The Disability Services Commission has developed this training package for public authorities to use in staff training
Access and Inclusion Section Four
This section covers: • Access and inclusion • Benefits of access and inclusion • Designing access for different disability types • Access to information • Access to services • Access to buildings and facilities • Resources
Access and inclusion The removal or reduction of barriers (physical and attitudinal) to participation in the activities and functions of a community by ensuring that information, services, buildings and facilities are accessible and welcoming to people with various disabilities.
Benefits of Access and Inclusion Access and inclusion also assists: • parents with prams • seniors and frail aged • people with temporary illness or disability • people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds • children.
Designing access • There are many different types of disabilities, however the implications for service planners and providers are best when considering the three major areas of disability: • physical • communication and thought processes • sensory.
People who use a wheelchair Design considerations: • avoid abrupt vertical changes of levels • provision of accessible parking and toilets • avoid excessive slopes • provide adequate reach at counters • provide clearance under tables and benches • provide adequate doorway width • avoid surface finishes which hamper wheelchair mobility.
People with walking difficulties Design considerations: • steps and handrail design • provision of accessible parking and toilets • provide cover from the weather • provide seating in waiting areas and at counters • identify access hazards associated with doors • provide non-slip surface finishes • minimise street clutter.
People who experience difficulty manipulating / holding objects Design considerations: • provision of accessible fittings (door handles, taps) • operation of switches.
People with partial or complete loss of sight Design considerations: • provide ways for identifying change in direction, levels, hazards and obstacles • ensure good size, colour, colour contrast, location and illumination for printed material and signs • provide clear, even illumination levels in and around buildings.
People with hearing impairment or who are Deaf Design considerations: • provide information that is both written and spoken • provide clear signage • provide an audio loop or other appropriate hearing augmentation systems.
Disabilities affecting thought and communication processes Design considerations: • create well-planned and uncluttered environments • ensure clear pathways through a building • provide clear information and instructions • service provision through personal assistance • clear signage.
Access to information Communication difficulties are frequently associated with many disabilities, including: • hearing loss or deafness • low vision or blindness • disabilities that affect an individual’s ability to learn or think, such as an intellectual or cognitive disability or psychiatric illness.
Accessible information • Printed information • PowerPoint presentations • Internet and intranet accessibility • Signage • Better Hearing signs on public counters • Captioning TV advertisements, videos and DVDs
Examples undertaken: • developing accessible information policies; • providing accessible information training for staff who develop information • designing websites to meet the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines • making all public documents available on the website in accessible formats • promoting the availability of information available in alternative format • use of audio loops • providing Auslan interpreters on request.
Access to services • It is important that the services provided by public authorities, including contracted services, appropriately meet the needs of the public they serve. • Barriers can be physical, attitudinal and procedural.
Examples undertaken: • assistance with garbage collection • use of AUSLAN interpreters when interviewing / case managing individuals if necessary • develop links between DAIP and other plans and strategies • events held in accessible venues • access to technology.
Access to buildings and facilities To achieve access in the built environment authorities should ensure that: • the design and construction of all public buildings and facilities funded by Government comply with the BCA and the requirements of the DDA as detailed in the Australian Human Rights Commission Advisory Notes on Access to Premises.
Examples undertaken: • internal modifications (lowering counters, accessible lift controls) • adequate number of accessible parking bays • space into doorways and within rooms to allow for wheelchair dimensions and turning circles • signage with clear lettering and good colour contrast • colour contrast strip on steps • access audits undertaken.
Resources • Access and inclusion resource kit • Builders and developers – stages for planning access • Improved parking for people with disabilities • State Government access guidelines for information services and facilities • Creating accessible events All available at: www.disability.wa.gov.au • Access Consultants www.access.asn.au