With the introduction by the Federal Government of the Disability Discrimination Act â1992 (DDA), design standards must cater for people with disabilities. RSAâs growing area of expertise is the pedestrian, DDA and accessibility auditing.
The principal DDA/Accessibility auditor oversees the auditing of pedestrian related designs for buildings, open space & public transport etc, investigations of pedestrian accidents and countermeasure development, and pedestrian controls for major events.
The principal DDA/Accessibility auditor provides the specialised auditing services that architects, councils, landscape designers, building, construction and public transport companies need to ensure a fully inclusive society and importantly compliance with the DDA.
RSA has established itself as a leader in accessibility and safety audits. Our experience in undertaking accessibility audits has prepared company personnel to look at all issues that can affect accessibility and safety for all users. The company enjoys a reputation of being credible and realistic in its assessment and approach to dealing with accessibility and safety issues in areas that include existing infrastructure redevelopments, new developments, urban design and public transport.
The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) was passed by the Federal Parliament, in November 1992, and in 2002 the Federal Parliament passed the first DDA Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport. The leading object of the Act is: “to eliminate, as far as possible, discrimination against persons on the ground of disability” – and to do this in areas of life from employment and education to access to premises and goods & services.
The DDA is a general law that removes discrimination in a wide range of activities. Its philosophy is that all people have rights to access the economic, social, cultural and political life of the community.
Some of the visible changes resulting from the Disability Discrimination Act include:
- Installation of Tactile Ground Surface Indictors (TGSIs) to inform people with vision impairments about direction of paths and road crossings and to warn them of hazards;
- Installation of ramps and hand-rails to assist people with mobility impairments; and
- Construction of new platform tram stops so that tram services can be accessed by people with mobility impairments.
Access and mobility are issues that cannot be neglected. It is not just an aspect of good building design, it extends to the external environment, public areas outside buildings, parks, BBQ areas and street furniture, which are not currently covered by the Building Code Australia. But the best results are achieved by good design.