All people are entitled to equal access, egress, and easy movement to, from, and within buildings respectively, in a safe and dignified manner.
Designs must follow the Building Code, Disability and Discrimination Act, all other legally relevant standards, and guidelines. However in many cases, following these standards doesn’t necessarily mean the best design will be achieved. Why aim for a passable result when you can achieve the best results?
A solid understanding of varied human functionality, and capabilities enables ergonomics to be incorporated into the design, to build upon the minimum standards, and produce best practice design, suitable and comfortable for all users. This also means less changes will need to be made after the building is built.
Retrofitting “disabled access” structures sends a clear message to the users that they were not adequately considered during the design of the building, or space. This does not equal a dignified use of the building, and can easily be avoided by consideration of the right information, mock-up evaluation, and and incorporation of the results into the design.