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Disability Standards for Access to Premises

In March 2010, the Australian government launched Disability Standards for Access to Premises, which for the first time sets the minimum access requirements for people with a disability to publicly accessible buildings.

This legislation will make public buildings more accessible for people with mobility, vision and hearing impairments. It will have a widespread impact, changing building regulations for all new buildings and existing buildings undergoing significant upgrades. In addition to providing better access to buildings, the Premises Standards provide certainty to building certifiers, developers and managers that they are complying with their obligations under the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act.

The finalisation of these Standards represents an important part of ensuring an inclusive Australian society that enables people with a disability to fulfil their potential as equal citizens.

Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes, said this addresses “the long history of inadequacy in the way we have designed and constructed our buildings, which has left much of our built environment inaccessible to a significant sector of our population.” These Standards help make public buildings accessible to everyone.

The Disability Standards for Access to Premises will commence on 1 May 2011. 

Guidelines on the application of the Premises Standards are available online at www.humanrights.gov.au/disability_rights/standards/PSguide.html.

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