Partnership makes accessible change room at Oasis Regional Aquatic Centre possible

Published: 23 Jun 2017 4:46pm

Accessibility has been improved at the Oasis Regional Aquatic Centre thanks to a partnership project led by the Wagga Autism Support Group.

The Change with Dignity project has seen a major upgrade to the Oasis’ accessible change room, with the support group able to purchase a new adult change table/gantry hoist and two water wheelchairs.

The project was made possible through a $19,195.50 grant through Fundability, which aims to provide greater inclusion for young people aged nine to 15 years and is administered by Northcott Wagga in partnership with the NSW Department of Family & Community Services.

To assist with the project, Wagga Wagga City Council has allocated a multi-use change room to be used only as an accessible change room, including fitting a new door and electrical work.

“The Change with Dignity upgrade project encourages independence and dignity for all children who use the Oasis Regional Aquatic Centre,” Wagga Autism Support Group president Deb Bewick said.

“The new hoist is wide enough to include the toilet, shower and change bed, which has fold-up sides and can be raised or lowered for ease of use.

“This provides a sense of security for the users, their carers and care workers.

“The new pool wheelchairs are able to tilt, allowing children with limited muscular capacity to feel supported throughout their swim and keep their head from falling forward.

“The visual blue seat and button have also improved the access to the toilet for those with visual impairment.”

Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Greg Conkey OAM said the creation of the accessible change room ensures the Oasis is a place all of the community can enjoy.

“Creating more accessible facilities is a key part of Council’s draft Disability Inclusion Action Plan,” he said.

“The upgraded change room makes it possible for more people to use the Oasis and makes it easier for user groups, families, schools and service providers to accommodate children with different needs.”

Council’s draft Disability Inclusion Action Plan is set to be adopted at the 26 June Ordinary Council Meeting.

The accessible change room is in operation now for any member of the public needing to use the facility.

Media opportunity

What: Official opening of the accessible change room at the Oasis Aquatic Centre
Who: Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Councillor Greg Conkey OAM, Wagga Autism Support Group president Deb Bewick, Member for Wagga Wagga Daryl Maguire
When: 10am, Monday 26 June
Where: Oasis Regional Aquatic Centre

Project background

Grant obtained by: Wagga Autism Support Group
Supporters: Northcott Wagga, Leisure Company Wagga, Willans Hill School, Oasis Regional Aquatic Centre, Wagga Wagga City Council, Member for Wagga Wagga Daryl Maguire
Aim: Children aged nine to 15 years who have a disability will be able to be safely included in swimming activities with schools and service providers. Families will feel more secure in using the facilities and the children themselves will be able to engage in the process to the best of their abilities.