Designing Architecture as an Access Professional

Alchemy Consultancy Designing Architecture with Accessibility in Mind

I am an Architect and an Access Professional. I have qualifications and registrations in both disciplines, and in my eyes, both must go hand-in-hand in the design of buildings. My desire is to provide accessible architecture, to allow everyone that uses the buildings I design, whether a house or a hotel.

Accessibility is such an important component of our life (or should be), let alone architecture. The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) is Federal legislation that essentially requires everyone to have fair and equitable access in our society, without discrimination based on age, race, sex or physical limitations.

So how does training in accessibility help architectural design?

– Having accessibility qualifications enables me to have a deeper understanding of what my clients need, and how best to provide accessible solutions.

– It allows me to understand what is required from a compliance viewpoint.

– It gives me the ability to consider the future needs of possible occupants.

Why satisfy for the absolute base level compliance measures? Why not enhance accessibility for others who may follow? Accessible design is not only about accommodating wheelchair accessibility but also visual, auditory, cognitive or other disabilities. It’s also about considering occupants of all ages, young and old, mothers with prams, or someone with an injury who has less mobility.

My business. was born out of a desire for positive change, and this change includes accessible architecture. Throughout my career, I have undertaken significant training in Accessibility to allow me to have the tools to incorporate better access into the buildings I design.

The additional qualifications I have now, allow me to assess which legislation or
guidelines are appropriate and relevant to any project, and these may include the
following;
National Construction Code and Access to Premises (Buildings Standard)
Australian Standards for access and mobility in new buildings
Adaptable Housing Australian Standard
Liveable Housing Australia Design Guidelines and Universal Design
NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation
State Environmental Policy for Housing for Seniors or People with a Disability

There is so much to consider in Accessibility, and at times the myriad of regulation can at times be confusing. However, it does not diminish my objective to provide the most accessible designs possible, merging knowledge and experience in architecture and accessibility.

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