My nephew, Mac, has severe Cerebral Palsy. He is now 12 years old, and has no mobility or obvious communication. Having Mac in my extended family is a constant reminder to me that accessibility is a fundamental right for everyone in the community. As an architect, I work to ensure the spaces Edmiston Jones design are accessible for all.
The following points are worth considering:
This is an inherent human principle, which underlines the Disability Discrimination Act, in which society should provide environments, which are accessible by all members of the community.
Whether as a child with an injury, a mother with a pram, or an elderly person, we will generally have some form of physical limitation at some time in our lives.
It just makes good commercial sense for business premises to be easily accessible. People with disabilities have the same basic needs as everybody else and, with carers, will spend 2.38 times an able-bodied person!
Designers of the built environment need to be sensitive to the requirements of less obvious disabilities that may be intellectual, sensory (such as hearing and vision) or psychiatric.
You need to know the rules, such as the Building Code of Australia, Access to Premises Standard and applicable Australian Standards. If you don’t, you need to engage a qualified consultant who does!
Mac’s parents, Gina and Shawn, have struggled with accessibility issues for Mac’s entire life. They have been inspirational in their desire for their son to have an inclusive education. He has attended Cambewarra Public School and last week started at Bomaderry High School.
Steven is a skilled manager and leader, always reinforcing the firm’s responsibilities to clients. Commencing with EJ in 1986, he then broadened his experience on the Gold Coast. Rejoining EJ in 1990 he progressed to Associate and then a Director in 2000. Experience on a diverse range of projects means he is at ease from design to completion of construction. Steven is an Associate Member – Association of Consultants in Access Australia with his Certificate IV in Access Consulting (2014).