Disability Access and Inclusion Plan now in action

5/07/2017
 
A new strategic plan focusing on how Shellharbour City can be a more inclusive and accessible city, a place where people want to live, work and play came into effect this month.

Shellharbour City Council's Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2017-2021: An Inclusive City was developed with community input from an extensive consultation process.

The plan recognises that people with disabilities are best placed to tell Council what needs to be done to ensure it is more accessible and inclusive of the needs of people with disabilities.

It will be incorporated into Council's corporate planning documents to ensure that access and inclusion becomes a core business of Council that all employees are responsible for delivering.

In 2016, more than 4500 Shellharbour City residents (6.7%) reported needing assistance with core activities. This is an increase from 5.9% in 2011. This is above the NSW average of 4.9% (2011 ABS Data).

Council has had formal disability action plans in place since 2003 and have concentrated largely on improvements to Council's buildings, pathways and recreation areas.

Since 2001 Council has spent more than $1 million on facility and bus stop upgrades to make the physical environment more accessible.

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said Council believed an accessible and inclusive City benefitted all residents and visitors.

“The plan was developed with community input garnered from extensive consultation and recognises that people with disabilities and their families and carers are best placed to tell Council what needs to be done to enhance accessibility,” Cr Saliba said.

“I’m exceptionally proud of our diverse community and Council sincerely values the contribution that people with a disability make to our city.

“For over 28 years, Council has worked alongside the community to make our city more accessible through improvements to the built and natural landscape,” she said.

In the past much of Council’s focus has been on physical disability and accessibility. Now Council wants to build on this work and improve other types of access.

“The plan will help us all work together to make Shellharbour City the place where people with disabilities and their families are able to live, work and play as equals,” she said.

The plan covers:
  • Developing positive community attitudes and behaviours
  • Creating liveable communities
  • Supporting access to meaningful employment
  • Improving access to services through better systems and practices

How the plan will be delivered 
An action plan has been developed that lists the priorities for Council over the next four years.

The action plan will be incorporated into Council’s Delivery Program and Operational Plan making all Council staff responsible for the delivery of these actions.

Media enquiries: Kelli Wells 4221 6038 or 0448 361 008