Successful first year for Disability Inclusion Action Plan
Tuesday, 11 December 2018
More inclusive playgrounds, improved accessible amenities in Council facilities and additional support for the care and education of 67 children with high needs were just some of the 39 initiatives Northern Beaches Council undertook in the first year of its Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) 2017-2021.
Mayor Michael Regan said Council was committed to supporting and developing positive community attitudes and behaviours towards people with disability.
“The Disability Inclusion Action Plan functions as a roadmap for Council to ensure that our community is accessible and inclusive so that people with disability can fully participate in community life.”
Council provided the initiatives across four key focus areas:
Developing positive community attitudes and behaviours;
Creating liveable communities;
Supporting access to meaningful employment;
Improving access to mainstream services through better systems and processes.
In 2017/18, Council provided a range of programs and projects supporting disability awareness, including a regular Disability Newsletter, and coordinated a range of activities for International Day of People with Disability, Mental Health Awareness Week and National Carers Week.
It also held a series of expos to inform the community, businesses and local services about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Council also coordinated a calendar of events including a Wellbeing Expo for Seniors Festival in March 2018 with activities and stalls for carers of frail aged seniors and people with dementia.
More playgrounds were upgraded for accessibility including the Bert Payne Park playground at Newport Beach and a pilot project focusing on sensory play for five local playgrounds in Belrose.
Council is progressively installing accessible amenities into all its new and improved buildings and facilities.
Works in 2017/18 included amenities at Marine Parade coast walk in Manly, Harbour View Childcare Centre, Collaroy Rock Pool, Manly Soldiers Building and Cromer Park sports building. At Narrabeen they included Warriewood Rugby Park, Tramshed Community Centre and Berry Reserve amenities.
There was also a focus on improving the safety, access and usability of Council’s rock pools for people of all abilities. Upgrades to Collaroy rock pool progressed. Opportunities to improve access to the Freshwater rock pool are continuing though the Freshwater Masterplan.
“Council has a pivotal role in promoting and supporting access and inclusion across the community. We still have some work ahead of us but each step brings us closer to a truly inclusive Northern Beaches,” Mayor Regan said.
“Change is most meaningful where all levels of government, businesses and the local community work together to make inclusion a reality for all of us. A great example of this will be the introduction of an Inclusion category to the Northern Beaches Local Business Awards next year.”
Council developed a Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) in 2016/17 in line with the requirements of the NSW Disability Inclusion Act 2014. The actions in the DIAP have been designed following extensive consultation with internal and external stakeholders, and the broader community.