Access to work, education, recreation and public transport is something most of us take for granted. Inclusion in community events and civic engagement is a right the majority can exercise with ease. This is not the experience of many Australians living with disability.
“Strong Voices: A blueprint to enhance life and claim the rights of people with a disability in South Australia (2012 – 2020)” reports on extensive consultation with people living with disability. Its recommendations have led to the drafting of new legislation that will replace the Disability Services Act 1993.
In 2018 the Disability Inclusion Bill is likely to be passed into law. When it is, every Local Government authority and every State Government Department will be required to prepare a four year Disability Access & Inclusion Plan (DAIP). Councils and Departments will be required to provide an annual report on their progress.
Some of our clients have hit the ground running. The Adelaide Hills Council and the Town of Walkerville have worked with URPS to prepare plans that reflect the access and inclusion outcomes established in the State Government’s DAIP Strategy. URPS is also currently working with the Mount Barker District Council and the Department of Transport, Planning & Infrastructure to prepare organisation-wide strategies and targeted measurable actions.
Ensuring all sectors of these organisations are involved in the development of their DAIP means a shared responsibility for delivery. This ensures effective delivery of meaningful outcomes and makes it less likely that the Plan will slide off the radar if personnel change. Clearly expressed and tightly defined actions help the owners of the Plan meet their reporting requirements easily.