The Federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) seeks to eliminate the physical, attitudinal, communication and social barriers that may limit a person living with a disability from gaining access to goods, services, accommodation, housing, facilities, education and employment.
The security industry has an important role to play in eliminating the physical barriers that people living with an impairment or disability may face in public environments. Whilst DDA compliance is only required for public access buildings, many of the products discussed in today’s blog post can be used in residential or commercial dwellings to create a more inclusive environment for all.
How can I tell if a product is DDA compliant?
For a security product to be deemed DDA compliant, it must meet the guidelines set out in the Australian Standard AS1428.1. Make sure you look for mention of this standard in a product description if you’re looking for a DDA compliant security product.
Depending on the product, there may be other standards or regulations that must be met for true DDA compliance. We recommend consulting a qualified Master locksmith for further information.
What security products fall under this standard?
Security products that fall under the AS1428.1 standard include:
- Door Handles. The AS1428.1 standard stipulates that the opening action of a door must be either a push or single-handed downward lever action. For DDA compliance, we suggest you ditch those door knobs for a push/pull plate set or leverset.
- Door Closers. There are many features to consider when buying a Door Closer, but in terms of DDA compliance, the delayed action is the attribute you want to keep an eye out for. This function allows a door to remain open for a fixed duration before closing. The additional time where the door is held open, allows wheelchair users to easily pass through the opening at their own speed.
- Signage. Adequate signage of accessible toilets is a requirement not only of AS1428.1 but also of The Building Code of Australia (Section D3.6) and Public Information Symbol Signs (AS2899.1 – 1986). If your accessible toilet is located outside, ensure you go for a UV protected finish so that the writing does not fade from sun exposure.
- Exit Buttons. Whilst Exit Buttons may not be required to possess any particular features for DDA compliance, we recommend choosing an exit button that features a large surface area and multi-direction actuation. By doing so, you ensure that the button can be operated regardless of the pressure applied to the angle it is pushed.
Whilst they may not fall under the regulation, the following products can be used to improve the accessibility of a building:
Read through our entire series on door security here: