible parking particularly as it makes specific reference to Part 6 in relation to headroom. To me this is a logical approach to designing a carpark. By treating Part 6 for what it really is, an expanded description of a Class 4 parking space, the confusion regarding the location of columns is removed. Part 6 provides no greater scope than which was previously provided in the old Part 1 regarding the actual parking space size and then the specific requirements such as gradient, clear headroom, etc. which were in Clause 2.4.5. To take this further, the requirements for parking at angles other than 90 degrees, can be gleaned in the same manner. Unfortunately, AS 2890.6 doesn’t address the other angles at all and, really, this does need to be addressed as the bollard has significant impact on 45 degree and 60 degree parking. Perhaps the way around this is to assess the requirement for the bollard as being that it is required to be provided as shown in Fig 2.3 and 2.3 which only deal with 90 degree parking. So, back to the performance solution. The BCA requires the parking for people with a disability to comply with AS 2890.6. If we are to take Part 6 as providing the size requirements only, then there is no need for a performance solution for the column because the parking space size is compliant and the column location is addressed in Part 1. I am assuming the column is located in accordance with Part 1. Interestingly, AS 2890.1 is not referenced in the BCA. Spring 2020



Parking: some anomalies by Eric J Martin, AM

Eric Martin has practiced architecture since 1973. He is a life fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects and has a Masters degree in building conservation. After working with Government and private practice he established his own architectural practice in 1998 offering a full range of services with additional expertise in architectural conservation and access for people with disabilities. In 2019 the practice was awarded the Australian Institute of Architects Professional Practice of the Year for the ACT. Eric is the Australian Institute of Architects International Representative to the UIA Region IV Access and Heritage Committees and the Building Codes Committee. He is a member of Standards Australia ME64 committee on disability access and the Institute of National Practice Committee. He is also the current convener of the Institute’s National Access Working Group. Eric is an accredited access consultant and is past National President of the Association of Consultants in Access, Australia. He is currently the Australian Institute of Architects representative on the Building Codes Committee. In 2006 Eric was granted the award of Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his contribution to heritage and conservation and disability access matters in Australia.



here are some anomalies with the parking standards that detail requirements for people with disabilities:

1. GRADIENTS AS1428.1 requires a maximum 1 in 40 for concrete surfaces and a maximum 1 in 33 for bituminous concrete. This has been accepted as bitumen is a rougher surface and the slightly steeper gradient is required for a more effective run off or drainage. However, for wheelchair users of parking spaces the maximum gradient is all about easy movement in any direction without tipping over. If 1 in 33 is accepted as suitable to prevent tipping over with one material then why is it not accepted for all materials?



2. ANGLED PARKING This is permitted in AS2890.6 section 2.2.1 for between 45 degrees and 90 degrees. The principle of a shared zone between five designated parking spaces is to enable a potential user to drive in or back in and always have the shared area available to exit/enter the vehicle regardless of whether they are a driver or passenger. However, with angled parking it is easy to drive in but almost impossible to back in against the vehicle movement required and if successful it is pointing toward the oncoming traffic. This option needs to be deleted. 3. CIRCULATION SPACE/SHARED AREA This is clearly defined as is the location of the bollard. However, a question arises as to whether all this space is required to exit/enter a vehicle (AS2890.6 Fig 2 next page). The bollard is located to prevent unauthorised access to the shared area. It also acknowledges that the 800mm at the front or rear of the shared area is not required for essential circulation except to pass through to get out of the shared area. The shape of shared area is a rectangle but wheelchairs turn in circles so the corners are non-required spaces in the shared area (in a similar way that the toilet circulation has accepted rounded corners to the circulation space). The constraints on columns in the shared area needs to be made clear as they do exist in all multilevel buildings but the size, location and intrusion possibilities in the shared area is not defined.

Spring 2020



Changes to car parking: NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation Design Standard by Rachel Whymark (Positive Access and Sustainable Solutions (PASS) Building Consultants)

Rachel’s passion and advocacy for a more accessible (and sustainable) building environment began as a trainee building certifier in the UK 33 years ago. Specialising in interpretation of legislation, particularly of Part M (Access to and use of buildings), Part L (Conservation of fuel and power) and Part B (Fire Safety) of the UK building regulations. She went on to be part of the specialist building control team at the National House Building Council, judged the RIBA housing design awards, and worked as a project manager for the Movement for Innovation’s Housing Forum. Arriving in far North Queensland 16 years ago, her attention turned to working for builders and developers and enabling the construction of many award winning homes in far North Queensland with an emphasis on sustainability and accessibility. In 2018, Rachel decided to become an access consultant aiming for Accredited membership of the ACAA, undertaking her Diploma in Access Consulting. She has also completed the Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) assessor course, and Liveable Housing Australia (LHA) course. Rachel is based in Cairns and works as an access and sustainability consultant for projects all over Australia. 12




here are a few significant differences between the Liveable Housing Australia Guidelines (LHA), compared to the new Specialist Disability Accommodation Design Standard (SDA) which was issued on 25 October 2019.

a reminder, the new SDA categories (excluding basic) are:

Of course, at the moment (if the building is due for completion before 30 June 2021), we have the option of using either route, LHA Guidelines, or SDA Design Standard. However, as always, being mindful of a client’s objectives and requirements, whilst meeting the regulatory obligations, should be forefront in one’s mind when advising clients.

• High physical support (HPS)

Car parking is a good example highlighting the significant changes between the old and new framework.

CAR PARKING: WHAT HAS CHANGED? Under the LHA Guidelines (Performance statement 1) regardless of the category (from Silver right through to Platinum Level), you have the option of providing a safe, continuous, step-free pathway from the car parking space and/or the street entrance. Hands up all those who had to use the car park as access rather than from the site boundary on some lots? I know I have when faced with tight, less than flat sites. This gave flexibility for trickier blocks, however, it meant limiting some building occupants who may use wheelchairs (either with or without assistance) to the constraint of possibly arriving and leaving the dwelling by car only. To facilitate greater independence, the new SDA Design Standards, are now written to differentiate between different categories. As

• Improved Liveability (IL) • Robust (R) • Fully accessible (FA)

For ALL SDA categories, clause 3.1 stipulates that ‘a safe, continuous step-free accessway shall be provided from both; • The front boundary of the site, and • From any car parking space associated with the dwelling (excluding staff only parking) to an entry doorway of the dwelling’. Note the exclusion if the parking is for staff. If no parking is provided for participants, then this clause does not apply and therefore your accessway need only be from the front boundary. Is it better to provide both where you can? Well I think so. Building in flexibility is best practice, and should where possible be introduced in my view, however, it may not always achievable. Again, discussion with your client is key in ensuring optimum outcomes for your clients and of course the dwelling occupants.

HOW DO I KNOW IF THE CAR PARKING IS FOR STAFF? This is a question for the SDA provider. Ask them who the parking is for, and then you can assess if the design requirements need to applied as outlined in 3.3 (R and IL categories) or 3.4 (FA and HPS categories).

Spring 2020


FEATURED ARTICLE But wait! There is a concession! Your accessway can still be from a car parking space (and not the front boundary) for Robust and Improved liveability. Under the new SDA Design Standard, in clause 3.2, it allows for Robust (R) and Improved Liveability (IL) categories the option of an accessway from the car park to the dwelling, rather than requiring it also from the front boundary. With the rationale that IL and R participants ‘may not require the use of a wheelchair for mobility and therefore may not necessarily be affected adversely from this concession’. Clause 3.3 provides the spatial and other physical requirements for R and IL participant parking, and clause 3.4 provides the requirements for FA and HPS categories. Do note the clarification notes that were issued by the Access Institute on 29 July 2020 which also confirms compliance with AS2890.6 will also satisfy SDA compliance. As with the rest of the document, there is a lot more detail in the SDA Design Standard than in the LHA Guidelines (we now have 25 sections


PLUS some really useful best practice information). As SDA assessors, as always, liaise with your clients (and their building certifiers) early on, so that clauses such as 3.5 (which refers to compliance with AS2890.6 for some building classifications) is complied with. Bathrooms are another area where liaison with certifiers is important, but we are not talking about bathrooms today!

To summarise: • More details and supporting diagrams than previously, including rationale. • Clauses are more specific, watch if applicable to some or all SDA design categories. • Concession for R and IL from the front boundary. • Determine if car parking is for participants or not, from the provider.



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Prepared by Cathryn Grant

DRIVERLESS VEHICLE TECHNOLOGY IS OFFERING HOPE OF A TRULY INDEPENDENT FUTURE TO PEOPLE WHO HAVE TO RELY ON OTHERS FOR TRANSPORT Author: Fran Molloy Date: 22 December 2017 Source: The Royal Automobile Club of WA (RAC) (accessed 08/10/2020) Discussion: Transportation can be a big issue for some people with a disability, the elderly and children that are not yet of driving age or those that do not have access to a private vehicle. Can autonomous vehicles (AV) be part of the answer?

AV trials and innovation is underway in all other states of Australia now. Visit the following website to read more: trials.

The RAC in partnership with the Western Australian Government and the City of South Perth have been trialing a driverless bus in South Perth since 1 September 2016. This was the first trial of its kind in Australia and is called the Intellibus. It travels along a 3.5km set route through many different traffic experiences. There are two chaperones on board at all times.

Our challenge is to ensure that the many and varied needs of people with a disability are factored into these new technologies, including the vehicles and supporting infrastructure which incorporates the built environment and software technologies.

The results of a post-ride survey indicate that: • 84% reported their experience as extremely positive • 81% of people strongly agreed that this technology would enhance freedom and independence for the young, ageing and those with mobility difficulties • 59% reported not at all being concerned about learning how to use a driverless vehicle • 98% believed that the Intellibus could be used as a future service in WA Source: Spring 2020




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