• Access Central - Universal Access Consultants

    Experts in Changing Places Facilities

    The Changing Places Logo, with a pictogram of a wheelchair user, next to an adult-sized change table and a person standing next to it. The is an overhead ceiling hoist too. Over the logo, it says "Changing Places Assessor".

    Universal Design, DDA and Accessibility Consulting.

    Access Central is part of Egress Group and is a boutique disability access consulting firm. We specialise in universal design, access audits, expert witness statements, universal access, building accessibility, compliance statements, insurance investigations, risk mitigation, performance-based building codes and interpretation of DDA legislation.

     

    Access Central offers a range of DDA disability access consulting services to meet your compliance needs.

     

    Lee Wilson from Access Central helped develop the first Changing Places Information Kit in 2014 and has been an active campaigner and advocate for Changing Places facilities.

     

    Lee is a Changing Places Assessor (CP020), Livable Housing Assessor (20012), SDA Accredited Assessor (SDA00040) and an Accredited Access Consultant (236). He has also served as a volunteer Subject Matter Expert for the Australian Building Codes Board since early 2018.

     

    Please read the frequently asked questions (FAQs) below to learn more about the Changing Places Accreditation process and the use of the MLAK system.

     

    Access Central is a private business and not part of www.changingplaces.org.au.

  • An extract of the image used on the cover of the Changing Places Design Specifications, showing the braille and tactile sign with the Changing Places logo.

    Download the new Design Specifications

    The Changing Places design specifications 2020 provide the technical design specifications and the estimated costs to build a Changing Places facility, with four design options.
    The design specifications also serve as an advocacy tool for organisations and individuals seeking to gain more information about Changing Places and for those seeking to campaign for more Changing Places to be constructed.

  • Download Autocad files

  • Our Articles on Changing Places

    Learn more about Changing Places Facilities

    A screen  capture of the online version of the Facility Management magazine article Lee Wilson wrote on Changing Places and Accessible Adult Change Facilities in May 2019.

    Facility Management Magazine - Accessible adult change facilities mandated in new Australian buildings, published May 2019

    Australia is the first country in the world to mandate a new class of toilets in the Australian building codes. As of 1 May 2019, accessible adult change facilities will be required for some buildings in the National Construction Code 2019, writes LEE WILSON.

    "Accessible adult change facilities are based on the Changing Places design, which is a vital facility design for people with complex disability and toiletry needs.

    The Changing Places campaign started in the UK in 2006, and there are now 1300 Changing Places facilities across the UK. Awareness is still growing, with more facilities opening around the world. Ireland, Germany, Canada and Sweden have all joined the campaign and in Australia, the first Changing Places toilet opened in Ringwood, Victoria in 2014."

    A photo of the toilet arrangement in the Perth DFO Changing Places, one of the dropdown grabrails is raised.

    Sourceable - The Case for ‘Changing Places’ Toilets Part 1, published June 2015

    Changing Places toilets fill an important gap in the current building codes requirements. They cater to a different user group compared to standard accessible (or disabled) toilets.​

    Toiles are a necessity for everyone. Everyone needs a toilet in their home or workplace and when we go out we expect to be able to use a toilet when visiting a public space or building. This should be a basic entitlement for every Australian. But unfortunately, it’s not the case for everyone.

    A view from inside the Chadstone Shopping Centre Changing Places, showing the washbasin, glass sliding door, adult change table and ceiling hoist. The logo is on the glass door.

    Sourceable - The Case for ‘Changing Places’ Toilets Part 2, published June 2015

    Public toilets are a necessity for everyone, but are suitable toilets available for everyone’s use?

    These facilities, known as ‘Changing Places’, cater to a different user group that the current building codes and access standards ignore. ‘Changing Places’ will greatly benefit the 200,000 Australians with a severe or profound disability and will allow them greater access to the types of facilities with hoists and change tables they need.

    A group of people in front of the first Changing Places toilet in Ringwood Lake Park in 2014

    On a windy, cold drizzly day the bad weather couldn’t dampen the excitement of the first Changing Places Toilet opening at Ringwood Park Lake. ​

    Changing Places toilets cater for a different user group compared to accessible toilets that are already required in commercial buildings. Standard accessible toilets are designed for independent use by an individual and do have sufficient space, or the necessary features required by many people with severe or profound disabilities.

  • FAQs

    Frequently asked questions

    What are Changing Places?

    The new design specifications say that "Changing Places provide suitable facilities for people who cannot use standard accessible toilets. A Changing Places facility allows people with high support needs to fully participate in the community. This may include people with an acquired brain injury, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, and motor neurone disease, as well as many other people with a disability."

    What's inside a Changing Places?

    Changing Places facilities provide:

    • a height-adjustable adult-sized change table 
    • a constant-charging ceiling track hoist system 
    • a centrally-located peninsula toilet 
    • circulation spaces as defined in the design specifications 
    • an automatic door with a clear opening of 950 mm at a minimum (1100 mm for beach and lake locations) 
    • a privacy screen.

    What does a Changing Places Assessor do?

    Changing Places Assessors are independent contractors. They are not employed

    directly by Changing Places Australia or the Victorian State Government DHHS. The role of the Changing Places Assessor is to conduct assessments of the design and inspect as-built facilities against the design specifications described in the Changing Places

    Design Specifications 2020.

    What is the Changing Places Accreditation process?

    The process includes an assessment in three stages:

    • Stage 1: Schematic design review
    • Stage 2: Construction documentation review
    • Stage 3: As-built final review

    If the facilities are constructed, we can be engaged to undertake an As-built Final Review only.

    What do we need to provide you for the Changing Places Stage 1 Schematic Design review?

    We need the following to complete the Schematic Design review:

    • Plans
    • Architectural Schedules
    • Door Schedule
    • Fixtures & Fittings Schedule
    • Finishes Schedule

    What do we need to provide for the Changing Places Stage 2 Construction Documentation Design review?

    We need the following to complete the Construction Documentation design review:

    • Final Plans
    • Architectural Schedules Final version
    • Door Schedule Final version
    • Fixtures & Fittings Schedule Final version
    • Finishes Schedule Final version
    Documents must be marked 'For
    Tender', 'For Construction', 'Building Permit Issue' or the like.

    What is the Stage 3 As-Built Final Review Assessment?

    If we didn't complete the first two design review stages, we need a copy of all Construction Documentation.

     

    An inspection will be undertaken to ensure the as-built works are consistent with the design documentation.

     

    If everything is compliant, a Statement of Compliance will be issued, and you can then contact www.changingplaces.org.au to have your facility added to their website.

    What's an MLAK?

    Accessible facilities in public spaces are prone to misuse, vandalism and poor treatment by people who fail to understand their importance in society. To address this problem the Master Locksmiths Association of Australia (MLAA) developed a new master key system in 1994-95, and after a trial with Pittwater Council, this was rolled out nationally. This system is known as the Master Locksmiths Access Key or simply ‘MLAK’ for short.

    Where can I get an MLAK?

    People wishing to use these accessible facilities can obtain a key from MLAA or in some cases, from their local Council. In fact, some more progressive Councils will even provide these keys for free. To control the use of the MLAK system, eligibility has been restricted to:

    • people who have a disability
    • people who care for someone with a disability
    • the owner or manager of a building with an accessible facility
    • disability organisations
    • community health centres

    Which toilets use the MLAK?

    To help people plan their trips, Spinal Cord Injuries Australia maintains a directory of MLAK-enabled facilities across Australia. Information is also available on the National Public Toilet Map which provides details of over 17,000 publicly available toilets across Australia, including those with accessible features such as adult change facilities and those that use of an MLAK. Additionally, many Councils promote the use of the MLAK.

    When are MLAKs used?

    The MLAK system is increasingly becoming popular for these reasons in many public spaces, such as:

    • Railway station facilities, including passenger lifts;
    • Accessible toilets in public parks;
    • Changing Places facilities;
    • Playground equipment, such as the wheelchair accessible ‘Liberty Swing’; and
    • Some public buildings are using the MLAK to secure their own facilities.

    Are you Accredited Access Consultants?

    Yes, Accredited Member of the Association of Consultants in Access, Australia (ACAA) - Member 236, Lee Wilson is also a Changing Places Assessor (CP020), a Livable Housing Assessor (20012), and an SDA Accredited Assessor (SDA00040).

    Who is the ACAA?

    The Association of Consultants in Access, Australia Inc. (ACAA) is the national, membership-based, professional association for people working in building accessibility. It is the national body for Access Consultants in Australia. ACAA accredits members who have reached the required level of experience and competency.

    Are you Qualified Access Consultants?

    Yes, key personnel have undertaken extensive studies in building surveying, access, performance-based fire & building code and project management. These include undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

    How do you work with clients?

    Simply email your project scope, address, client's details, drawings, building surveyor's checklist, architect's comments, etc., to our office and we'll review then and call you or email you to discuss your needs.

    What is a DDA Consultant?

    DDA stands for the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, and has become a title for a person or product that aims to meet the needs of people with disability. As a DDA Consultancy, we work on many projects across Australia attempting to improve the physical environment for everyone.

    Where is your head office?

    We are located in the Waterman Business Centre, 72 / 44 Lakeview Drive, Scoresby, Victoria, Australia, but we also have satellite offices in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney.

  • Changing Places Accreditation

    Three Simple Steps to Accrediation

    1

    Stage 1:

    Schematic design review

    We need the following to complete the Schematic Design review:

    • Plans
    • Architectural Schedules
    • Door Schedule
    • Fixtures & Fittings Schedule
    • Finishes Schedule
    2

    Stage 2:

    Construction documentation review

    We need the following to complete the Construction Documentation design review:

    • Final Plans
    • Architectural Schedules Final version
    • Door Schedule Final version
    • Fixtures & Fittings Schedule Final version
    • Finishes Schedule Final version
    Documents must be marked 'For
    Tender', 'For Construction', 'Building Permit Issue' or the like.
    3

    Stage 3:

    As-built final review

    If we didn't complete the first two design review stages, we need a copy of all Construction Documentation.

    An inspection will be undertaken to ensure the as-built works are consistent with the design documentation.

    If everything is compliant, a Statement of Compliance will be issued, and you can then contact www.changingplaces.org.au to have your facility added to their website.

  • Contact Us

    Egress Group Pty Ltd
    Waterman Business Centre
    44 Lakeview Drive
    Scoresby VIC 3179
    The reception desk on the ground floor is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Meetings by appointment only.
    1300 014 281
  • Other Access Central Services

    Expert DDA, accessibility and universal design advice

    Architectural drawings on a table, rolled out with a ruler across them, and a 3D frame of a large building projecting out of the drawings

    Design Reviews

    Architectural Design Reviews, DDA Compliance, Product Assessments, Universal Design

    We can check the design of any building project for compliance with all disability and building accessibility requirements. Reduce risk, engaged Access Central at all design stages of a project.

    Disability accessible car parking space, as per AS/NZS 2890.6, with yellow line marking and yellow bollard

    Performance Solutions

    Performance-based compliance. Expert advice on Performance Solutions (Alternative Solutions)

    All buildings are different and don't always fit the black & white building code requirements. We're experts at developing performance-based solutions and can help identify efficiencies and resolve accessibility issues.

    A female DDA Access Consultant. standing looking at her tablet PC while inspecting a building

    Inspections

    Compliance Reviews, Access Audits, Inspections, Insurance Investigations, Event Accessibility

    Sometimes questions come up on projects and designs change. Access Central can inspect any building, whether it is existing or under construction to clarify compliance requirements.

  • Fee Proposals

    It's simple to get a quotation for our services

    1

    You email us

    Please email us at info@accesscentral.com.au

    Please provide a brief description of the project and what you need. Remember to include the address, client details (for the proposal), and to attach relevant drawings, checklists, comments from building surveyors or architects.

    2

    We review your email

    Once we receive your email we send an acknowledgement reply email. After checking through your drawings, information, project description, scope requirements etc., we'll prepare the quote.

    If we have any questions we will call or email you.

    3

    We send you the proposal

    The proposal will be sent to you as a priority. Once you're ready to engage us, you just complete a few details on the Engagement Form and send it back to us.

    We then get the work scheduled in and underway for you! We'll also keep you informed and updated along the way too.