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Design and construction for access

Nov 6, 2007

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission has produced a new CD aimed at designers, builders, building certifiers, access consultants and access advocates.

The good the bad and the ugly looks at thirteen examples of common mistakes made in applying today’s Building Code of Australia (BCA) in areas such as handrails on stairs, use of Tactile Ground Surface Indicators, signage, visual indicators on glazing and kerb rails on ramps.

The purpose of this resource is to explain why precise application of the BCA and its referenced Australian Standards is necessary by describing how people with disability benefit from good design and construction.

It does not try to replicate all the access provisions of the BCA or Australian Standards in words and pictures, and it does not seek to define access requirements under the Disability Discrimination Act. It simply draws attention to the fact that the technical specifications are there for a reason and failure to apply them has serious consequences.

The good the bad and the ugly could be used as a self learning tool or as an in-house continuing education program for building certifiers, designers, builders, building managers, fit-out specialists, access consultants or advocates interested in access issues.

The CD also contains the photographs used in The good the bad and the ugly which can be used to develop your own presentations by copying them into programs such as PowerPoint.

A copy of the Commission’s Guidelines on access to buildings and services is also included on the CD. The guidelines are aimed at businesses, service providers, Government agencies, property managers and anyone involved in the purchasing, leasing or assessment of property. The aim of the guideline is to assist in identifying possible barriers to buildings and services and direct people to resources and expertise to address those barriers.

All these resources have been developed in consultation with people with a disability and others in the building, design and access fields, however, once the material is more widely circulated no doubt there will be many good suggestions for editorial changes and additional material, including photographs. Ideas and comments should be sent to

To order a free copy of this CD please contact or telephone 1300 369 711 (in Australia).

The material is also available on the Commission’s website and will be updated from time to time.

Michael Small
Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
Disability Rights Unit
Tel 02 9284 9769
tty 1800 620 241

The Source: This material has been produced by the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC)