BATHURST Regional Council will soon develop its 2022-26 Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) for the community.
The NSW Disability Inclusion Act 2014 mandates that all NSW councils have a DIAP.
The purpose of the plan is to outline strategies and actions councils will put in place over to remove barriers and enable people with disability to participate equally in their community.
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Council developed its first DIAP several years ago, with the document adopted in June, 2017, and it is set to expire in the next 12 months.
A number of initiatives have been undertaken as a result of the action plan.
They include, but are not limited to, the construction of new accessible toilets at the civic centre, the National Motor Racing Museum and Bathurst Rail Museum; the introduction of an all ability LEGO club at Bathurst Library; work experience opportunities for students with disability at the library; and the installation of two charge stations for motorised wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
A report listing the initiatives was presented to Wednesday's council meeting and drew commentary from disability advocate Bob Triming.
Mr Triming said that the evaluation of council's DIAP "should be based on positive impacts on persons with a disability, not completed projects".
He encouraged more community consultation.
"The annual in-house review of the DIAP should be assisted by public representations and discussions," Mr Triming said.
"It is a misguided belief that involvement of people with disabilities and their advocates at the concept stage of the DIAP mitigates the need for further consultations when developing projects without ensuring these projects match the requirements or vision of the people they are supposed to benefit."
He also said council should make its update more readily accessible on its website.
Councils are required to adopt a new DIAP every four years, but as a result of COVID-19, a twelve-month extension has been offered to Councils, extending current DIAPs to June 2022.
Bathurst council has already drafted its project plan, which will see its 2022-26 DIAP developed from July 2021 through until June 2022.
It is anticipated that public consultation will occur in September 2021, with a draft plan available for public exhibition in May 2022.
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