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New plan to improve access and inclusion

Eurobodalla councillors provided a glowing endorsement of Council’s draft Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2017-21 at this week’s meeting.

The draft plan aims to improve access and inclusion for people with disability living in and visiting Eurobodalla with a range of strategies and actions.

More than 200 community members had input into the plan through completing surveys and participating in focus groups earlier this year.

Council’s director Community, Arts and Recreation Kathy Arthur praised those who took part.

“The surveys identified that people’s attitudes in Eurobodalla toward people with disability were universally positive,” she said.

“Survey respondents felt that increased exposure of people with disability in the media could ‘normalise’ disability and that physical access to businesses and community facilities was important for people to feel included.”

Ms Arthur said focus group participants believed there was a need for more exposure and normalising the inclusion of people with disability in all aspects of life, particularly in schools and workplaces.

“We have addressed respondents’ feedback with 49 actions in the plan that range from promoting good access to businesses and offering disability and mental health awareness training to progressively upgrading recreation and community facilities to meet accessibility standards,” she said.

“We estimate there are 7,000 people in Eurobodalla living with a disability - that’s 19 per cent of our population.

“Council has a role in promoting the rights of people with disability and the value of diversity, however making communities more inclusive is not just a Council responsibility. Everyone, including business, community groups and the general public also have a role to play.”

Councillors congratulated Ms Arthur and her team on the plan at Tuesday’s Council meeting, where they voted to place the document on public exhibition to seek community feedback.

Community members can find it on Council’s website under ‘public exhibition’. Hard copies are also available at the Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma libraries and at Council’s customer service centre in Moruya.

To provide feedback on the plan, email, use the online feedback form on Council’s website or write to Eurobodalla Shire Council, PO Box 99 Moruya 2537.

Above: Eurobodalla Shire Council is seeking the community’s input on its draft Disability Inclusion Action Plan. Pictured is a member of Council’s Disability Advisory Committee Brad Rossiter, and Council’s Active Living Coordinator Tina Smith.

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