If you don’t interact with people with disabilities regularly, you might not understand why specific accommodations are necessary. For example, you might not know why wheelchair users need wider doorways and larger circulation spaces or why unisex accessible toilets need to be private. Similarly, you might not know why stairways need handrails on both sides or why doors and doorways need visual indicators for people with vision impairments.
If an organisation or facility does not comply with these requirements, people with disability in our society are at a disadvantage, and the fundamentals of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) instrument empowered by State and Territory legislation could be lost. This could even lead to formal action, with complaints filed under the Human Rights Commission for “treating a person less fairly’.
If you want to install a disability ramp on your property, it must be built following the DDA guidelines.
The guidelines state that all new buildings and facilities must be designed and built to allow people with disabilities to safely and easily access them. This includes providing adequate signage, lighting, and disabled ramps that meet Australian standards.
Codes and Legislation
Several laws and standards govern the planning and construction of facilities to ensure they are accessible to everyone.
Disability (Access to Premises – buildings) Standards 2010 (Premises Standards)
This is a national document breaking down the fundamentals when constructing a public building to ensure that people with disabilities are provided dignified, cost-effective, and achievable access to buildings, facilities, and services within buildings.
The Premises Standards lay out specific requirements that must be met for new buildings and renovations to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act. These requirements cover various areas, such as accessibility and mobility, to make facilities accessible and welcoming for everyone.
‘Covered by these Standards’ refers to the specific Australian Standards that set out the dimensional requirements for accessible buildings. This is important because many building professionals mistakenly refer to the standards when the Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010 or the Building Code of Australia does not require consideration of these items.
The Australian Human Rights Commission created the Guideline to help those responsible for buildings and those interested in access to facilities understand the application of the Disability (Access to Premises – buildings) Standards 2010 (Premises Standards).
What Is Covered by AS1428?
The AS1428.1 provides comprehensive and detailed specifications around the building of features, including pathways, stairways, circulation spaces, and Disabled toilet set-outs.
AS1428.1 Clause 10 Pathways
The AS1428.1 focuses on ensuring that all paths of travel are continuous and accessible, without any obstacles that would block or impede its use.
AS1428.1 Clause 10 Ramps
Several ramp requirements must be complied with under the AS1428.1
Some of them include:
The maximum gradient of a step ramp must be no less than 1:10 and no longer than 1900 mm to avoid fatigue.
Kerb ramps can be built in a grade of not less than 1:8 over a length not longer than 1540 mm.
Note that these dimensional requirements have evidence-based research behind them to ensure reasonable access is available for people with disability.
The Standards and Guidelines for Access and Mobility in Australia provide a comprehensive framework for designing and constructing accessible environments. They aim to make sure that people with disabilities have the same opportunities to participate in society as everyone else. The Standards and Guidelines are essential for promoting accessibility and inclusion for all Australians.
Hopefully, this post from Aussie Balustrading and Stairs, your trusted glass balustrade manufacturers in Perth sheds light on the accessibility standards that must be met by buildings in Australia. For more information on disabled ramps and Australian standards, contact Aussie Balustrading and Stairs today!