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Mandated Disability Access to Every New Home (fwd)

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charlesn@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 10:37:38 +1000 (EST)
To: WAI <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.980811103701.9399B-100000@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>
This might be of interest, especially to people interested in EO stuff
Charles McCN

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 09:42:23 +1000
From: Doug Piper <speced3@ozemail.com.au>
To: arata-ls@mailbox.uq.oz.au
Subject: Mandated Disability Access to Every New Home

 Subject:       United Kingdom Becomes First Nation To Mandate Basic
Disability  Access "VISITABILITY" In Every New Home.
 
 CONCRETE CHANGE PRESS RELEASE.  June 4, 1998:
 The United Kingdom Becomes First Nation In The World To Mandate Basic
Disability Access In Every New Home.
 
 In March `98 Parliament passed legislation requiring that every  new home
 must have an entrance without steps, a downstairs bathroom,  sufficiently
 wide halls,  all doorways passable by wheelchairs, and other elements of
 universal design.
 
 According to The Loundon Times :
 "What builders must ensure - in the  jargon of the industry -
is visitability  housing' " (Dec. 5, 1997)
 
 The Home Builders' Federation, a major trade group in the UK, had
raised the objection that excessive cost  would drive first-time
home buyer's out of the market.
 
 However, Parliament was persuaded by the counter-arguments
of advocates  from the Joseph Rountree Foundation, who had already built
more than 400 of these houses and in a two-year study found costs to be low
and benefits high.
 
 After the positive vote, UK Construction Minister Nick
Raynsford stated, "There will be direct benefits of increased
convenience, accessibility and sociability for disabled people.  The
measures will also help significantly those people who are temporarily
disabled through accident or injury, the elderly and those with young
children in prams and pushcarts."
 
 An approximately one-year period will be allowed for builders to learn
the proper construction methods, and the requirements will take effect in
1999.
 
 Zan Thornton, a  proponent of universal basic access, or "visitability,"
in the United States, and a member of the housing activist
group Concrete Change, commented:
 
"The ripples will spread worldwide.  More and more people are going
to see through the phony arguments raised by the NAHB (National Association
of Home Builders) here in the States."
 
 For more information on the UK legislation, contact Concrete Change
at their website    http://concretechange.home.mindspring.com.

Doug Piper
Access Technology Advisor
Student Services Directorate
NSW Department of Education & Training
3a Small Rd
RYDE  NSW  2112
Australia

Phone: (02) 9886-7306
Fax: (02) 9886-7377
speced3@ozemail.com.au
Received on Monday, 10 August 1998 21:00:13 GMT

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