Residential Home Design 

Overview of Accessible Housing

Disabled Access for HomesAn aging baby boomer population and an increasing acceptance of people with disabilities means that interest in universal design is on the rise around the world.

Roughly 20% of all Australians today have a long-term disability. As the national population gets older, this percentage will only go up. People with disabilities often experience limitations to core life functions like personal care, education, and employment. Despite these obstacles, most people with disabilities are still able to live in their own home and retain a high level of independence. When care is needed, family members and friends are the most likely to fulfill the caretaker role.

At DDA Design, we envision an Australia where the elderly, those with disabilities, and those living independently with the support of their loved ones can live prosperously. To realise this vision, accessible environments must be created.
The perception of equal access issues is currently undergoing a fundamental shift in our society. Instead of thinking of equal access design as a way for a specific person or group of people to access a particular area or facility, we are now thinking about equal access as a way to provide accessibility for people of all ability levels.

What is the Welcome initiative?

An accessible home is all about freedom: having the freedom to move with ease and confidence, having the freedom to access all spaces within the home, and having the freedom to gain this access independently without outside assistance.

Many homes in Australia today are designed without considering changing needs, from small children that will eventually get older to aging parents that will need more and more accessibility as the years go by. There are also other circumstances that require accessibility consideration, such as what would happen if a home’s inhabitant came down with a sports injury or ailment that left their mobility limited.

Designing an accessible home means creating one that is sustainable, because it allows occupants to live there comfortably for many years. As Australia’s demographics continue to change, it’s important that we can find better ways to plan and build homes for better access in the future.

What can DDA Design offer?

DDA Design has extensive experience supporting architects, designers, and government agencies with the design and implementation of accessible homes.

From small unit development through to complex multi-level developments, DDA Design can provide guidance throughout the design and documentation phases of a project to ensure compliance with all statutory regulations is maintained at handover.

What is Accessible Housing?

Accessible homes are convenient and easy to visit and live in for all people, regardless of their mobility level. They usually have features like stepless entries and wider doorways.

Who needs Accessible Housing?

There is a huge market for accessible homes in Australia today. Over 20% of Victorians are age 50 or older, have a disability, or are regularly taking care of a loved one with a disability. These people want well-designed homes that provide convenience as well as independence.

Homeowners looking for smart, practical home designs represent a significant market opportunity for home builders and designers. These prospective homeowners include everyone from empty nesters who want to downsize, to parents of children in pushers who find that wider doorways and stepless entries make life easier.

There is also a need for accessible housing for those who are recovering from injury. In Victoria, over 3,500 people are hospitalised each year because of fractures and other football injuries. Across Australia, about 22,000 people have orthopaedic knee surgery every year.

Design Guidelines

Previous Victoria governments put significant effort into a design philosophy called “Build for Life.” This philosophy was focused on building homes for lifelong living.

Another great book published on the topic of accessible design was called Welcome. This book was eventually spun into a website with valuable content on accessible design: unfortunately, the site has been discontinued.

We at DDA Design believe that the information contained within this publication is invaluable for the community at large. As a result, we have chosen to scan our copy of the book into PDF format to make it freely available for those who need it. These files represent what we believe are key extracts from the book.

Download Guidelines:

Please do not link directly to these PDFs (as it is very rude), only link to this webpage. It costs allot of money per month to host these files due to the number of downloads they have.

Thank You


As the above request has been ignored by people and I am being hit with excess download charges for these files i.e. the bathroom guide (most popular) was downloaded more than 20,000 for October alone, costing me a lot of money. I will now be changing the URLs of the files every two months. So dont waste your time and link directly to the files!!!