Ipswich City Council is working closely with local disability networks to create a more inclusive and accessible community.
Earlier this year council established a partnership with Queenslanders with Disability Network, the University of Sydney’s Centre for Disability Research and Policy and the State Government to promote disability inclusive disaster risk reduction.
More recently council has been working with individual community members to create change.
Mayor Teresa Harding said the community benefits from each individual’s contribution and it is council’s priority to enhance quality of life for people with a disability.
“We are always working with community members to identify the emerging needs of persons with disability and their carers in the region,” Mayor Harding said.
“It is important that everyone feels welcome, connected, heard and understood in Ipswich, and that all community members have access to the same opportunities and facilities.
“Council is exploring new partnerships and encouraging greater collaboration of network agencies to address identified needs.”
The Nicholas Street development is one example of how council is consulting and working with community networks to ensure Ipswich is an accessible and inclusive place to live.
The Nicholas Street council administration building includes Persons with Disability (PWD) carparking adjacent to passenger lifts and PWD toilets on all levels, hearing loops can also be accessed on the first floor or at the chambers.
The children’s library also has PWD access from Nicholas Street and Union Place, PWD ambulant toilets, hearing loops, tactiles to public areas and a PWD counter and information kiosk.
There is also an accessible toilet in Tulmur Place and inside the Ipswich Central Library.
Local disability advocate and chair of the QDN Ipswich Disability Network Peter Tully has been involved in assisting council with understanding community needs for people with a disability.
“My role in helping council is by providing two-way communication,” he said.
“I’ve been talking to people in the community, mainly people with disabilities and combining that feedback to the local council.
“I absolutely enjoy living in Ipswich because of the public transport system for disability networks and council is always trying to do better to make Ipswich accessible and inclusive.
“We’ve still got a long way to go, to raise awareness for disability networks, but I know we will get there in the end.”