Disability Access Consultants

 

Creative Solutions to Increase Access

Customer Charter

Our Commitment to Clients

Access Solutions National Pty Ltd (ASN) has been established to provide high-quality services to our customers. Although we are located in the South East of Melbourne, Victoria we provide our specialist services throughout Australia. ASN strives to be the industry leader in providing advice and development of creative and innovative concepts that revolutionise the built environment, whilst providing accurate and up-to-date information that facilitates an inclusive mindset – increasing the number of accessible opportunities for people with disability.

We are a multi-discipline company with key strategic relationships that fosters collaboration, efficiency, and professionalism. Our key staff are qualified and registered with National peak organisations, such as the Association of Consultants in Access Australia (ACAA – www.access.asn.au) as well as lived experience of disability. Our staff have held positions within Local Government, International Development Organisations (Delivering Federal Government Aid Budget), and committees within the built and disability sectors.

ASN is focussed on the intention of the disability access requirements and the end users of the built environment. Compliance is compliance to the minimum and that’s about the least we must do, it’s the ‘glass half empty’ view. We like to take the approach of the ‘glass is half full!’ view into our thinking and work ethos. Delivering projects on time, on budget and to high quality are simple bi-products of our streamlined systems. However, it can be extremely beneficial to exceed these constraints at times, especially when the end users, people with disability, are positively impacted by not just complying with the minimums.

Customer Service Plan

ASN was the first disability access consulting firm to implement a Quality Management System (QMS) across our entire operations. This system is still in effect today and underpins our commitment to quality service deliverables. As we strive to not only improve our services but the disability access consultants industry as well, we have modeled our service experience on the forming foundations of ‘good old fashioned service’. An accredited disability access consultant will be appointed as the project lead contact and remains available throughout the duration of the project. All of ASN’s projects are managed through our project management software and are time tracked to ensure projects run on time and do not hold up developments.

Project Flow Plan

ASN has become extremely efficient in assessing, in consultation with our clients, project efficiencies and have clear project flow plans for the assurance that such efficiencies only enhance outcomes for our clients. The below flow chart shows a basic outline for a typical project.

 

 

Methodologies

Onsite Access Auditing Projects

PHASE 1 – Project establishment

Initial meeting at the client’s offices to:

  1. Confirm the scope of the building access audits.
  2. Determine the process for capturing the required data and the expected formatting of the final spreadsheet reports.
  3. Set dates and timelines for reporting.

Our exported spreadsheets can be formatted to the client’s exact requirements ensuring a smooth import process into software preferred by the client. Formatting options include the provision of direct hyperlinks to the photos and incorporation of client asset data. Following this meeting, we expect to confirm the final format of the access audit reports before the access audits are undertaken.

 

PHASE 2 – Building access audits

In broad terms, the external access audits will be undertaken as follows: — Onsite audit of the selected buildings to audit the level of compliance the building achieves against current legislation.* — Recording of all relevant access barriers (including photos) in accordance with the priority rating matrix. — Inputting all data in the agreed spreadsheet reports, including recommended rectification works or reasonable access solutions based upon site observations and to include costing by the quantity surveyor. Note that separate spreadsheet reports will be prepared for each building.

* Inspection is undertaken in accordance with ASN’s OH&S manual

 

PHASE 3 – Preparation of reports

Site captured data will be entered in to an Excel spreadsheet and photos processed.

 

PHASE 4 – Post Audit Clarifications (if required)

If required, all captured information that requires amendments and or further clarification will be provided upon request. Note: in most situations, these are minor and do not attract further fees. Should the request be extensive further fees may be applicable.

Desktop Access Auditing Projects

PHASE 1 – Project establishment

Initial project breifing meeting (Teleconference/Physical):

  1. Confirm the scope of the building access audits.
  2. Determine the process for capturing the required data and the expected formatting of the final spreadsheet reports.
  3. Set dates and timelines for reporting.

Our custom PDF reports are provided to ensure ease of communication and an exported csv file of the identified issues can be provided if requested. Note: csv files do not include the preamble sections of our custom PDF reports. Click here to download a sample report.

 

PHASE 2 – Building access audits

In broad terms, the external access audits will be undertaken as follows:

  1. Onsite audit of the selected buildings to audit the level of compliance the building achieves against current legislation.*
  2. Recording of all relevant access barriers (including photos) in accordance with the priority rating matrix.
  3. Inputting all data in the agreed spreadsheet reports, including recommended rectification works or reasonable access solutions based upon site observations and to include costing by the quantity surveyor. Note that separate spreadsheet reports will be prepared for each building.

* Inspection is undertaken in accordance with ASN’s OH&S manual

 

PHASE 3 – Preparation of reports

Site captured data will be collated into ASN’s custom PDF report and emailed to the client

 

PHASE 4 – Post Audit Clarifications (if required)

If required, all captured information that requires amendments and or further clarification will be provided upon request. Note: in most situations, these are minor and do not attract further fees. Should the request be extensive further fees may be applicable.

ASN’s disability access audits are extremely comprehensive and include multiple elements. Likely elements to be audited are, but not limited to:

Mandatory Items (MR):

  • Car Parking: including ratios, required numbers of bays, signage, delineation, gradient and kerb ramp provisions. Also, the locations of bays will also be audited.
  • Pathways: all pathway systems from the allotment boundary and to and within the premises will be audited. Further to this, the principal entrance points will also be assessed.
  • Ramps: there are numerous requirements for ramps to achieve compliance. Therefore, each ramp will be audited accordingly against specific requirements determined by the type of ramp it is.
  • Tactile Ground Surface Indicators (TGSI’s): both directional and hazard TGSI’s are audited against the requirements of Australian Standard AS1428.4.1 – 2009 and according to the types integrated, discrete and composite discrete.
  • Signage: identifying accessible features as well as navigational/informational signage is required to meet the BCA deemed to satisfy provisions.
  • Luminance Contrast: probably one of the most complex areas within disability access. ASN is considered by peers as an expert in luminance contrast.
  • Walkways: like ramps, walkways to have numerous requirements to achieve compliance. Each walkway will be audited accordingly
  • Stairs: Stairs must be assessed to ensure there are compliant treads, risers, and nosings. Other stair requirements such as handrails and TGSI’s will also be audited.
  • Doorways: doorways will be audited as there are width, force, swing, and luminance contrast requirements. These will all be audited for all doorways to and within.
  • Circulation Spaces: there are many situations within the built environment where it is required for correct circulation spaces to be provided, such as at doorways. All requirements for circulation spaces are included in our auditing.
  • Handrails: the design and installation of handrails must be in accordance with the Australian Standards, mostly AS1428.1 – 2009. Every handrail required to comply will be audited.
  • Grabrails: the design and installation of grabrails must be in accordance with the Australian Standards, mostly AS1428.1 – 2009. Every grabrail required to comply will be audited.
  • Gradients: all graded surfaces will be audited. Gradients such as, 1:8, 1:10, 1:14, 1:20, 1:33 & 1:40.
  • Lifts: there are different types of lifts and hence different requirements for minimum compliance. Lifts will be audited according to type.
  • Sanitary Facilities: have the most specific and extensive set of requirements. There are specific requirements for unisex accessible sanitary compartment, showers, ambulant sanitary facilities, and change rooms. ASN’s auditing includes such building areas.

 

Advisory Items (AR)*:

  • Lighting Levels: minimum LUX levels are required within different setting types. LUX levels will be recorded and audited accordingly against the specific setting.
  • Fittings & Fixtures: counters, customer service, seating, controls, classrooms, vending machines, information stand and the like are audited and assessed to ensure ease of use for a wide range of people.
  • Emergency Egress: it is essential that as the accessibility into a building is audited that the same be for the emergency egress from a building. This is particularly important since the release of the Australian Standard AS3745.
  • Wayfinding: although wayfinding is silent in the Australian Standards our auditing is inclusive of assessing the interaction of required elements such as TGSI’s & signage, to ensure these provide good wayfinding information and meaning. As a result, increasing the accessibility.
  • Services: delivery of services must be in an accessible form. Although service delivery cannot be directly audited against a set Australian Standard, ASN assesses service delivery against industry be practices.

 

*Advisory items will be assessed/audited at the descretion of the auditor.

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Key Services

We provide both onsite & desktop disability access audits. Access audits provide a comprehensive report and we work along side governments, design teams, owners, companies etc.

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A performance solution report is where a deemed to satisfy provision is not met and an alternative building solution is proposed. The performance solution report is to articulate how the building solution is equal to or greater than that of the minimum requirement.

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More and more requests are being made of product suppliers to provide a disability access compliance certification. ASN specialises in these certifications for suitability and usability of mainstream products for people with disability.

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A luminance contrast test is a calculation between two (2) surfaces Light Reflectance Values (LRV’s). This determines the percentage of difference and is used to confirm compliance or deem not compliant.

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When is it best to engage ASN? As early as is possible. This is usually at the design phase of a project. ASN can assist by providing advice direction so that in the future stages there has already been a number of common mistakes avoided.

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