Latest GM Column – 26th August 2017.
I’m sure many of you will have noticed a lot of construction activity around the Castle Street Carpark amenities over recent months.
Coffs Harbour Rotary South members have been very busy building specialised accessible toilets that include a bed hoist and showering facilities for people with severe disabilities. It’s not generally well-known that people with profound disabilities and their families find it difficult to get out and about without access to these kinds of facilities, so Council was very happy to support Rotary South’s project through its Community Capital Infrastructure Grants programme.
This initiative is also in line with Council’s adopted Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP). The Plan sets out strategies and initiatives that Council will deliver in the next four years to enable people with a disability to have greater access to Council information, services and facilities.
Our aim is to help:
- Develop positive community attitudes and behaviours;
- Create liveable communities;
- Support access to meaningful employment; and
- Improve access to services through better systems and processes.
The provision of accessible and inclusive communities is a vital part of enabling all people to participate fully in community life.
The overall goal of the Plan is to help ensure that people with a disability can have equal access to information, services and facilities provided by Council, can enjoy public spaces and be part of the public life of the community.
Council has a pivotal role to play in achieving inclusive communities through compliance with the Australian Standards for Disability Access and the Disability Discrimination Act to support people with a disability. We can also assist by adopting more accessible systems and processes and by promoting and fostering a culture where the inclusion of people with a disability is the norm.
It’s always worth remembering that having accessible and inclusive public spaces doesn’t just benefit people with disabilities, but also older people, people with a chronic illness, people experiencing temporary illness or injury, parents/carers of young children and all their friends and families.