A Disability Access and Inclusion Policy and Action Plans for Rural Local Governments

A How-To Manual for Creating
Disability Access and Inclusion
Policy and Action Plans for Rural
Local Governments
RuralAccess
ii
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements
I
II
Introduction
Using This Manual
1
Disability Access and Access & Inclusion Planning
What is Access?
Disability Access and Inclusion Policy
What is a Disability Access and Inclusion Plan?
Legislative Rationale
How Does a Disability Access and Inclusion Plan
Apply to Council Business?
Imperatives for Local Government
2
2
2
3
3
III
Rationale
Role of Local Government
Direct Local Government Services
Indirect Local Government Services
Giving Your Plan Teeth! The Governance Framework
The Disability Discrimination Act
4
4
4
5
5
5
IV
How To Go About It
7
1. Human Resources – Project Worker or Consultant?;
That is the Question.
Determining a Timeline and Writing a Project Work Plan
7
7
2. Setting the Budget
8
3. Project Structure
Identifying and Establishing the Various Groups
A Project Management Group
Project Steering Group
Role of the Steering Group
Project Reference Group
How You Might Involve People
Working with the Reference Group
Role of the Reference Group
Responsibilities
9
9
9
10
10
10
11
11
11
11
4. Finding a Champion in Senior Ranks.
Engaging Councillors and Conducting Briefings
Winning Over Council Management
12
12
12
5. Getting Staff On-Board
13
3
3
iii
V
6. Getting the Community Involved
Consulting
Who to consult?
13
13
14
7. Letting People Know – Communication and Marketing
External
Media
Alternatives
In House
14
14
15
15
16
8. Conducting the Fact Finding
Literature Review
Data
Pre-existing Data
Collecting New Data
Questionnaires
Public Forums
Organising a Public Forum – Hints and Tips
Running the Public Forum
What Happens with Issues that Come Up in the Forums?
Small Group Discussions
Making Direct Contact with the Project Worker
16
16
17
17
17
18
18
18
19
20
20
20
9. What Do We Do with the Findings? Analysis
Collating and Analysing Data
What Conclusions can be Drawn from the Data?
What to Do with the Data?
21
21
21
21
10. Writing Your Policy and Action Plan
What Needs to be Included?
Actions and Responsibilities
Document Production
Public Comment
Almost Finished; What about Councillor Support?
On-Going Management
22
22
23
23
23
24
24
11. Evaluation
24
12. Publication
25
Resource Guide
Websites
26
26
iv
Appendices
Appendix 1
Establishment of Disability Access and Inclusion Plan
Steering Group for your Council.
27
Appendix 2
Example Disability Access and Inclusion Policy
28
Appendix 3
Example Briefing Paper
30
Appendix 4
Project Logo and Slogan
32
Appendix 5
Example Community Questionnaire
33
Appendix 6
Sample Disability Access and Inclusion Policy
39
v
Acknowledgments
The project management team would like to acknowledge the participation of the
following individuals and organisations in the development of this project.
Project Worker
Glenn Cardwell
Reference Group
Carolyn Smith
John Ginnane
Chris Furey
Robyn Salt
Kate Wise
Robyn Hall
Melissa Knight
Jenni Reichman
Mark Lacey
James Bayliss
Lisa Nicholson
Annette Lewis
Kim Halbert-Pere
Melissa Akmentins
Laurice Newman
Bacchus Marsh & District Disability Resource Forum
Bacchus Marsh & District Disability Resource Forum
Hepburn Shire resident
Carers Choice
Carers Respite Centre
Deaf Info Grampians
Distinctive Options
Distinctive Options
Grampians Psychiatric Services
Hepburn Community Access Group
Merrimu ATSS
Moorabool Shire Council
PINARC Support Services
Vision Australia Foundation
Councillor Hepburn Shire Council
Steering Groups
Moorabool Shire Council
Natalie Abbott
Coordinator Customer Service
Andrew Bainbridge
Manager Assets
Chris Braddock
Manager Subdivisions, Contracts & Projects
Chris Parkinson
Coordinator Information Systems
Lou Vanzin
Building Surveyor
Shayne Ward
Manager Community Development
Terry Fraser
Manager Aged & Disability Services
Hepburn Shire Council
Chris Wilson
Michelle Oudeman
Judith Bedford
Richard Russell
Melanie Butterworth
Information Technology Officer
Customer Service
Manager, Planning & Economic Development
Executive Engineer
Care Coordinator, Aged & Disability Services
For further information on this project contact:
Project Management Team
Melanie Butterworth
Terry Fraser
Hepburn Shire Council
Moorabool Shire Council
(03)5348-2306
(03)5366-7100
Brian Dunn
Rural Access
(03)5321-6559
1
Access for All:
A How-To Manual for Creating Disability Access and
Inclusion Policy and Action Plans for Rural Local Governments
I
Introduction
The Moorabool and Hepburn Shire Councils are pleased to present this resource
guide to assist rural councils in the development of their Disability Access & Inclusion
Policy and Plan (also known as Disability Action Plan). By undertaking this process,
rural councils will be making their communities more accessible and inclusive as well
as fulfilling their responsibility under the federal Disability Discrimination Act (1992)
(DDA).
The authors have attempted to reflect their experience of what has worked best, to
save the reader the trials and tribulations of starting from scratch. This should
however not limit the reader as to how they undertake their planning process as each
municipality is unique.
We invite the reader to use this document and the accompanying template as a tool to
guide their process, but strongly advise participation by all levels of council and
community to ensure a comprehensive and robust outcome.
Using This Manual
The process is described step-by-step and is depicted diagrammatically to show the
overall picture. Each step makes recommendations on what should be considered
and/or how to go about a specific task. Where tools relating to this task are available,
the reader will be directed to the appropriate appendix or other resource. It is also
important to recognise when using this manual that whilst the process has been
depicted as quite a linear one, the human condition never allows for such simplicity.
For this reason, it is recommended the reader familiarise themselves with the entire
document and process before attempting to implement it.
2
II
Disability Access and Access & Inclusion Planning
What is Access?
Access: refers to the opportunity all people have to engage independently with the
environment.
• The basic requirement of good access is that the physical, information and
attitudinal environments are barrier-free.
• Access often means different things to different people. There are, however,
common elements that need to be considered to ensure a service or facility is
accessible to people with various disabilities.
Disability Access and Inclusion Process
•
•
•
•
•
Policy
Statement
Council Values
Commitment to change
Council authority for
action
Has whole of council
application
•
•
•
•
•
Plan
Prioritised work plan
Blueprint for change
Short, medium & longterm goals
Clear lines of
accountability
System for evaluation
More accessible and
inclusive communities
Diagram 1 The Policy Plan Relationship
Disability Access and Inclusion Policy
Underpinning action on disability access and inclusion must be sound policy, as it is
policy that reflects the political will and support to bring about change. Policy does
not, however, receive the same legislative recognition or general familiarity as the
phrase ‘disability action plan,’ and yet without policy, action cannot exist. In this
process, the development of policy and an action plan can and should happen
simultaneously. In actual fact, there need be no separation of the process until the
write-up of the documents, one being policy and the other the action document. If
your council has existing disability policy, review it to ensure that it is contemporary
and comprehensive enough to support your action plan.
3
What is a Disability Access and Inclusion Plan?
A Disability Access and Inclusion Plan is a strategy for changing those council
practices, which may result in discrimination against people with a disability. It will help
council to identify those practices and offer a blueprint for change
Legislative Rationale
Section 60 of the DDA states that, “A service provider may prepare and implement an
action plan.” It also prescribes six areas that a plan must include. Since the DDA
commenced operation in March 1993, complaints to the Human Rights and Equal
Opportunity Commission (HREOC) and to several equivalent state and territory bodies
have highlighted the need for councils to develop Action or Access and Inclusion
Plans.
How Does a Disability Access and Inclusion Plan
Apply to Council Business?
A Disability Access and Inclusion Plan will assist council in:
• Improving access to its own premises and services.
• Building relationships with citizens with a disability.
• Understanding and responding to the legal and social obligations of access.
• Training staff to welcome and support customers with a disability.
• Understanding its role of planning approvals; for example, council must
ensure that access is considered from the outset, reducing cost and
potential litigation.
• Providing employment opportunities for people with a disability.
Imperatives for Local Government
Five key outcomes need to be considered by local governments when planning
improved access for people with disabilities. These outcomes provide a foundation for
translating the objectives of the DDA into tangible and achievable results. The key
outcomes are:
1. Existing functions, facilities and services are adapted to meet the
needs of people with disabilities.
2. Access to buildings and facilities is improved.
3. Information about functions, facilities and services is provided in
formats that meet the communication requirements of people with
disabilities.
4. Staff awareness of the needs of people with disabilities, and skills
in delivering advice and services are improved.
5. Opportunities are provided for people with disabilities to participate
in public consultations, grievance mechanisms, decision-making
processes and an ongoing advisory role to council.
4
III
Rationale
Local government has a moral and legal responsibility to ensure that all people have
the opportunity to participate in the community. The ability to set local policy puts local
government in a unique position to mandate change and then lead by example.
Besides the obvious access responsibility that councils have for services and facilities,
their role also comprises approving community and environmental planning, including
public buildings. This proactive role will ensure that access is mandated rather than
something that must be continually challenged and debated.
Role of Local Government
Local governments play a vital role in the lives of people with disabilities because of its
broad mandate. Unlike state government, local governments are multi-functional, with
extensive responsibilities and activities ranging from the traditional roads, rates and
rubbish through to community and human service and the more recent trend toward
economic development such as tourism. All local government functions directly or
indirectly impact on the quality of life of people with disabilities who live, work, visit and
socialise in their communities. Local governments in Victoria have over the years,
responded to the needs of people with disabilities in a variety of ways. Initiatives have
included establishing advisory and access committees, ensuring physical access to
council facilities and amenities and developing disability specific services to assist in
overcoming some of the barriers to community participation.
Disability access and inclusion planning will enable councils to build on past
achievements by planning systematically to make current and future services and
facilities as accessible as possible to people with disabilities. Councils will need to
plan appropriate access for people with disabilities to the services and facilities for
which they have both direct and indirect responsibility.
Direct Local Government Services
Councils will need to plan to ensure that direct services and facilities, are accessible.
For example:
•
•
•
•
•
Venues for council meetings are physically accessible.
Someone with a hearing impairment can be assisted to hear council meeting
proceedings.
Someone with a vision impairment can access information about council
services on audio tape or large print.
Planning of recreational activities takes into account the participation of people
with disabilities.
Staff is trained to communicate with people with disabilities.
5
Indirect Local Government Services
Local governments have a legal responsibility to ensure that not only do their own
buildings and services comply with legislation, but that developments within their
locality also comply. This is achieved through the mandatory access requirements of
the Building Code of Australia at the time of approval. Councils will need to develop
policies and strategies to ensure that indirect services are accessible including:
•
•
•
•
Venues in which council funded activities are conducted are accessible.
Council funded services provide access for people with disabilities.
Ensuring that developers meet the mandatory access requirements of the
Building Code of Australia.
Improving access for people with disabilities in their communities by liaising
with developers to increase their awareness of access needs.
Giving your Plan Teeth! The Governance Framework
Nobody wants to go through a policy or planning exercise, only to produce a report
that sits on a shelf and gathers dust. We all have enough of those! Make a point,
early in the life of your project, to identify how your policy and plan will fit into your
council’s governance framework. Aim to have the Disability Access & Inclusion Policy
sit as high as possible in the governance framework. This ensures your policy and
plan links to, and informs all other planning documents such as corporate plans and
service plans. Locking your plan into the governance framework means the principles,
values and actions contained in the plan are council policy, and not subject to constant
debate and justification. Talk to your Director of Corporate Services or equivalent
about the best way to achieve this outcome.
The Disability Discrimination Act
The DDA makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the grounds of
disability. The broad objectives of the DDA include eliminating, as far as possible,
discrimination against people with a disability, and promoting recognition and
acceptance within the community that people with a disability have the same
fundamental rights as the rest of the community.
The DDA sets out the specific areas in which it prohibits a person being discriminated
against on the grounds of their disability (or the disability of an associate). These
areas include accommodation, employment, goods, services and facilities, public
transport and premises. Most importantly for the present discussion, they include
access to goods and services or use of “any premises that the public, or a section of
the public, is entitled or allowed to enter or use.”
6
A copy of the Disability Discrimination Act (1992) can be obtained from
http://scaleplus.law.gov.au/cgi-bin/download.pl?/scale/data/pasteact/0/311
Implementation of the Access and Inclusion Plan will achieve positive results in terms
of:
• Outcomes for citizens with a disability and their families.
• Improved service for a range of customers.
• Encouragement of a stronger more vibrant community because of the inclusion
of people with a disability.
• Development of an ongoing access issues advisory body to council.
• Enhancement of Council’s leadership in the community.
7
IV
How to Go About It
Appendix 5
Human Resources – Project Worker or Consultant?;
That is the Question.
One of the earliest decisions you will need to make is who will conduct the
work. There are two obvious choices: a consultant or project worker. A
consultant would need to be someone with expertise in the area of disability.
He or she would be employed using your council’s protocol for engaging such
services. It is important to see examples of related work, which the consultant
has undertaken.
Using a project worker as a direct employee provides the opportunity to
experience and influence council processes as the project develops. There are
two choices for project workers, utilising an existing staff or employing someone
specifically. There is a danger in using existing staff if they are not adequately
relieved of other responsibilities. Adding a project of this magnitude to a
worker’s existing workload may well lead to a more protracted process and
result in a mediocre outcome. This needs to be recognised as a separate and
important process with an appropriate allocation of worker time.
Employing someone to undertake the process is the other option. If you are
able to engage someone who is local, you might save significant time if the
worker already has some of the relationships and knowledge required. For this
reason, targeted recruitment and local advertising are important options. You
may find it difficult to recruit someone who has all of the preferred skills. Whilst
disability expertise is very important, he or she must also have the necessary
project management skills to undertake the task.
Other skills the project officer should have are:
• Experience in local government with a good understanding of the
council’s functions, facilities and services.
• An understanding of the range of access issues for people with various
disabilities, their families and carers.
• Policy development.
A project worker may be preferable to a consultant that might simply visit for
particular tasks and miss the many subtle relationships and functions that
occur.
Determining a Timeline and Writing a Project Work Plan
The timeline will obviously be linked to resources available, but it will be
necessary to allow adequate time to engage in a quality process. This might
mean flexibility with the project worker’s hours. If resources are tight it can
work best to have the worker engaged for a fewer days over a longer period of
time rather than full time for a short period, for example, 3 days per week over
20 weeks versus 5 days per week over 12 weeks.
8
Setting out tasks, strategies, time frames, responsibility for tasks and outputs
will be the requirement of those managing the project (whether this is an
individual or joint process) in conjunction with the project worker.
A work plan for the project should be developed at the outset and reviewed at
regular intervals throughout the project. It is important at this stage to work
through the issues in relation to your council’s needs.
You might also want to consider where the project fits into the financial year
and other planning cycles. For example, if your project is projected to finish
around the time of the budget planning process you might experience a quicker
response to outcomes than if your plan is launched at the beginning of a new
budget where priorities have been set and dollars allocated.
Appendix 5
Setting the Budget
Unfortunately, projects such of this are often seen as add-ons that are expected
to be completed on a shoestring. If your project is going to be a success, you
will need to secure adequate funding to do the job and a discrete budget. This
not only provides resources, but also gives it greater recognition within the
organisation.
You should consider some of the following costs when seeking finance and
setting your budget:
• Employment of skilled project staff and on-costs.
• Interpreters
• Resourcing of volunteer participants.
• Venue hire.
• Food and transport (worker and participants in process).
• Research-related costs.
• Office expenses.
• Publication and distribution.
It is also important to think about what costs might be incurred as part of the
initial implementation, but remember that “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” The
outcomes of this project will influence council’s spending for many years to
come, and in setting a project budget one should not pre-empt the outcomes of
the research you will be conducting. Having examples of standard expenses,
however, can be an important tool when marketing the project to councillors
and management. These might include such items as:
• Ongoing disability awareness training.
• Strategies requiring resourcing in council’s overall planning and
budgeting cycle, such as some physical infrastructure items.
9
Appendix 5
Project Structure
There are a variety of structures that can be used, but the most common
involves steering and reference groups. Below the various groups are
described including some pointers about establishment and roles.
Management
Group
Reference
Group
Steering
Group
Project
Worker
Connecting to communities
Connecting to organisation
Diagram 2 Group Structure
Identifying and Establishing The Various Groups
Before establishing groups, it is recommended that an audit be done of what
already exists in council and the community. For example, does council
already have a disability advisory group that can participate? Perhaps there
are disability interest groups that might fulfill some or all of the roles of a
reference group. This is an important process, as it will potentially save time if
a group is already in existence, but more importantly it will not offend or isolate
community members who are and will be valuable allies for this project and
future work.
A Project Management Group
It may be of value to have a small management group to oversee the project,
especially if it is going to be conducted over more than one municipality. The
management group should have representatives from each council and will act
to provide the overall direction and resource management for the project. If
using a management group this will be the first group to be established.
In a multi-council project, it may be necessary to formalise the agreement
between the councils because resource allocation and line-management issues
can become complex. This can be done through a written agreement such as
a memorandum of understanding. It is best to agree on this before the project
begins or a worker is employed. The structure of this will depend on the
relationship between participating councils.
10
Project Steering Group
A steering group is an in-house group comprised of council staff who will steer
the group internally. Development of a steering group is an effective way of
raising the profile of the project and gaining participation by staff. There is a
wealth of expertise within your organisation that often goes untapped, and a
steering group is an excellent way to harness staff skills and knowledge.
Establishing this group is best started at the top, mandated and supported by
senior management. You might like to consider the following process:
•
•
•
•
•
Discuss the steering group and the role of its members during the
briefing session with the CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER and senior
management group.
Ask for each department head to nominate a senior manager or a
delegate to represent their department on the steering group.
Invite nominated members to a briefing session on the project brief and
the terms of reference for the steering group.
At the first steering group meeting, brief members on the DDA, the
disability access and inclusion planning process and adopt the group’s
terms of reference (appendix 1). Determine the duties members will be
required to undertake during and following the disability access and
inclusion planning process.
If you are conducting a multi-council project, you will need to think about
a steering group for each council.
Role of the Steering Group
•
•
•
•
Comment on development of disability access and inclusion plan process.
Participation in disability access and inclusion plan research.
Undertake a review of existing practices and lead council staff in the
development of departmental plans.
Participate in the development of disability access and inclusion plan
through the draft and final stages.
Project Reference Group
The project reference group is the important link to the community and the
population for whom the project is primarily meant to serve. It is important,
therefore, that this be as comprehensive and representative as possible. It is
essential to engage participation by a range of people with different disabilities.
Because of the nature of some disabilities, it will be more difficult to gain
representation than from other groups. For example, people with psychiatric or
intellectual disabilities are more likely to be overlooked as they tend to be more
marginalised in the community than people with disabilities such as hearing
impairments or other physical disabilities. Avoid exclusive use of agency
representatives. While disability agencies are an important resource, their
participation must be in balance with that of individuals that actually live day-today with a disability.
11
How You Might Involve People
•
•
•
Advise key service providers of the intention to undertake this project and
request their participation and that of service users.
Don’t forget people in the community who are not linked to services. For
this you might need to put an advertisement in a local paper or in shop
windows.
One of the benefits of small communities is knowing people. Use your
relationships with community members to invite people to participate.
Working with the Reference Group
This might be different than working with other reference groups that you have
participated in previously. It is important to remember that most people are
experts in this area, not by study, but life experience. It will mean that you will
have people with varying degrees of experience to participate in a meeting
setting. Be prepared to be flexible. This includes allowing time for people to
participate and express themselves. Resources should be allocated to this
group to cover such things as transport, food and a sitting fee or honorarium.
This group is an invaluable resource as no other source will be able to give you
the information that you need to ensure that the outcome of the project is useful
and applicable.
Role of Reference Group
The role of the reference group is to provide specialist advice on key disability
issues.
Responsibilities
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Advise the project and project worker on specific issues related to their area
of expertise.
Comment on the development of the Disability Access and Inclusion Plan
process.
Assist the project worker in identifying and accessing people with disabilities
and carers of people with disabilities for consultation.
Reflect the views of as many people with different types of disability and
needs in the community as possible.
Provide feedback to ensure the project considers all areas of disability and
available technical knowledge.
Assist as facilitators and recorders for small discussion groups held during
the public forums.
Provide comment on training and briefing session proposals for councillors,
senior management and public contact staff.
Monitor the development of and provide comment on council’s access and
inclusion plan in its draft and final stages.
12
Appendix 5
Finding a Champion in Senior Ranks.
Disability access and inclusion planning rarely holds a position of status in local
government. This is evident by the dearth of plans and policies that have
existed to date. Gaining the status of important policy will need the energy and
influence of someone higher ranking than a project worker. This is why it is
important to find a champion in the ranks early in the process. Ultimately, the
Chief Executive Officer is the one person who has the capacity to ensure that
this project affects the entire organisation both in planning and later
implementation. Getting the Chief Executive Officer’s support provides the
influence and persuasion that will make this happen. He or she should already
be aware that this process is happening; your job or that of the project worker is
to sell, sell, sell! Your ability to achieve this will partially depend on the
formality of the organisation’s hierarchy. This should, however, never stymie
your attempts to gain senior management support. Personal relationships and
interaction is often the key to success; a great deal can be achieved over a cup
of coffee or lunch.
Engaging Councillors and Conducting Briefings
•
•
•
•
To get councillors committed to the project early, it may be appropriate to
develop a disability access and inclusion policy statement (see Appendix 2).
It is essential to get the councillors’ consent and support for preparing a
disability access and inclusion plan and the process you will undertake to do
so.
It is a good idea—if achievable—to brief councillors in-person at the
beginning and end of the process.
Provide information in written format and keep the briefing concise and to
time.
Winning Over Council Management
•
•
•
•
•
It is essential to get the Chief Executive Officer’s and senior management’s
support for preparing a Disability Access and Inclusion Policy and Plan.
Develop a brief about the project and present it to the Chief Executive
Officer and senior management.
If council has approved the Disability Access and Inclusion Policy
Statement, talk about the implications of that statement.
Keep the briefing short and articulate exactly what you want, such as their
support and commitment for the process, access to department managers
to form the steering group (please see example briefing paper, Appendix 3).
In some instances, individuals may attempt to block the process; remember
that you cannot change everybody. You have council’s commitment and
direction, so keep going.
13
Appendix 5
Getting Staff On-Board
Council staff members are the people who will be implementing the policy and
plan, and it is important that they are well briefed.
When briefing council staff on the project you should consider the following:
•
•
•
Keep the briefing short and to the point.
Outline what the project is to achieve.
Clearly articulate what you want from them, such as their observations
about how council services and facilities can be improved to provide
better access for people with disabilities.
6. Getting the Community Involved
Gaining and maintaining community participation is paramount to the success
of your planning process but also to its sustainability. This section focuses on
consultation as a method of community engagement.
Consulting
People with disabilities, like all Australians, want to be consulted on
matters relating to their own lives. Consultation is a key part of the policy
development process and plays an important role in ensuring that our
programs, services and policies are as effective as possible in meeting
the needs of the community.
Inclusive Consultation: A Practical Guide to Involving
People with Disabilities, Office of Disability.
Commonwealth of Australia, 1999.
The purpose of consulting with the community is to hear what barriers people
with disabilities experience in accessing council facilities and services as well
as how these might be overcome. Consulting means listening and acting.
Consultation must be done to glean information with the intent to act upon it
rather than a fulfilling a requirement of consulting for which the outcomes are
predetermined or the agenda set elsewhere. Badly conducted consultation can
sometimes be worse than no consultation. People with a disability might be
suspicious of a consultation process as they may have been consulted on
many occasions and on a variety of issues and may often feel that there is no
outcome.
Consultation is a two-way street. This means providing information to the
community, as well as obtaining information on barriers and solutions.
14
Who to Consult?
•
•
•
•
People with a disability that live or work in the municipality
Carers of people with a disability, either in a paid or unpaid capacity
Organisations that provide services to people with disabilities
Peak lobby or support groups for people with disabilities
This information will assist councils to consider:
•
•
The range of disabilities experienced by people in the community.
Some of the potential barriers people with disabilities may experience in
accessing council functions, facilities and services.
Appendix 5
Letting People Know – Communication and Marketing
The first question you should ask is, “Are there communication and marketing
experts in my organisation that can assist with this?” If yes, get them involved
with developing a communication and marketing strategy for the project.
Developing a communication and marketing strategy early in the project will
assist at all aspects. For example, a strategy can assist in the recruitment of
the reference group, gathering general information, data collection and as an
ongoing method of keeping community and council informed.
External
The community must be aware of what you are setting out to achieve.
Communicating project objectives at the earliest possible stage will allow more
time to engage and build trust for what is being proposed. It is advisable to use
as many media forms as you have available to get the message across. You
might also need to consider alternative formats. For example, if you know that
you have residents who are vision impaired you will need to consider large print
or audiotape.
The most common methods to access people include:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Local newspapers;
Radio;
Word of mouth via council services;
Disability service providers;
Literature displayed in prominent locations;
Meetings with people in their own communities such as support groups,
open days, and staff meetings.
Branding your product helps familiarise participants and gain interest. Consider
developing an eye-catching logo and slogan for the project. (example,
Appendix 4). The content of what you are relaying is very important as it is
striking the balance between providing enough detail without being boring or
too specific. Your council may well be the main source of news in your
community newspaper, so be creative and get your information to stand out
from the rest of the council news. Be clear with the information that you are
providing, as not all readers will be familiar with the legislation and theory
behind Disability Access and Inclusion Policy and Planning.
15
Media
•
•
•
•
•
Engage local media. Attempt to get an interview or interest story rather than
just submitting a press release.
Use any council sponsored pages in local print media to provide information
on the project, project updates and the consultation process.
Have your project officer interviewed on local radio.
Have local print media involved in any stories regarding disability issues. If
necessary generate your own issues, for example footpath upgrade works
that provide access where it did not previously exist.
Use homepage as described above.
Alternatives
•
•
Develop posters advertising the project using the logo.
Request other participants in the project to assist by displaying and
distributing project material.
When preparing press releases and posters, it is important to use correct
terminology. If you are not sure of what this is, check with a disability specific
service provider to get the current terminology. A handy rule to follow is to
always think about the person first. That is, we say a person with a disability or
people with a disability rather than disabled people. This places the emphasis
on the fact that what is setting out to be addressed is people versus label focus.
When using press releases or other written materials, let the reader know how
they can be involved in the project. These can be simple requests such as
engaging them in communication and marketing, or:
•
•
•
Displaying posters advertising the project at their premises;
Placing an article their newsletters;
Distributing questionnaires.
Don’t forget that in addition to those disability-specific services that you are
aware of, there are also many statewide groups that will cover your area. To
find out what exists you might like to start by contacting your RuralAccess
Worker. Alternatively resources like the disability information web sites can
provide details.
In Victoria, you might try Disability On Line at
http://www.disability.vic.gov.au/dsonline/dssite.nsf?Open
16
In House
Your council will already have systems for communicating with its staff. It is
worthwhile using these standard procedures. These might include some of the
following options:
•
•
•
•
Send regular project updates to all staff.
Place some information on your homepage and or intranet.
Get your project officer invited to department staff meetings.
Attach information with pay slips – distributed this way, all employees
should receive the information.
A multi-pronged approach is important. People need to hear a message many
times and in different formats to retain it, so providing the same message in
different ways will help to emphasise the importance of your project. Don’t limit
yourself to electronic communication methods, as many outdoor and direct
service workers will not have access to this.
8. Conducting the Fact Finding
Research is a term that can intimidate those who are not familiar with the
activities of research, but in fact, it something that we do all of the time either as
researchers or research participants.
The novice fact-finder frequently
overlooks one process of research, the literature review. Before undertaking
research, it is important to know what is already written that might assist or
guide your project. The findings from this may help shape your research tools
and include content that you would not have otherwise considered. This is
probably the earliest stage of your research and can start as soon as the
project worker begins
Literature Review
For this project, your literature review might include the following tasks:
•
•
•
•
•
Review other plans. There are many available on the Human Rights and
Equal Opportunity website www.humanrights.gov.au These will give you
a good idea of what sort of information you might like to include in your
plan.
Review federal and state government policy and legislation such as the
DDA and Disability Service State Plan.
Review should include contemporary views on disability planning and
the paradigm shift to universal access and inclusive environments.
Consider other documents or plans that have a potential relationship or
impact ie. Open space policies or Municipal Public Health Plans
Check out the Internet. There is a wealth of information available on the
Internet (see Appendix B).
17
Data
Some data will come in familiar formats such as tables and numbers, but other
data will be more convoluted and embedded in story. This type of data is
typical of qualitative research and is dealt with differently from the more
commonly seen quantitative data. We are providing a few methods for
gathering data, however, there are many others you may consider.
Pre-existing Data
There are already a number of data sources that will help you identify what the
disability types are within your municipality. These will help to assist in
effectively targeting your services and provision of services. To access this
information you can:
•
•
Speak with local service providers and disability advocacy groups who
can provide a snapshot of disability within your community.
Review data from Australian Bureau of Statistics. The Department of
Human Services Disability Services, Disability Estimates for Local
Government Areas and Regions in Victoria is a good source of local
information on disability.
Collecting New Data
The Victorian Local Government Association’s and the Municipal Association of
Victoria’s “Code of Good Governance” states that:
Local governments must seek community understanding and
involvement in governance through effective communication with their
communities. They must disseminate information, seek input, stimulate
debate and be an effective advocate for their communities. They have a
responsibility to develop a range of communication and participation
methods.
When collecting new information, it is necessary to consider that people will
benefit and participate in ways that are easy and least threatening to them.
This means using different methods to capture a greater view. In this section
four methods will be described:
•
•
•
•
Questionnaires;
Public Forums;
Small Group Meetings;
Direct Contact With the Project Worker.
18
Questionnaires
This is a method that we are all familiar with, but developing a good and useful
questionnaire is not always as easy as people think. If you are not familiar with
questionnaire development, you might like to read-up on it first. There are a
number of good publications available. An easy to read, practical and
affordable book is Do It Yourself Social Research (2nd Edition, author Yoland
Wadsworth, publisher Allen and Unwin).
In addition to research, it is beneficial to:
• Test your questionnaires on a small group to see if you are getting the
information you require.
• Consider setting up a subcommittee drawing from members of the
reference group, representing a cross section of disability types as well
as a member of the steering group/management group to develop and/or
refine the questionnaires.
• Include detail of the services provided by council.
• Keep them succinct and user friendly.
• Remember that you have two audiences, the public and council staff.
They will require different questionnaires (see example Appendix 5)
• Consider alternative formats, including large print or audiotape and
advertise that they are available.
• Ensure that you have planned on how these will be distributed and
collected.
• Where possible use existing mailing lists such as the Disabled Parking
Permit Scheme. Check with your organization regarding privacy and
access to these databases.
• To encourage a higher rate of return, ensure that stamped selfaddressed envelopes are included. You can also consider some type of
prize or draw for those who return their questionnaires.
Public Forums
Public forums can be useful as they give the chance to bring together people
with disabilities and council officers in a specific setting. This allows for face-toface contact, which reinforces the need for the process to be understood as a
partnership between the community and council.
Organising a Public Forum – Hints and Tips
•
•
•
•
Choose an accessible venue. This means more than ramps and toilets.
Lighting and audio are just as significant.
Organise a time when you will be able to reach as many people as possible.
Remember to consider costs that might be associated with out-of-hours
work for council staff.
If there is no hearing loop installed in the venue, consider borrowing one
from a disability service provider, for example, Better Hearing Australia.
Offer something in return for participants’ attendance and expert advice.
This could be a supper, light lunch or door prize.
19
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Consider using council HACC transport vehicles to assist with any transport
requirements participants might have.
Advertise the forums widely using local media, service providers and
posters displayed in prominent locations such as council foyers, post
offices, libraries, and general stores.
Target particular groups; for example invitations may be sent to people
registered with the Disabled Parking Permit Scheme.
Use a system of registration so organisers can cater for transport, carer and
interpreter requirements and any other needs.
Auslan interpreters should be on site as standard best practice.
Determine the format and roles beforehand. For example, will it be an open
discussion, structured in response to questions, small groups? It is
worthwhile having a contingency plan for either larger or smaller numbers
than expected.
You will need a facilitator for the forum to keep things flowing.
A scribe will also be necessary to record discussion and action points.
Expect to get some issues that aren’t related to the forum.
Utilise your council’s service request system for recording issues identified
that are routine maintenance issues or complaints, for example, “The trees
are overhanging in my street and they are dangerous because of my vision
impairment.”
Invite your Mayor to open the forum.
Hold a briefing session with steering group members and any additional
staff involved prior to the forum.
Provide a package of information for attendees which should include
o An agenda for the forum
o A list of council services
Running the Public Forum
•
•
•
•
•
•
Run on time, keep it relevant.
Prior to the forum, hold a quick briefing with the facilitator and scribes to
resolve any last minute issues and receive updated information on the
participants.
Use standard introductions about housekeeping and process to be
undertaken. Also ensure that you explain things that might not be familiar to
people, such as the presence of an Auslan interpreter or hearing loop.
Have your Auslan interpreter participate in the introductory session. Ask
them to check if anyone requires his or her services; if not, you may
mutually agree that the interpreter does not need to participate.
Explain the Disability Access and Inclusion Plan process and the reason for
the forum.
Explain what you will be doing with the information, and when people can
expect to hear more or to be further involved.
20
What Happens with Issues that Come Up in the Forums?
•
•
Some issues can be dealt utilising council’s existing reporting systems such
as the service request system.
Issues not able to be immediately dealt with can form part of council’s
Disability Access and Inclusion Plan.
Small Group Discussions
Groups in our communities who are often marginalised, like people with a
disability, often miss out when the traditional consultation processes, public
forums for example, are the only source of having a voice. For this reason it is
worth considering alternative methods to the usual public meetings.
One suggestion is small group discussions. There are two options for this;
create a forum or participate in an existing one. Creating a special forum
experiences many of the issues of a public forum (to be discussed next). It also
attempts to create artificial commonalities based on geography or disability
type. The preferred option for small group discussion is therefore to hold these
where people already congregate around another issue. This might include
recreation activities, information days or support groups. People are more
likely to provide you with honest and valuable data when they feel safe and
comfortable to do so.
This is also a perfect opportunity for people who do not have written language
skills to participate. Other groups that most benefit from this are people with a
psychiatric or intellectual disability. Accessing these groups can sometimes be
organised in conjunction with your local outreach workers.
Making Direct Contact with the Project Worker
•
•
•
Invite the community to contact the project worker, by phone, to discuss
some of the difficulties they are experiencing in accessing council services
or in just getting around the community.
It is a good idea to consider how you will deal with this data beforehand.
Some suggestions are to look for issues or major themes in the person’s
story. You can prepare a standard form to ensure that you pick up on major
items or even work through the questionnaire over the telephone with
people if required.
Be available to meet in person if required.
21
Appendix 5
What Do We Do with the Findings? Analysis
Collating and Analysing Data
The process for this will depend upon the data that has been collected. Some
of the data—especially from the questionnaires—will be able to be counted
quite easily. This is why it is important to get your questionnaire design right in
the beginning.
Qualitative data is more time consuming to analyse. This is the written data
and the stories that you have collected along the way. A common method for
this is thematic development, where you look for themes in the responses. This
will later help you shape priorities for your plan.
What Conclusions can be Drawn from the Data?
There will be the obvious issues that have been documented, for example, “We
need better footpaths.” There should also be groups of issues emerging that
help in setting priorities; these might be contrary to what you had thought they
would be. For this reason it is important to listen to what the data is saying,
because this is what delineates genuine consultation from tokenism.
What to Do with the Data?
Determining what to do with the data will form the basis for actions, which will
be determined by the steering group. In order to streamline the group’s work,
prepare the data into logical groupings and eliminate repetition. This way,
when the data gets to the group, it can concentrate on the business of creating
actions and assigning responsibility.
22
Appendix 5
Writing Your Policy and Action Plan
A sample of policy and plan are attached as Appendices 6 and 7. The
framework of the plan can be based on individual council’s structure using
directorates or departments. We recommend an alternative that bases the
framework of the plan on functional areas; this ensures clear lines of
responsibility and accountability for outcomes.
Governance
Built
Environment
Council
Services
Disability
Access
&
Inclusion
Plan
Information
&
Training
Leadership
&
Advocacy
Diagram 3 Framework of Plan
What Needs to be Included?
Section 61 of the DDA states that an action plan must address the following
requirements:
(a) Devising of policies and programs to achieve the objects of this Act and
(b) Communication of these policies and programs to persons within the service
provider and
(c) Review of practices within the service provider with a view to the
identification of any discriminatory practices and
(d) Setting of goals and targets, where these may reasonably be determined
against which the success of the plan in achieving the objects of the Act
may be assessed and
(e) Means other than those referred to in paragraph (d), of evaluating the
policies and programs referred to in paragraph (a) and
(f) Appointment of persons within the service provider to implement the
provisions referred to in paragraphs (a) to (e) (inclusive).
23
Actions and Responsibilities
Now that the issues have been organised and a framework set for the plan, the
steering group will need to begin its work in developing actions, assigning
responsibility and establishing timelines. As you will have noticed, many
community members will have provided solutions to the barriers they have
raised as issues. Ensure that these ideas are included and allow the steering
group to edit and refine them as part of the action plan.
Helpful Hint
It is helpful to frame your solutions in response to the issues posed, including
objectives. Don’t forget to include such important features as how you will
communicate the plan to council officers and people with a disability. These
are the things easily overlooked when trying to resolve the big-ticket items!
Document production
To avoid a common downfall of many policy documents and plans, it is wise to
make the final document as user friendly and easy to read as possible.
Some tips for making it alive and useful:
•
•
•
•
It should be clearly written in simple and concise language.
Incorporate symbols and pictures. This invites people to read it and
breaks up the text.
Seek local participation. For example, you might get your local adult
training and support service or planned activity service to design the
front cover for you.
Include glossary of terms and abbreviations. As the document is for all
of the community, it is necessary to ensure that everyone has the same
understanding.
If you are planning on having your document professionally printed, it is
advisable to discuss design and cost with your printer in the early stages of
development.
Public Comment
Like all public documents, the Disability Access and Inclusion Policy and Plan
will need to be made available for public comment.
Helpful Hint
Try to have your draft in a format that resembles the finished product as it will
enable readers to have better picture of what the final result will be like.
24
Making the draft plan available for comment can be achieved by:
•
•
•
•
Sending copies of the draft Disability Access and Inclusion Plan to all
those who contributed to the planning process including staff, people
with disabilities, their families, carers, disability organisations and
relevant community groups for feedback.
Displaying it in prominent locations, such as the council offices.
Posting it on Council’s website.
Ensuring that the draft can be accessed in alternative formats if
requested.
Almost Finished; What About Councillor Support?
Keeping your councillors up to date and engaged should assist the passage of
your policy and plan. This can be done through briefing notes or council
reports. Many councils will want to approve the draft policy and plan prior to
public exhibition.
On Going Management
Once your policy and plan have been developed, a procedure needs to be in
place to ensure that they are being utilised and developed further. Your
steering group will play a key role in the on-going management of the policy
and plan.
The steering group has the opportunity to influence their
departmental plans to address the actions identified in the Disability Access
and Inclusion Plan. They will act as the motivators and mentors for other
persons in the department to implement the actions. They are also the conduit
to the main plan and who ever is charged with the overall responsibility of
implementation.
Appendix 5
Evaluation
The DDA requires that a method for evaluation of actions be included in a
Disability Access and Inclusion Plan. The method for evaluation of actions
should outline how council intends to monitor and measure the extent to which
access has been increased and enhanced for people with disabilities. There
are a variety of evaluation methods that can be used. Below are some points
to consider when planning your evaluation. Review and monitoring should
focus on whether strategies are being implemented effectively and on time:
• Ensure that there is regular formal reporting with respect to the progress
of the plan, and that council formally endorses reports.
• Consider incorporating updates on the progress of the Disability Access
and Inclusion Plan through council publications or local media.
• Use both informal and formal methods for gathering information on how
well strategies are overcoming barriers.
• At least once a year, arrange formal consultations with people with
disabilities, their families, carers and disability organisations to provide
an update on the implementation of the plan and to receive feedback on
how well strategies are overcoming barriers for people with disabilities.
25
•
•
•
•
•
Appendix 5
•
Have a method to update the plan as additional information becomes
available.
Use processes similar to those used during the initial consultations
including questionnaires, forums and requests for formal submissions
(both oral and written).
Contact people and organisations that took part in the initial
consultations that indicated that they wished to be kept informed about
the disability planning process for feedback.
Request elected members of council and council officers to provide
feedback on how well they believe the strategies are working and to
make suggestions for improvement.
Amend plans based on the outcome of the review and evaluative
process and make them available to the community once endorsed by
council.
Publication
Plan a launch and invite all involved in the development of the plan to attend
the celebrations; include all councillors.
• Submit a copy of the Disability Access and Inclusion Plan to the Human
Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.
• Post your policy and plan on your website and consider links from other
local agencies sites.
• Use the Municipal Association of Victoria and other local government
related groups such as the Local Government Disability Network as method
for circulation.
• Provide copies to local and statewide disability specific services as well as
other local human service agencies such as hospitals, community health
centers and neighbourhood houses.
26
V
Resource Guide
Access For All – Video
City of Heidelberg, Victoria. (VHS) – 32 min 1991 Porhan Productions)
Accessible Buildings for People with Disabilities
ACROD Information Kit
Better Information and Communication Practices
Commonwealth of Australia 1999
Disability Discrimination Act – A Guide to Best Practice in Local Government (1994)
Australian Local Government Association
Draft State DisAbility Plan
Policy and Program Development Section, DisAbility Services Division, Victorian Government
Department of Human Services, Melbourne, October 2001.
Inclusive Consultation: A practical guide to involving people with disabilities
Office of Disability, Commonwealth of Australia 1999
Report On Inclusion by Design, Planning the Barrier-Free World, Montreal June 1-5,
2001, Brian Dunn, RuralAccess Worker, Hepburn Health Service
Right of Access: A Guide to Developing Action Plans and Improving Access for People
With Disabilities, Villamanta Publishing, 1997
The Aspirations of People with a Disability within an Inclusive Victorian Community,
Summary Report, Performance, Planning and Research, DisAbility Services, Victorian
Government Department of Human Services.
Websites
Municipal Association of Victoria
Moorabool Shire Council
Hepburn Shire Council
Gold Medal Disability Access Strategy
Adaptive Environments Center, Inc
The Centre for Universal Design
Adaptive Environments Center, Inc.
Center for Applied Special Technology
Department of Family and Community
Services
ACROD
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity
Commission
Equal Opportunity Commission Victoria
Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary
Documents Home Page
Australian Building Codes Board
Building Commission
Property Council of Australia
Standards Australia
Vic Gov Disability Online
www.mav.asn.au
www.moorabool.vic.gov.au
www.hepburn.vic.gov.au
www.goldmedal.gov.au
www.adaptenv.org
www.design.ncsu.edu
www.adaptenv.org
www.cast.org
www.facs.gov.au
www.acrod.org.au
www.hreoc.gov.au
www.eoc.vic.gov.au
www.dms.dpc.vic.gov.au
www.abcb.gov.au
www.buildingcommission.com.au
www.propertyoz.com.au
www.standards.com.au
www.disabilityonline
27
Appendices
Appendix 1
Establishment of Disability Access and Inclusion Plan
Steering Group for your Council.
Steps to Establishing the Steering Groups:
1. Councils resolution to prepare Disability Access and Inclusion Plan;
2. Meeting of Chief Executive Officer and directors to discuss council’s
resolutions, their implications and terms of reference;
3. Briefing sessions for department managers to discuss steering groups and
the role of their members;
4. Department managers to nominate themselves or delegate to represent
them on the steering group;
5. Nominated members to attend a briefing session on the project to include
terms of reference for the steering groups and disability awareness
training.
Resourcing the Steering Groups:
Ø Briefing on Disability Discrimination Act, Disability Access and Inclusion
Plan and terms of reference;
Ø Disability awareness training; and
Ø List of duties to be undertaken during the project.
Terms of Reference:
Ø Comment on development of Disability Access and Inclusion Plan process;
Ø Participation in Disability Access and Inclusion Plan focus groups and
public forums;
Ø Undertake a review of existing practices and lead council staff in the
development of their departmental plans;
Ø Participate in the development of Disability Access and Inclusion Plan
through the draft and final stages.
28
Appendix 2
Example Disability Access and Inclusion Policy
Accessible Shire Council Disability Access and Inclusion Policy
Introduction
Working with the diverse needs of our range of communities and stakeholders
to facilitate, manage and deliver, through leadership, quality services to
enhance community well being
Accessible Shire Council Community Plan 2002 – 2005
The Community Plan of the Accessible Shire Council is written with a recognition of
access and equity issues, of being non-discriminatory and of responding to the
diverse needs of its community.
Accessible Shire Council will develop opportunities and provide services meeting the
needs of its diverse community for a pleasing and fulfilling way of life
People with Disabilities are Part of our Diverse Range of Communities.
The Council will aim to ensure that its services, facilities and infrastructures are, at all
times, accessible to disabled residents of and visitors to the Shire, and their carers.
A distinct policy relating to disability ensures that the response of the organisation
affirms the intent of the Community Plan.
Councils primary responsibility under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 is to
ensure that there is no discrimination based on disability in any of its own functions,
services and programs or by any of the organisations to which it provides facilities or
funding.
Policy Position
Councils primary responsibility under the Disability Discrimination Act, 1992, is to
ensure that there is no discrimination based on disability in any of its own functions,
services and programs or by any of the organisations to which it provides facilities or
funding.
Council recognises that a non-discriminatory organisation is one that is well
organised, has clear direction, fully utilises all resources and has highly motivated
staff.
29
“Accessible Shire Council acknowledges that people with
disabilities are valuable members of our community who expect
and are entitled to equal access to services and facilities.
Accessible Shire Council will work towards improving access to its
facilities and services paying particular attention to the needs of
residents with a disability.”
Principles which underpin the policy statement:
•
People with a disability have the same fundamental rights as every other citizen
of Accessible Shire.
•
People with a disability have the same right as every other citizen to access
services provided by Accessible Shire Council, thus providing them with
opportunities to fulfil their individual potential.
•
Changes to the physical and social environment, which create access and equity,
are the key to the inclusion of people with a disability in the community.
•
A person with a disability is an individual first and foremost and is not to be
defined by their disability.
•
Quality service provision rests on being flexible in responding to individual needs.
•
Changing the way services are offered to better meet the needs of people with
disabilities is of value to the wider community.
•
Accessible Shire Council is committed to ensuring that the community is an
accessible community for people with disabilities, their families and carers.
•
Accessible Shire Council believes that people with disabilities; their families and
carers should be supported to remain in the community of their choice.
•
Accessible Shire Council is committed to consulting with people with disabilities,
their families and carers and where required, relevant resources to ensure
barriers to access are addressed appropriately.
30
Appendix 3
Example Briefing Paper
DISABILITY ACCESS AND INCLUSION PLAN PROJECT
Purpose of the Briefing
1. To brief managers about the Disability Access and Inclusion Policy Statement
adopted at the Council meeting.
2. To discuss the development of the shire’s Disability Access and Inclusion Plan.
3. To clearly articulate the action needed from directors.
Background
The Shire will have a Disability Access and Inclusion Plan.
Accessible Shires Disability Access and Inclusion Plan will enable council to fulfil it’s
obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act, 1992 (DDA) by ensuring that
council’s services and premises that the public are entitled to use, or allowed to
enter, are accessible to people with disabilities.
Why does Accessible Shire Need a Disability Action Plan?
Progressive councils develop Disability Access and Inclusion Plans because:
1. Ensuring access to council services and facilities is the right thing to do ethically
and morally.
2. It demonstrates community leadership.
3. It minimises or eliminates the chance of a complaint and possible legal action.
Federal Disability Discrimination Act , 1992 (DDA)
The DDA makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person on the ground of
disability in a range of areas, including work, accommodation, public transport,
access to premises and access to service and facilities. There is a council-related
element in all of these, with access to premises and to services and facilities being a
major one. The current project aims to overcome any inconsistencies by modifying
Council policies dealing with access-related matters, so that all council policies reflect
the objectives of the DDA.
31
The DDA definition of ‘premises’ is very broad and includes, but is not limited to:
•
•
•
•
•
existing buildings, including heritage buildings;
proposed or new buildings;
car parks
open air sports venues
pathways, public gardens and parks.
Since the DDA commenced operation in March 1993, complaints to the Human
Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) and to several equivalent State
and Territory bodies have highlighted the need for councils to develop action plans.
Project Development
A project worker has been employed to drive the project. A community based
Reference Group has also been developed to inform and guide the project, and to
ensure we have expert local and disability specific advice and feedback that will
ensure the project considers all areas of disability and available technical knowledge.
The next step in the process is to establish a Steering Group to develop the
application of the policy within all council departments and to review current practices
that may lead to discrimination. The steps to establishing the steering group and the
draft terms of reference are attached.
What We Need from Management
1. Briefing sessions to all departments on the DAP of approx 1 hour duration.
2. Request for a manager of each of your departments or their delegate to
participate in the project steering group. Initially the time commitment will be for
approx 2 hours for the purpose of; a briefing on the Disability Discrimination Act,
Disability Access and Inclusion Plan and disability awareness training. Steering
group meetings will be held as required to review current practices and contribute
to the development of the plan.
32
Appendix 4
Project Logo and Slogan
33
Appendix 5
Example Community Questionnaire
Questionnaire
Accessible Shire Disability Access and Inclusion Plan
Please fill in the attached questionnaire and return it to any of the
Accessible Shire Council Service Centres or in the reply paid envelope
attached by
For further information contact:
Disability Action Plan Project Officer.
Or
Manager Aged and Disability Services.
34
Accessible Shire Council Services
Animal Control
Registration of domestic animals can be made by completing the appropriate
application form available from any of Council’s offices and renewals are due
in April each year.
Building
Please contact the Customer Services Department for advice regarding fees
and requirements.
Family Day Care & Child Care
Family Day Care is a Commonwealth funded service sponsored by Accessible
Shire Council offering flexible and affordable home based childcare in
registered care providers homes for children aged 0-12 years of age.
Health Services
Immunisation of Young Children
Maternal and Child Health
Home and Community Care (HACC)
Accessible Shire Council provides a range of in-home and centre-based
programs to support frail aged people, people with a disability and their
carers, and families caring for children with a disability.
Municipal Rates
Payments can be made in full or by instalments. Council also provides
Ratepayers with the BPAY option of payment. This facility allows Ratepayers
to pay the account by telephone, by contacting their own participating bank
Parking Permits – Disabled Persons
Council is responsible for Disabled Persons Parking permits within Accessible
Shire. Persons requiring a Disabled Persons Parking permit are asked to
contact the Council for an application form.
Roads, Drainage, Footpaths, Kerb and Channel
Capital expenditure items such as roads, drainage, footpaths, kerb and
channel are prioritised and allocated funding in Council’s annual budget.
Enquires regarding their construction and maintenance should be directed to
the Customer Services office
Waste Management and Recycling
Accessible Shire Council operates a weekly collection of garbage and
recycling.
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Which town do you live in or near to?___________________
Communication
1. Are letters and statements (such as rates notices,
accounts) easy for you to read and understand?
Yes/No
If no, why not?
2. When you have personal (face to face, telephone or
answering machine) contact with council are you able to
understand what they are saying?
Yes/No
If no, why not?
Physical Access
3. Are you able to easily and safely access council
properties (such as libraries, council chambers, parks,
footpaths and public toilets)?
Yes/No
If no, what are the barriers?
4. How do these physical barriers stop you from doing
what you want to do?
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Transport
5. Do you have access to transport that meets your needs?
(You might like to think about such things as
convenience, type and cost of transport)
Yes/No
What type of transport is it?
What are the problems with it?
Attitudes & Understanding
6. When dealing with council staff do you feel that they
take into account the nature of your disability and
respond in a way that meets your needs?
Yes What do they do?
No
Why not?
Discrimination
7. In dealing with Accessible Shire Council, have you ever
experienced discrimination because of your disability?
Yes/No
If yes what was done about it?
Were you satisfied with the way that the matter was
handled? Yes/No
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Complaints and Feedback
8. Have you ever made a complaint or provided feedback
about council services or properties (such as libraries,
council chambers, parks, footpaths and public toilets)?
Yes/No
If yes how was it dealt with?
Empowerment
9. Do council staff and services respect your right to
control of your own life and encourage independence?
Yes/No
If no, why not?
10. Do the council staff take time to pass skills on to you
so that you can be as independent as possible?
Yes/No
If yes, what do they do?
Solutions
What solutions do you have to overcome the issues you have
identified in this questionnaire?
Are there other things that you would like to tell Accessible
Shire Council about access and inclusion for people with a
disability.
Thank you for taking the time to complete this questionnaire.
Accessible Shire Council
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Example Staff Questionnaire
Accessible Shire Council Disability Access and Inclusion Project
Staff Questionnaire
As you will be aware Accessible Shire Council is undertaking a project for Disability
Access and Inclusion planning aimed at identifying and eliminating discrimination in
accessing council services, programs and facilities for people with disabilities.
It is recognised that council staff, in their interactions with residents of the shire, are well
placed to see first hand some of the difficulties faced by people with disabilities, the aged and
other members of the community in accessing council services, programs and facilities.
Please detail the things you may consider are barriers to access in the physical, information and attitudinal
environments provided by council.
(a) Services
− physical
−
information
−
attitudinal
(b) Programs
(c) Facilities
Please return completed surveys to:
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Appendix 6
Sample Policy Template
Policy:
Disability Access and Inclusion Policy
Service Area:
Whole of Council
Category:
Council
Purpose:
Ensure Council’s services and facilities are
universally accessible
Responsible Officer:
CEO/Director of Corporate Services
Adopted by Council:
27th November
Effective from:
1st December 2002
Objectives
§
§
§
To ensure council’s services and facilities are universally accessible.
The policy also ensures council complies with the requirements of the
Disability Discrimination Act, 1992.
Demonstrate community leadership.
Context
This policy informs and links to Council’s Community Plan and Social
Development Plan. All plans acknowledge access and equity issues, and the
importance of being non-discriminatory in responding to the diverse needs of
the community.
Council’s primary responsibility under the Disability Discrimination Act, 1992 is
to ensure that there is no discrimination based on disability in any of its own
functions, services and programs or by any of the organisations to which it
provides facilities or funding.
To support this;
§ Council acknowledges that people with disabilities are valuable
members of our community, who are entitled to equal access to
services and facilities affording them the respect of full citizenship. .
§ Council will work towards improving access to its facilities and services
paying particular attention to the needs of residents with a disability.
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Definitions
The Act - Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act, 1992 as amended.
Disability
(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
(e)
(f)
(g)
- in relation to a person, means:
total or partial loss of the person's bodily or mental functions; or
total or partial loss of a part of the body; or
the presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness;
or
the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease
or illness; or
the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the
person's body; or
a disorder or malfunction that results in the person learning
differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction; or
a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person's thought
processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgment or that
results in disturbed behaviour;
Premises - includes, but is not limited to:
• existing buildings, including heritage buildings;
• proposed or new buildings;
• car parks
• open air sports venues
• pathways, public gardens and parks.
Services - includes, but is not limited to :
• services of the kind provided by a government, a government authority
or a local government body.
Disability Discrimination – occurs when a person is treated less favourably
due to their disability.
Access - refers to the opportunity all people have to engage independently
with the environment. The basic requirement of good access is that the
physical, information and attitudinal environments are barrier-free.
Universal Access & Design - The intent of universal design is to simplify life
for everyone by making products, communications, and the built environment
more useable by as many people as possible at little or no extra cost.
Universal design benefits people of all ages and abilities.
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General Principles
•
People with a disability have the same fundamental rights as other
citizens.
•
A person with a disability is an individual first and foremost and is not to be
defined by their disability.
•
Quality service provision rests on being flexible in responding to individual
needs.
•
Changing the way services are offered to better meet the needs of people
with disabilities is of value to the wider community.
•
Council believes that people with disabilities; their families and carers
should be supported to remain in the community of their choice.
•
Council is committed to consulting with people with disabilities, their
families and carers and where required.
•
Council will advise the community that information can be made available
in alternative formats upon request.
•
Council will ensure that citizens with a disability have access to council
meetings and processes.
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In Achieving these Outcomes Council Commits to:
•
Act in accordance with the Disability Discrimination Act (1992). Ensuring
that its functions, programs and services will not discriminate against any
person on the basis of disability.
•
Take action to identify areas that need improvement and prioritise those
needs as a basis for action.
•
Use an innovative approach to continuously improve access to, and
participation in, all areas of community life for people with disabilities, their
families and their carers.
•
Raise awareness that people with disabilities have the right to equality
within our community.
•
Improve the knowledge, understanding and confidence of Council
personnel so that all areas of planning, coordination and service provision
are responsive to the needs of people with disabilities.
•
Facilitate appropriate links and networks for groups and individuals within
the community.
•
Implement a Disability Action Plan in order to put its Access and Inclusion
Policy into effect.
•
Accept the definitions relating to disability as expressed by the World
Health Organisation and of discrimination as expressed in the Disability
Discrimination Act.
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Policy
1.0
Existing functions, facilities and services are adapted to ensure
access and inclusion for people with disabilities.
1.1
1.2
2.0
Access to buildings and facilities is improved.
2.1
2.2
3.0
3.2
Council will produce its information on council facilities, functions
and services using clear and concise language.
Council will advise the community that, upon request,
information about council functions, facilities and services can
be made available in alternative formats, such as large print and
audio cassette.
Staff are competent to communicate with people who have a
disability.
4.1
4.2
5.0
Council will ensure its capital works program will incorporate the
priorities identified in the Disability Access and Inclusion Plan.
Council will liaise with developers to increase their awareness of
the access requirements of people with disabilities. Council
acknowledges its role in ensuring that planning applications
comply with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination
Act, 1992.
Information about functions, facilities and services is provided in
formats which meet the communication requirements of people
with disabilities.
3.1
4.0
Council will be adaptable in responding to the barriers
experienced by people with various disabilities, including people
with physical, sensory, cognitive and psychiatric disabilities.
Council will ensure that all policies and practices that govern the
operation of council facilities, functions and services are
consistent with council’s policy on disability access and
inclusion.
Council staff are aware of the key access and communication
needs of residents and visitors with disabilities.
Where required, council will seek expert advice on how to meet
the access needs of people with disabilities.
Council will engage citizens with disabilities on key issues of
disability access and inclusion.
5.1
Council will establish mechanisms and processes to consult with
and engage citizens with a disability.
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Complaints
Complaints should be made (where practicable) through Council’s Equal
Opportunity Officer through the grievance and disputes settling procedures. If
this is not practicable, a person may make a complaint to the Human Rights
and Equal Opportunity Commission by lodging a written complaint setting out
the details of the alleged contravention.
Penalty for Breaches:
The Disability Discrimination Act details penalties for breaches of the Act.
Refer to Part 1, Division 4 of the Act.
………………………………………….
Chief Executive Officer
………………………………………….
Date
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