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Have your say about accessibility building standards

February 24, 2021

In about a month’s time Australia’s building ministers will meet to consider the inclusion of minimum accessibility standards in the National Construction Code (NCC).

This decision is critical for the millions of Australians with mobility issues who currently cannot access thousing that meets their needs.

Ministers will be choosing between the current voluntary guidelines, or mandatory accessibility standards. The opt-in approach, long favoured by the building industry, has been in place for over a decade and has failed to deliver the promised supply of accessible homes.

A recent study by the University of Melbourne found that out of over 1,000 Australians with mobility impairments, 73.6 per cent lived in housing that did not meet, or only partly met their accessibility needs. Only a mandatory approach will future-proof Australia’s housing for coming generations, and cater to the demands of an ageing population.

OCAV has long argued for mandatory standards which are not just accessible but also age-friendly and dementia-friendly.

The Summer Foundation and La Trobe University are currently investigating the most important accessible design features for Australians with a mobility impairment. This study surveys people with mobility issues including seniors and people with disability, and collects evidence on the impact of incorporating specific accessible features into new housing.

The survey is open for another two weeks and asks participants which accessible design features are essential to them when visiting friends and family, or when choosing a new home.

Please, have your say.


“Our home has always been a place where family and friends are welcome.  Our cottage at Rushall Park is no different and the community of friends here is important to us and that’s why their work is part of my art box,” Jennifer Barden said.

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