Design Guidelines
Macquarie University Property
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Accessibility / Access for People with Disabilities

University Policy - Disability Action Plan

Macquarie University has a strong commitment to equity and inclusion, and it is this commitment that has driven the development and implementation of the Macquarie University Disability Action Plan 2012 – 2017 as well as meeting there compliance obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) and the Disability Standards for Education 2005,

http://mq.edu.au/on_campus/diversity_and_inclusion/people_with_disability/disability_action_plan/

Macquarie University aims at achieving fully compliant disabled access across most of the campus, including from transport nodes to all buildings.

The Disability Action Plan is drawn from and reflects the University's values and aspirations to be:

  • Ethical
  • Enquiring
  • Creative
  • Inclusive
  • Responsive
  • Excellent

The Priorities of the Disability Action Plan 2012 – 2017, include elements applicable to the design of facilities, including:

  • Embed the principle of inclusion in all relevant Macquarie University strategic plans and key operational plans, including the Property Plan.

Goal 4.1: Macquarie University will aspire to become a best practice model of an inclusive built environment, based on universal design principles.

Actions

  1. Engage leading edge experts in disability access to advise the University on proposed physical environment designs and consult with stakeholders regarding the user friendliness of design and development for people with disability.
  2. Meet or exceed the requirements of the DDA building code and relevant standards compliance for all new or refurbished areas of Macquarie University (teaching spaces and facilities).
  3. Demonstrate institutional commitment to maintaining and improving the physical environment for people with disability through specific funding allocations in the annual Capital Management Fund.

Goal 4.2: Macquarie University will aim to develop a physically 'connected' campus with identifiable improvements in physical accessibility for people with disability to, from and around campus.

Actions

  1. Enhance physical access "connectivity" across campus so it is coherent, continuous, direct and safe, and provides high amenity for people with mobility impairment.
  2. Undertake an initial, then scheduled, physical access audit and transport access audit (3-5 yearly) and use this evidence-based research to identify priorities for action (immediate, medium and long term).
  3. Improve and regularly update campus navigation systems both physical (eg signage, tactile markers, audio loops); and virtual (eg iPhone navigation apps, interactive maps/kiosks).
  4. Provide appropriate levels of accessible parking on university grounds (acquired and permanent disability) and ensure information on requirements and locations is readily available.

Wayfinding - moving around campus

Macquarie University has developed the Signage and Wayfinding Guidelines as a reference for designers and builders to improve accessibility for users to find their destination and also maintain a consistency of signage throughout the university campus.

The primary drivers are as follows:

  • Make wayfinding intuitive.
  • Leverage/conform to Australian precedence/common practice for naming building levels.
  • Unite level and room numbers taking reference from hotels and apartment buildings.
  • Create a standardised system for use across campus.
  • Allow for future growth/change.

Considerations:

  • Communication of hierarchy – who do we need to talk to and how much do they need to know?
  • Balance between 'systems management' and efficient wayfinding communications.
  • Integration with other university systems e.g. timetabling / how many digits can we work with?
  • Complimentary to the agreed external system.

Reference: Macquarie University Signage and Wayfinding Guidelines

  • Refer to the Macquarie University Accessibility map which identifies the accessible pathways through the campus that are to be maintained and enhanced with any new facilities on the campus.

https://www.mq.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/108148/map_accessibility.pdf

Specific information on Signage and Wayfinding can be found under Signage.

Transport

As part of the Campus Master Plan, Macquarie University has developed an approach to transport to and through the campus including:

- Public Transport – developed access routes through the campus connecting to the existing Rail and Bus transport nodes.

- Campus shuttle bus system to provide student transport across the campus.

- Vehicle Access – main roadways and pathways through the university campus are designated for pedestrian movement, with restricted vehicle access to around the perimeter of the campus and limited vehicle access through the campus for servicing and emergency vehicles.

- Parking – within the master plan areas around the perimeter of the campus have been designated for car-parking to meet the future needs of the university.

- Cycling – further development of cycleways and Bike hubs to increase student and staff access around the campus.

Subsequently any new developments on campus are to take into consideration the transport arrangements of the immediate area and support the campus wide connections developed as part of the master plan.

Refer to the Macquarie University Campus Master Plan 2014 for details