Council makes inclusion its cornerstone
Tuesday 30 May, 2017
Inner West Council’s new inclusion action plan will remove barriers to access and participation for people with disability.
Council administrator Richard Pearson said the plan targets specific areas where local government can make a difference, including access to infrastructure, cultural development and information as well as having real input into key Council processes.
“A key new initiative in the plan is for Council to aim for a workforce that mirrors the demographics of the Inner West community in relation to including people with a disability,” he said.
“We need to send an important message: that for a society to be healthy and functioning, everyone needs to be included and that should be reflected in the make-up of the Council workforce itself.”
The Plan was developed in consultation with people with a disability and family members, as well as with Council’s Strategic Reference Groups and other agencies and service providers.
Mr Pearson said the plan was about Council taking a leadership role.
“We want to work alongside people with a disability, their organisations and other community partners to achieve better outcomes and opportunities for people in our community,” he said.
“It also demonstrates that inclusion is a key part of the way we run Council and plan for the future.”
Social Inclusion Strategic Reference Group member Gisele Mesnage also embraced the plan.
“As a resident with a disability, I am proud that the Inner West Council has adopted this inclusion action plan,” she said.
“The plan identifies key local, state, federal and global topics, with plenty of scope to develop priority policies, programs and actions that target the needs of the inner west community.
“As the founder of the Digital Gap Initiative, I am pleased to note that digital access issues have been encompassed in the inclusion action plan.”
Mr Pearson said a cornerstone of the plan is also to uphold and promote the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
“Council’s application of the convention is about making human rights real for everyone, every day,” he said.
“And in doing that, we are committed to making sure that people living with a disability have access to the full range of services and activities available to our community.
“Inclusive communities reduce isolation and disadvantage for people with a disability while increasing diversity of opportunity to truly include everyone in the community.
“Our inclusion plan is a big step forward for all our residents.”