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MEDIA RELEASE - New Disability Plan breaks down barriers

28 March 2019

Glenelg Shire Council is “breaking down the barriers” to provide greater support to people with a disability in the community with the release of a new action plan.

Council this week endorsed the Access and Inclusion (Disability) Plan 2019-2021 which outlines 34 objectives to support people with disabilities, including such things as infrastructure upgrades, accessible and inclusive communication, greater collaboration between council and disability service providers, and support for employment initiatives.

Glenelg Shire Mayor Cr Anita Rank said the plan adopted a whole of council approach, drawing from the Council Plan and Health and Wellbeing Plan, and would be taken into consideration when undertaking any council work process.

“Council is playing an active role, breaking down the barriers to assist those most in need in our community,” Cr Rank said.

“The latest data shows that 4.5 per cent of shire residents aged between 20 and 59 years reported needing assistance due to disability, an increase of 67 people since 2011. This figure is double that of the state average for this cohort. In total more than 1300 people in our shire, almost 7 per cent, report needing help in their day-to-day life due to a disability.

“These figures cannot be ignored. This plan provides a benchmark with key objectives to create an accessible and inclusive community for people of all abilities. We want to ensure everyone in our shire can live a happy and healthy life, with no limitations.”

The plan, which is the second of its kind, was created following extensive community consultation over the past two years involving more than 220 participants, including individuals with a disability, parents, family and carers, and disability service providers.

Councillor Gilbert Wilson said the plan was a positive step in promoting inclusion and participation of people with a disability within the community.

“The feedback from participants was clear that there was a lack of awareness about council programs, services and events; there is too much inaccessible infrastructure such as public toilets and car parking; whilst greater community transport opportunities was of critical importance to people being able to enjoy productive lives,” Cr Wilson said.

“One participant simply said they just wanted ‘everyone to join in” and this is what the objectives of this action plan are all about. It will assist to stimulate change, providing a guide for us all to meet as a community.”

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