Home Design

Overview of Accessible Housing

Accessible and adaptable housesAgeing baby boomers, and the growing acceptance that people have diverse physical and mental abilities have stimulated international interest in accessible and universal design.

Almost twenty percent of Australians have a long-term disability. As the Australian population ages, this percentage will increase. Many people with a disability experience some restriction in relation to their core activities of personal care, schooling and employment. However, most are able to live in their own home and retain their independence. For those that require carers, family and friends often fill this role.

The picture is one of people with disabilities and the elderly, living independently and with the support of families in their communities. In this scenario accessible environments must be developed.

Our understanding of these issues as a society is changing. Instead of thinking of access issues being relevant to someone else, who uses a wheelchair, we are thinking more broadly and personally. We are now thinking in terms of universal access -providing access for all people, irrespective of ability.

What is the Welcome initiative?

An accessible home is about freedom – freedom to move about with ease and confidence, knowing that regardless of our circumstances we will have access to the spaces ‘we call home’.

Too often our homes are not equipped for changing needs, from raising small children, to welcoming or looking after ageing parents, to recovering from a sporting injury and needing to use crutches or simply finding that the stairs are steeper than they used to be.

Designing an accessible home will not only produce a sustainable home but one you could live in comfortably for a lifetime.

This could not be more relevant than now. As our demographics continue to change, we need to find better ways to design and construct our homes to allow us better access for the future.

What can Equal Access offer?

Equal Access has extensive experience in supporting Architects, Designers and Government Departments in designing accessible and adaptable Homes.

From small unit developments through to multi level developments we provide guidance throughout the entire design and documentation phases of a project to ensure at handover compliance with all statutory standards is maintained.

What is Accessible Housing?

Accessible homes are convenient and easy to visit and live in for all people, regardless of their level of mobility, They have features such as stepless entries and wider doorways,

Who needs Accessible Housing?

The potential market for accessible homes is large. More than 20 per cent of Victorians are aged 50-plus, have a disability, or are carers. They want well-designed homes that offer convenience and independence.

Home owners who want smart and practical design represent a significant marketing opportunity for home builders and designers. They range from empty nesters looking to downsize, to parents with children in pushers who find that wider doorways and stepless entries make life easier.

More people than you might imagine unexpectedly need accessible housing when using crutches or a wheelchair while recovering from a sports injury In Victoria more than 3,500 people are hospitalised each year as a result of fractures and other football injuries alone! And Australia-wide, almost 22,000 people annually have orthopaedic knee surgery.

Design Guidelines

The previous Victorian Labor government put significant effort into a design philosophy called “Build for Life”. This focused on the building of homes for life long living.Overview of Accessible Housing

There was a great book published which is no longer available called “Welcome” that covered accessible design principals. They also replicated the content from the book into a website which we have referred many clients to over the years. Sadly this site has now been discontinued.

We consider the information that was contained within this website and publication to be invaluble for the wider community. Because of this we have chosen to dismantle our copy of the book, scan it to PDF and make it freely available for people that really need it. The following are some key extracts from it.

Download Guidelines:

Please do not link directly to these PDFs (as it is very rude), only link to this webpage. It costs allot of money per month to host these files due to the number of downloads they have.

Thank You


As the above request has been ignored by people and I am being hit with excess download charges for these files i.e. the bathroom guide (most popular) was downloaded more than 20,000 for October alone, costing me a lot of money. I will now be changing the URLs of the files every two months. So dont waste your time and link directly to the files!!!

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