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In South Africa & around the world buildings such as Auditoriums, grandstands, halls & sports stadiums are made wheelchair friendly by adding among other things, Ramps, Elevators and wheelchair platforms big enough, so that wheelchair users can enjoy the event from their wheelchairs & also have a clear view of the stage, field, screen, etc. Buildings where these "platforms" are built , include:

  • Movie Theaters
  • Sports Stadiums
  • Music Concerts, etc

The South African National Standard for Building Regulations

The South African Government through The South African National Standard for Building Regulations  makes laws that insure that these type of buildings are designed & build with these wheelchair bays/platforms & that they meet certain regulations.

Buildings that incorporate halls or auditoriums for public use are obliged to ensure that a reasonable percentage of space is available for people in wheelchairs or other “assistive devices”. (Disabled Bays in Movie Theaters, Sports stadiums & Music Concerts)

Unfortunately many Movie Theaters, Sports Stadiums and Auditoriums in South Africa were not designed and built to accommodate wheelchair users or the elderly, and so do not have adequate Disabled Bays where persons in wheelchairs or other “assistive devices” can sit and enjoy the entertainment. The owners of these buildings, halls and auditoriums may therefore be challenged by the need to find architects and renovators familiar with accessible design issues in order to make them accessible. There are various Organizations and Companies that can assist with Universal Design and Access to make sure that persons with disabilities are not excluded from any events, services, information, communication, products and venues.

Organizations & Companies That Can Assist With Universal Design & Access

There are now various Organizations and Companies that specialize in Universal Design and Access and can advise you on how to adapt these Disabled Bays for Movie Theaters, Sports Stadiums and Auditoriums, to make sure that persons with disabilities have equal rights and no loss of dignity. The National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), Inclusive Design and Bradshaw LeRoux Consulting specialize in Universal Design and Access to make sure that persons with disabilities are not excluded from any events, services, information, communication, products and venues. These Organizations and Companies can assist in different ways including: NCPD Logo

The National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD): believe that this can be prevented by applying Universal Design Principals during the design phase and they therefor offer the following services to assist:

  • Workshops for architects, developers and other building professionals to develop an understanding of universal design and access.
  • Facilitating access audits for new or existing buildings; echo e-access for the natural and communication environment. Audits are followed by a report indicating shortfalls and recommendations.
  • Marketing of facilities that are accessible to persons with disabilities

Contact Fanie Swanepoel or Danie Marais for more information on Tel: +27 11 452 2774 or email them on: or

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Inclusive Design: is a company founded on the fundamentals of the South African Constitution and aims to serve as a driver of social inclusion for positive and effective change in the lives of people with diverse human needs. Our philosophy is guided by individual and shared needs of people and not that of special needs. Universal Design serves as a means in which to create and enhance the functionality of environments, services and products, for the widest range of users, recognizing diversity of the human condition. Inclusive Design as a company, recognises the importance of awareness raising and the dissemination of information on diversity and inclusion as an integral deliverable to achieve Universal Access and improving lives.Inclusive Design

What we do:

Inclusive Design serves as a mechanism to audit, review, design, create and advise on adaptations and/or enhancements for the functionality of environments, transport, technology, education, services and operations, and products for all users, to accommodate the full spectrum of human diversity. Inclusive Design specialises in providing practical, sensible advice on issues relating to Universal Access and works on the premise that environments, services and facilities that are accessible to people with disabilities are equitable in the eyes of the law, makes business sense, as well as being easier and more comfortable for all users, irrespective of their functional requirements.


Inclusive Design works with clients to find viable, feasible means of incorporating universal design into their environments, services, facilities and products. In a field of consulting where amateurs are rife and claim expertise, Inclusive Design has gone to great lengths to prove their competency on an international level. Headed by a consultant who is the highest certified Universal Access Consultant in South Africa, as verified by IAAP (International Association of Access Professionals) and with a plenary of examples and experience, Inclusive Design delivers, on time with exceptionally detailed results and recommendations. We put effort into making reports and findings legible, easy to understand and implementable to enable clients to positively affect change to becoming universally accessible and inclusive.


Inclusive Design

Image Courtesy of Inclusive Design

Universal Access Consulting:

Consulting serves to advise clients on the options, requirements and areas where Universal Access can and should be achieved. With experience and knowledge of both South African building regulations for Persons with Disabilities, supporting equality legislation and international access requirements, Inclusive Design makes for the perfect collaborator to achieve Universal Access. Our consulting services serve to impart knowledge with clients on aspects, features and implementation of Universal Access to increase awareness of the requirements of people with disabilities as well as the broader range of beneficiaries including, pregnant women, people with young children, elderly people and people with temporary disabilities or recovering from surgery.

As part of our consulting services we also offer specific research, skills transfer and mentorship related to Universal Access and assist our clients wherever possible to progress towards a viable, feasible and desirable means of implementation to achieve equality. In line with the social model of disability, our emphasis has shifted away from the concept of being ‘disability’ focused, to that of being focused on ‘Universal Access’, which acknowledges that the benefit thereof goes beyond the classification of people with disabilities. Universal Access Consulting can take place in numerous fields, including:

  • built environment (architecture and planning)
  • systems, services and operations
  • marketing, communication and information sharing (online, print media and presentations)
  • transport and all associated and supporting infrastructure and systems
  • Policy development, reviews and updates

Universal Access Auditing:

Universal Access Consulting

Image Courtesy of Inclusive Design

Auditing is the examination or inspection of various aspects of the environment, service, facility or product to determine compliance with local and/or international requirements. Audits are conducted through physical inspection and are followed by reports to indicate short-falls, areas of improvement and areas of non-compliance. Universal Access Auditing is largely conducted in the built environment in South Africa, where SANS 10400 Part S (2011): Facilities for Persons with Disabilities is the deem to satisfy requirement, which is supplemented with ISO21542 in areas where more details are required or environments which are more specialised. This process is detailed, and the audit is conducted meticulously and often includes discussions with users of the facility regarding usability, which leads to a custom report with bespoke recommendations for both built infrastructure and operations.

Inclusive Design also offers companies an advantage through a proprietary Universal Access Application™ which enables large areas of the built environment to be audited in a systematic, accurate, thorough and detailed process (for example: a campus). Saving clients time and money as the UA App captures vast amounts of data, with measurements, photo evidence and SANS 10400 Part S (2011) compliance in an easy to read, tabulated format, in a matter of days. This process conventionally takes a vast number of human hours to capture, process and write-up by a highly experience UA Auditor, but with the Universal Access App™ it is simplified, quickened, accurate and unbiased. 

Universal Access Auditing can take place in numerous fields, including:

  • built environment (architecture and planning)- with the UA App™
  • systems, services and operation
  • marketing, communication and information sharing (online, print media and presentations)
  • transport and all associated and supporting infrastructure and system
  • policy and implementation plans

Universal Access Awareness:

Universal Access Audits & Reviews

Image Courtesy of Inclusive Design

The Great Father of our Nation, Nelson Mandela said that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It is our belief, at Inclusive Design, that by teaching principles of good design, that we can make a significant impact upon our society. It is therefore always a recommended deliverable in our work to transfer skills and educate others on Universal Design and Universal Access. The capacitation of more people with the knowledge and understanding of the value that inclusive design offers to staff, clients and society, is part of our vision and what we strive to achieve. What we term Universal Access Awareness, can be customised to the clients’ needs, and can vary from an introductory presentation to an in-depth training session on specific aspects. Universal Access cannot be achieved without at least the basic understanding of the paradigm that leads to equality.

Additional Services:

  • Disability Awareness Training (also known as Disability Awareness Training or Sensitisation)
  • Disability Specific Monitoring and Evaluation (Qualified M and E services)

Business Competitiveness:

Universal Access is a broad concept that requires understanding, application, implementation, experience and governance around various sectors, such as the built environment, services, facilities, transport, technology, regulations and more. Inclusive Design has explicit experience in Policy, Guideline and Framework writing and advising, Technical Requirement writing, Implementation Plans, Onsite Auditing, Plan Drawing Auditing, Architectural and Planning Consulting, Auditing and Consulting in the realms of Transport, Marketing and Communication, and Training. Inclusive Design is not focused on a specific area of disability, and therefore offer holistic recommendations in order to accommodate a spectrum of users, irrespective of their abilities. Inclusive Design practice good business principles, deliver on time, communicate directly with clients, and offer superior project deliverables.

If there are any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at Inclusive Design on Tel: +27 72 027 3623 or Email: Cape Town (HQ) ● Pretoria (Administration), or visit our website at:

These Organizations and Companies listed above which specialize in Universal Design and Access will follow those standards set by "The National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act" to make sure that "Regulations for Auditoriums, Grandstands and Halls" are met and persons with disabilities are not excluded from any events, services, information, communication, products and venues.

Regulations for Auditoriums, Grandstands and Halls

4.13 Auditoriums, Grandstands and Halls

4.13.1 Where any building contains one or more auditoriums or halls fitted with fixed seating, floor space accessible to any person in a wheelchair shall be set aside for the accommodation of wheelchairs in such auditoriums or halls. Such space shall

  1. be situated adjacent, or in close proximity, to an exit door and shall be so arranged that a wheelchair will not obstruct any aisle or exit door, and
  2. be of a size sufficient to accommodate
    1. a minimum of one wheelchair where the number of fixed seats for which the auditorium or hall is designed is not more than 50,
    2. a minimum of two wheelchairs where the number of fixed seats for which the auditorium or hall is designed is more than 50 but not more than 400, and
    3. a minimum of three wheelchairs or a number of wheelchairs equal to 0,5 % of the number of fixed seats for which the auditorium or hall is designed, whichever is the greater, where such number of fixed seats is more than 400.

4.13.2 Wheelchair positions shall be distributed evenly throughout the facility. For each wheelchair position a companion seat shall be provided.

4.13.3 Each space accessible to a wheelchair shall be not less than 900 mm × 1,4 m. Such a space shall provide a line of vision of the performance comparable to the full range of seating that is not wheelchair accessible.

4.14 Controls, switches and power points

4.14.1 All security controls and light switches shall be horizontally aligned with door handles and other fixtures and fittings (other than socket outlets) between 900 mm and 1,2 m above the finished floor level.

NOTE 1 The recommended height is 1 000 mm.

NOTE 2 For persons with visual or dexterity impairments, rocker action, or push-pad switches that operate in the vertical plane are preferable as long as they are easy to use. Push buttons of light switches should project clear of the switch plate and have a width of at least 15 mm.

4.14.2 General-purpose socket outlets (power points) shall be fixed at least 500 mm above the finished floor level, 150 mm above the worktop and at least 450 mm from the corners.

4.14.3 Emergency controls and other controls shall show their effective operation so that they include persons with hearing loss. For example, an emergency alarm in a lift shall light up when pressed.

4.15 Warning signals

All emergency warning signals, including those in mechanical circulation installations, shall be both audible and visible.

NOTE 1 Emergency warning signals include smoke detection, fire alarms and evacuation signals.

4.16 Lighting

4.16.1 The minimum illumination levels of lighting shall comply with the requirements of SANS 10400-O and SANS 10389-1.

NOTE Many persons with disabilities, especially elderly persons and persons with visual impairments, require higher levels of artificial lighting and reduced glare. Persons with hearing impairments might also require a higher level of illumination to facilitate lip-reading.

4.16.2 Lighting controlled by passive infrared sensors shall be provided in external circulation areas, internal circulation areas, and bathrooms, where these facilities are used after dark. Where passive infrared sensors cannot be provided, night lights shall be provided.

NOTE: Contrasting light and dark colours and levels of luminance should be used to assist persons with visual and intellectual impairments.


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Silver Level Membership
The National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD)
QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA)