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New guide helps councils meet National Disability Strategy obligations

New guide helps councils meet National Disability Strategy obligations
November 30, 2016

The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) has released a new guide to help for councils meet their obligations to support the inclusion of Australians with a disability in their communities under the National Disability Strategy.

The guide, Disability Inclusion Planning - A Guide for Local Government, was developed to meet the needs of the four million Australians (according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics) living with a disability, and with around a third of those people living with profound or severe disability requiring additional support and assistance.

Commissioned by ALGA with the support of the Australian Government and prepared by Urbis, the guide provides information and tools to help councils to update, develop and implement inclusive policies and practices to ensure people with disability have equal access to services and facilities in their local government areas.

Introducing Disability Inclusion Planning, Assistant Federal Minister for Social Services and Disability Services Jane Prentice said it was an important tool supporting the implementation of the National Disability Strategy 2010-2020, stating “the National Disability Strategy focuses on improving the lives of people with disability.

"Local government is an important partner in implementing this strategy and it is encouraging that ALGA has disability inclusion at the forefront of their agenda.”

ALGA President Mayor David O'Loughlin said councils play a key role in working towards an inclusive society, adding "councils have been proactive in the area of disability for many years. As a major provider of goods, services and facilities, local government has a major contribution to make in enabling people with disability to participate equally in their communities.

"The national view of disability services is moving away from a compliance focus to a more holistic way of providing people with disability the opportunity to fully participate in all aspects of society, and it is here that councils are critical.

"There have been several fundamental changes in the way we provide support for people with disability in the past two decades and this guide acts as a resource to assist councils in responding to and meeting those new requirements.”

Disability Inclusion Planning - A Guide for Local Government updates the 1995 version to align with developments in disability including the: National Disability Strategy 2010-20; Disability (Access to Premises -Buildings) Standards 2010; Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002; and National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Click here to view the guide.

Image: Disabled ramp access at the Colmslie Aquatic and Leisure Centre, Brisbane. Image courtesy of RMP and Associates.

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