Wagga is inclusive, not exclusive – Community invited to have say on Disability Inclusion Action Plan

Published: 29 Nov 2016 10:42am

Wagga Wagga, we all have the ability to create an inclusive community.

Come along on Monday 5 December and share your views on how Wagga Wagga can improve accessibility and inclusion across the city.

Ideas shared at the community session will be used to develop the city’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan.

This plan will sit under the city’s new Community Strategic Plan (CSP) – the community’s guiding document for the future of the city – and all actions will be measured against the CSP.

“This action plan ensures Wagga Wagga is proactive towards inclusion and accessibility and making it a priority in the city’s planning both now and into the future,” Community Sector Manager Janice Summerhayes said.

“Over the years Council has helped facilitate a number of projects and has some procedures in place for accessibility and inclusion to occur, however, this plan ensures both principles are embedded in all we do across the city.

“The community session is open to all residents, and I encourage as many people to come along and share their ideas. This is your chance to help set the foundations for an even better city for generations to come.

“Starting the conversation on this and putting plans into action may also spur others in the community – businesses, schools, shops, sporting groups – to also look at how they can be more inclusive and accessibility friendly.”

The community consultation has been designed for residents to learn more about how the City of Wagga Wagga is working in this space and a chance to leave thoughts and feedback on inclusion and accessibility across a range of areas within Council.

Some of these areas include city strategy and recreational planning, customer service and information, employment, the Oasis Regional Aquatic Centre and Wagga Wagga City Library and visitor economy and events. Staff from each area of Council will also be available on the day to further talk to residents.  

Residents who can’t make the consultation can still participate via an online survey at www.wagga.nsw.gov.au/inclusive.

From this week residents can also contribute to the draft CSP via www.wagga.nsw.gov.au/waggaview.

A disability can be caused by a range of conditions including intellectual, physical, cognitive, sensory, neurological impairments or mental illness.

The Disability Action Plan has four focus areas; employment, attitudes and behaviours, systems and processes and liveable communities.

“Through previous community consultations we know that accessibility is an issue for many people in our city, especially in regards to parking, transport and access to public toilets,” Ms Summerhayes said.

“We have put some measures in place to rectify these issues, but we recognise there is more work to do.

“Now is the time to capture what the community is thinking and feeling and put together a ‘wish list’ of what can be done and work towards changing the city for the better.

Some accessibility and inclusion projects The City of Wagga Wagga has implemented or facilitated include:  

  • Increased disability parks located in prominent locations including Morrow Street and Fitzmaurice Street, near Disability Advocacy network and other relevant services
  • Master Locksmith Association Key (MLAK) amendments to three public toilet facilities in the Wagga Wagga CBD, enabling people with disabilities to gain 24/7 access to a network of public facilities, and significant upgrades to a number of disabled toilets facilities, including automated doors and increased sizing
  • Last month Council endorsed a Memorandum of Understanding with Livvi’s Place for the delivery of an inclusive playspace at Bolton Park
  • Hearing loops and recharge scooter points at various locations within the Wagga Wagga City Library. The library also has a growing range of resources and services and programs, such as audio books and large print books and a home delivery services run by volunteers, to give everyone in the community access to the public library.

The action plan is a legislative requirement of the State Government and must be ready for use by 1 July 2017.

Disability Inclusion Action Plan Community Consultation

When: Monday 5 December, 2016, from 1.30pm to 4pm

Where: Wagga Wagga Art Gallery (Links Gallery).

Access via gallery lower entrance off Morrow Street, opposite glass gallery. Disability parking available in Morrow Street. Further enquiries phone 6926 9357 or email lehman.sarah@wagga.nsw.gov.au