The law explicitly recognises the right of everyone to participate in sport and recreation. This has occurred principally through anti-discrimination legislation, planning ordinances, building codes and other standards applying to the design of facilities. While there are no legislation or Standards relating to universal design, this section provides some guidance on the minimum legal requirements in respect of access to buildings and facilities in sport and recreation settings. Planners, designers and developers of sport and recreation facilities need to be cognisant of and adhere as a minimum to these requirements.
The introduction of the Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010 means that all new and refurbished buildings and facilities in Australia are now required to provide prescribed minimum levels of access for users. There are some exemptions and concessions for some elements of some buildings. This guide is not a complete, detailed design guide; the Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010 should be referred to prior to undertaking any building design or works.
These Standards do not cover requirements for all buildings or all parts of all buildings and are primarily based on the needs of users with a disability, not on the principles of universal design, but they will assist in enhancing the use of buildings by many users.
It is important to understand that while minimum requirements are important, they only provide the base level starting point for effective access to many buildings and facilities. The principles of universal design should be incorporated to ensure participation by everyone in facilities.