Q. What are the main changes to the DDA since 1st May 2011?

Building Access changes:

    Through the principal pedestrian entrance and not less than 50% of all entrances (including principal)
    If building has a total floor area of more than 500 sqm an inaccessible entrance must be no more than 50 metres from an accessible one
    Specific requirements for single entrances with multiple doorways and door leaves
    Every stairway and ramp (other than fire isolated) must comply with clause 10 and 11 of AS 1428.1
    Fire isolated stairways must have luminance contrast nosing strips
    Passing spaces every 20m where direct line of sight not possible
    Turning spaces 2 m before end of an accessway and every 20 m on an accessway
    Levels other than entrance storey need not be provided with lift or ramp in buildings with no more than 3 storeys and where the upper floors are less than 200 square metres each.

 Access not required where:

    Inappropriate because of particular purpose the area is used for or
    Area would pose a health or safety risk for people with a disability
    Examples could be loading docks, foundry floors and rigging loft
    assessment on a case by case basis.

Accessible parking changes:

    Essentially no change to current BCA requirements for number of carparks (except increase for clinics and day surgeries)
    Change to layout and dimensions in AS/NZS 2890.6

Signage changes:

    Improved signage about type of hearing augmentation system used and where receivers can be obtained (if used)
    Signage indicating right or left hand transfer in accessible toilets
    Signage indicating ambulant accessible toilets

Hearing augmentation changes:

    Removal of the 100 sqm room size concession
    Increased area coverage for induction loop system from 15% to 80% of area
    System using receivers must cover 95% of the area and receivers must be provided as a ratio of the number of occupants on a sliding scale

Tactile indicator changes:

    Essentially no change other than referencing recent AS 1428.4.1 technical requirements

Wheelchair seating spaces in assembly building changes:

    Increased number of wheelchair seating spaces
    Location and grouping specified to provide seating options including restrictions on how many wheelchair seating spaces can be located in front rows of cinemas

 Swimming pool changes:

    Specifies the means of access/exit to swimming pools including fixed or movable ramp, zero depth entry, platform lift or sling-style lift
    Where swimming pool is over 70m perimeter at least one means of entry must be a ramp, zero entry or platform lift
    Part D5 (Specification D3.10) provides details on the design and installation of the different means of entry/exit to a swimming pool
    Note that latches for swimming pool gates need not comply with AS 1428.1

Ramps limitation changes:

    A limitation on the use of ramps has been introduced whereby a series of connecting ramps cannot rise more than 3.6m
    Restrictions on overlapping landings

Glazing on an accessway changes:

    While this is no change from the current BCA the referenced AS 1428.1 (clause 6.6) has made it clearer that markings on glazing must be across the whole width, solid and a minimum of 30% luminance contrast

 Lift installation changes:

    Introduces a wide range of lift options with limitations on use
    Specific features that each type of lift must have
    Note that unenclosed lifts may use constant pressure devices for operation (for 5 year review)

Sanitary facility changes:

    Generally a unisex accessible toilet must be provided on every storey where there are toilets
    If more than one block of toilets on any floor then unisex accessible toilets at 50% (for 5 year review)
    Ambulant accessible toilet in addition to unisex accessible toilet
    Left and right handed facilities where more than one
    Clarifies washbasin and fixtures must be inside facility
    Increased circulation space required in AS 1428.1

 Public transport building changes:

    Transferred from the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport
    Provides requirements for passenger use areas of public transport buildings and timetable for compliance of existing buildings
    Where this part (H2) requires different compliance targets they take precedence