Department of Human Services

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Accessible communities

The accessibility of the built environment, quality services and information is key to ensuring people living with disability are included and have the opportunity to equally participate in all aspects of community life. It is our aim to increase accessibility to public and community infrastructure, transport, services, information, sport and recreation and the greater community.

Key words

Built environment, Universal Design, health, wellness, access to services, transport, housing, belonging, community.

‘I’ statements

  • I can live the life I want in my community
  • I am included and can access everything I need
  • I can access the information I need

Priority 7: Universal Design across South Australia


  1. Elevate the design quality of South Australia’s built environment and public realms through promoting design quality policy and the principles of Universal Design.
  2. Explore the feasibility of adopting Universal Design procedures across State Government (as currently used by the Department of the Premier and Cabinet) in the design, construction, maintenance and procurement of all workplace environments, customer environments, systems, intranets and websites, and programs and policies. This will include:
    • applying Universal Design principles to sport and recreation infrastructure projects to support family-friendly and accessible facilities
    • considering Universal Design principles in infrastructure works and maintenance across the Department for Environment and Water managed land, infrastructure and parks
    • adopting Liveable Housing Australia design guidelines for all new-build social housing stock
    • considering incorporating Universal Design principles in residential construction and maintenance specifications for SA Housing Authority houses
    • improving access for people living with disability in the redevelopment of the Sir Samuel Way and Supreme Court buildings.
  3. Contribute to the national conversation on the possibility of introducing Silver or Gold-level Liveable Housing standards for all new housing to be applied through the National Construction Code from 2022.
  4. Local council access and inclusion planning to consider consultation outcomes including:
    • incorporating Universal Design principles in criteria for all new building and public projects and planning for programs, services and events
    • developing Universal Design training plans for staff and contractors
    • review of availability of accessible car parks.

Priority 8: Accessible and available information


  1. Create the Inclusive SA website (and consider other communication media) to provide key resources for people living with disability and the community to raise awareness about disability.
  2. Develop a toolkit to support State authorities to ensure communication about their services is available in a range of accessible formats. These may include easy read, Auslan, pictorial forms, large font, audible options, Braille, closed captions and VoiceOver.
  3. Improve online accessibility of State Government websites, including through implementation of the Online Accessibility Policy and related guidelines.

Priority 9: Access to services


  1. Continue to work collaboratively with the Commonwealth Government and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to develop strategies to support a diverse disability workforce, including within regional South Australia.
  2. Further develop Auslan interpreter capacity (by drawing on people with lived experience).
  3. Develop and promote a toolkit for signage, wayfinding and multimedia devices for State authorities to support deaf, hard of hearing, blind, vision-impaired or hearing-impaired persons.
  4. State authorities to consider including in their infrastructure maintenance and upgrade schedules the installation of signs on the front of public buildings indicating disability access (where this has been assessed by an accredited access consultant) and installation of multimedia devices in queues at service outlets to include people who are deaf, hard of hearing, vision-impaired or blind.
  5. Implement the Canine Court Companion pilot project to provide increased practical support and assistance to vulnerable victims and prosecution witnesses involved with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP).
  6. Continue to work with the Commonwealth Government to reform the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002.
  7. Ensure the state-owned bus fleet is accessible, including disability awareness training for frontline public transport staff and the consideration of voice systems in buses that notify people of the next stop.
  8. Promote liaison and communication links between health services and disability support services, and improve the continuity of supports, including psychosocial supports, during hospitalisation.
  9. Consider establishing minimum standards for priority parks and reserves (including coasts, heritage places and Crown land) that improve access and inclusion for people living with disability and implement a program of priority actions, including exemplar visitor experiences.

Quotes from the consultation

Educate the community about ABILITY.
Everyone has different abilities. Make sure everyone has the opportunity to use their abilities.

Being inclusive —State Sports Park, Office for Recreation, Sport and Racing

The development of the new wind tunnel facility at State Sports Park will provide world class training facilities for elite and developing athletes and para-athletes.

Being inclusive — Glenthorne National Park, Department for Environment and Water

The State Government is creating Glenthorne National Park in Adelaide’s southern suburbs. This new park is being developed using Universal Design principles and will be accessible and inclusive for the entire community. It will showcase the principles of Healthy Parks Healthy People – a partnership between the community, the Department for Environment and Water and Department for Health and Ageing that aims to improve our health and wellbeing through quality green space.

Being inclusive — Accessible website solution offered to all South Australian Government agencies, Department of the Premier and Cabinet

Audited by Vision Australia and user tested by Royal Society for the Blind (SA), Website Design System offers all South Australian Government agencies an accessible website solution through the Office for Digital Government, Department of the Premier and Cabinet. With increased accessibility as the reason for the development of government websites, Website Design System now provides agencies with a base website made up from over 30 modules built to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG AA). Each module is managed centrally. Upgrades and accessibility updates are developed, tested and deployed once at the top level. They then cascade to all sites. Supported by South Australian Government’s Online Accessibility Toolkit, solutions like Website Design System are highly valuable for digital inclusion as it now means inclusion is part of the planning stages for digital resources. It is no longer a costly afterthought.

Being inclusive — Disability Housing, SA Housing Authority

The SA Housing Authority built 100 disability homes, many with bespoke designs to meet the specific needs of individual households. The disability housing, which was built to standards incorporating Universal Design and Liveable Housing Australia design guidelines, has now been completed and transferred to community housing providers to manage.

Page last updated : 09 Sep 2022

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