Thursday 8 December
9:30am to 5:00pm
G06 (Theatre A), Elisabeth Murdoch Building, Parkville
This free one-day symposium will examine topics of accessibility in Australian cities, thirty years on from the introduction of the landmark Disability Discrimination Act and the social model of disability as a framework for examining barriers in place for people with disability.
In line with the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December 2022, the symposium will include panel discussions on topics around transport, housing, and built environment policy.
Are our cities still fundamentally ableist in not yet having provided universal accessibility?
Are we rebuilding our cities the right way? Where are we in terms of universal public transport systems within our cities? Where might innovations disrupt the field? And what is the scale of change still required?
Join us as we explore the answers to these pressing questions.
History of the social model of disability
The social model of disability highlights the impacts of attitudinal and physical barriers as disabling barriers to social inclusion of people with disability. In Australia, the federal Disability Discrimination Act (1992) was the principal piece of legislation designed to address this form of discrimination and begin to reduce attitudinal and physical barriers within our community. It operated as a complaints-based system where claims of discrimination could be presented before mediation for conciliation.
In relation to buildings and infrastructure, it was recognised that individual complaints and claims for each inaccessible building and each piece of transport and related infrastructure would be too burdensome for the disability community and advocates. As such, a series of Standards were developed to identify compliance levels required to achieve progressive realization of the human right to access and reduce discrimination in these areas. In 2002, the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (Transport Standards) were formulated, followed by the Disability Access to Premises Standards in 2010.
In terms of Accessible Housing Standards, changes to the National Construction Code were made on 1 May 2022. This change, although not agreed upon by all Australian states mandated changes to the National Construction Code rules whereby seven features for newly built homes must be incorporated into any new housing build. Liveable housing design guidelines will mean that all new homes and apartments constructed from October 2023 will need at least one step-free entry, increased width of internal walkways and a toilet on the entry level as a base.
9:30am to 9:55am
Opening and introduction
Welcome to Country
Dan Hill, Architecture, Building and Planning, The University of Melbourne
10:00am to 11:00am
11:00am to 12:00pm
Speakers: Shirin Pourafkari, Imogen Howe, Puneeta Thakur
12pm to 1pm
1pm to 2pm
2pm to 3:00pm
Speaker: Michael Walker, Principal Advisor Universal Design, Victorian Health Building Authority
3pm to 3:30pm
3:30pm to 4:30pm
4:30 pm to 4:45pm
Closing remarks and next steps
Raelene West, Melbourne Disability Institute, The University of Melbourne
Thursday 8 December 2022, 9:30am - 5pm
Location: we encourage you to attend in person, and we will also provide a Zoom webinar link closer to the date.
The Elisabeth Murdoch building is wheelchair accessible.
If you have any questions about your visit or about the symposium please contact Derlie Mateo-Babiano: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org