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Consultation Extended: Draft Guidelines for Access and Inclusion in Residential Development

Disability Rights
A woman using a wheelchair is at a table with two young children at home playing a game.
9 days, 5 hours left (of 42 days)

Update: The new deadline for submissions is 11:59pm Wednesday, 29 May 2024.

The Australian Human Rights Commission (Commission) is partnering with Churchill Research Fellow, Kim Samuel, and the Churchill Trust, to develop and pilot Australian Design Guidelines for Access and Inclusion in Residential Development

This project forms phase 3 of the Commission’s Accessible Housing Project. It is informed by the Commission’s scoping study on Adaptable Housing for People with Disability In Australia and Kim Samuel’s Churchill research report on best-practice approaches to the delivery of inclusive and accessible housing, which recommended the development of these Guidelines. 

The Guidelines will be the first of its kind developed for the Australian policy and regulatory contexts, integrating, and building on existing minimum accessibility standards within the National Construction Code, Liveable Housing Design Guidelines and NDIS Specialist Disability Accommodation requirements, applying universal design principles. The Guidelines bring together all accessibility requirements and best-practice innovations into one comprehensive framework for creating accessible residential spaces. 

The Guidelines aim to improve housing accessibility and enhance community inclusion for people with disability. They specifically address the need to ensure all housing is constructed in way that not only meets minimum accessibility standards but can exceed these through thoughtful, innovative, flexible, and inclusive cross-disability approaches to universal design that benefits all people. They have been designed to be used by anyone involved in designing, delivering, and/or managing housing and housing policy in Australia.

The draft Guidelines are available in PDF and accessible Word.

The self-certification tool is available in Excel

Call for Submissions 

The Commission is seeking feedback from relevant stakeholders on the draft Guidelines to ensure that they are fit for purpose and consider a broad range of accessibility needs, inclusion elements, intersectionality, best practice universal design, and regulatory requirements. We are particularly interested in stakeholder views on the following areas: 

  • Technical expertise on the identified elements, including essential and minimum requirements. 
  • Expertise on the application and appropriateness of the Guidelines within the Australian regulatory and policy context. 
  • Useability of the Guidelines, including self-certification method.
  • Incorporation of accessible and universal design elements, including cross-disability approaches. 
  • Whether the guidelines meet the housing needs and expectations of people with disability in relation to accessible design and community inclusion. 

We are calling for submissions from individuals and organisations with expertise in:

  • Housing design and development
  • Urban planning and design
  • Architecture
  • Universal design
  • Housing policy and regulation
  • Disability
  • Lived experience of disability and accessible housing issues. 

We are not looking for personal accounts, experiences or stories, rather we would like to know what people view as the necessary components and elements to ensure housing is accessible for their needs, from a design and development perspective.

Please see the Consultation Paper for further background and key consultation questions. You can contact if you need an alternative format.

The Consultation Paper is available in accessible PDF and Word.

Make a submission

Submissions are due by 11:59pm Tuesday 14 May 2024. 

All submissions must outline the individual’s or organisations’ relevant experience or expertise at the opening of the document. Submissions will not be made public. 

Submissions can be made in any of the following formats: 

  • Written Document
  • Easy Read
  • Video
  • Audio file. 

Please email your submissions and any queries to 

Other opportunities to participate in consultation

Stakeholder briefing and feedback sessions have been organised throughout the consultation period. You can find out more and register for the relevant session via the following links: