26 September 2023

APS buildings to undergo access audit

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Government Agencies are to have the accessibility of their premises audited by the Department of Finance as part of the Australian Public Service Commission’s (APSC) Disability Employment Strategy.

Announcing the review, the APSC said an audit of accessibility of existing Australian Government owned and leased premises was a key action item in the 2020-25 Strategy, with 25 entities to participate.

“Providing better physical access to workplace environments ensures that everyone is able to work and move with ease in a workplace,” the APSC said.

“Improving accessibility benefits everyone, working and visiting these buildings and provides a best practice approach for others to follow,” it said.

“The accessibility of buildings participating in the audit will be assessed to ensure there is dignified access for all employees and visitors.”

The Commission said the audits would look for opportunities to improve accessibility that went beyond compliance.

It said some of the infrastructure features the audits would look at included access to the building; clear and legible signage, including the use of braille; pathways of travel within the building; ease of movement into and between rooms; alternate access options near steps and stairs; and tactile ground surface indicators.

“Providing dignified access to Government buildings makes an important contribution to efforts to increase the employment of people living with disability in the APS,” the APSC said.

It said a final report on the audits would be delivered in 2023 and improvements implemented where needed.

The APSC’s 26-page APS Disability Employment Strategy 2020-2025 can be accessed at this PS News link.

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