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International Day of People with Disability 2020
Please note: As of 1 February 2021, the Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority (VHHSBA) became the Victorian Health Building Authority (VHBA).
International Day of People with Disability is celebrated each year on 3 December. It aims to promote public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with a disability.
This year’s theme is ‘Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 world’.
Making public spaces more inclusive and accessible is central to the way we plan and deliver public health, mental health and aged care services. The Absolutely Everyone: State disability plan 2017–2020 embeds universal design principles to make more infrastructure, services and places across Victoria more accessible to people of all abilities.
We have embedded a universal design approach at VHHSBA – ensuring each of our projects go beyond legislative accessibility requirements to allow full access and participation by all. This means delivering health infrastructure that considers the full range of human diversity and addresses physical, sensory, cultural and cognitive needs.
The design of the new $81.58 million Wantirna public sector residential aged care facility is just one example of our commitment to implementing universal design principles into built infrastructure.
The architecture of the new facility seeks to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of residents and staff. Natural light-filled spaces and external views have been integrated into the design to increase the sense of connection to the natural environment. The building has also been designed to support and enable residents with complex needs – including limited mobility and dementia.
Wide functional spaces have been incorporated, ensuring residents with mobility issues can move freely and with ease. Dementia-friendly design will also provide residents with the care and support they need. Design elements include door colours to aid in memory function and a memory box located at the entrance to each resident’s room.
Grants for accessibility upgrades
New funding in the recent 2020-21 Victorian State Budget is also available to assist metropolitan, regional and rural health services, mental health service providers and residential aged care improve and expand facilities, including accessibility improvements such as dementia-friendly features, or accessible ramps and pathways.
$200 million Metropolitan Health Infrastructure Fund
The new $200 million Metropolitan Health Infrastructure Fund was announced in this year’s State Budget. Grants will be available to metropolitan health services to improve and expand facilities and upgrade equipment.
Additional $120 million for the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund
An additional $120 million will also be available through the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund. The Fund will provide grants to rural and regional health services and aged care providers for construction and refurbishment projects – including universal design and accessibility improvements.
Projects funded under previous rounds include:
- dementia-friendly gardens for high care residents at Maldon Hospital and Mountview Nursing Home
- construction of all-abilities path at Gelantipy District Bush Nursing Centre.
With total funding of $470 million, the Regional Health Infrastructure Fund is the largest program of its kind in Victoria.
Find out more information about Universal Design via our dedicated resources page.
Last updated: 03 December 2020
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