Access news

Celebrate International Day of People with Disability with Inner West Council and Bus Stop Films

International Day of People with Disability is a United Nations day that promotes inclusivity and celebrates the achievements and contributions of people with disability.

By gathering together to celebrate this day, we can help to ensure inclusion for the 4.3 million Australians living with disability and contribute to positive change in our community.

This year Inner West Council will mark International Day of People with Disability by holding a Film Festival featuring short films made by Bus Stop films by and for people with a disability 

Where: Petersham Town Hall

When: Saturday December 1 2018

Time: 6pm

There will be champagne and canapes on arrival for this gala event so (suggested) dress code for a cocktail soiree.

Our event is accessible and we encourage all people with disability, their families and carers to come along and join the fun.

Our partners are: Ability Links St Vincent de Paul, Ability Links Settlement Services International, Disability Services Australia, Exodus Foundation, and Mable

Thousands of community organisations have held International Day of People of Disability registered events across Australia since its inception in 1992.

For more information about Inner West Councils film festival gala,contact

Access features include:

Auslan Interpreters

Audio described

Hearing loops


Accessible Venue

"Including You" event tent

Published 4 October 2018

Inner West Council, Ability Links NSW and Gig Buddies are hosting the "Including You" event tent at the upcoming Marrickville Festival on 21 October 2018.

The "Including You" tent has equipment for free use throughout the day such as communication cards, noise-cancelling headphones, sensory tools, visual aids and a wheelchair.

The "Including You" tent aims to promote social inclusion by supporting a wide cross-section of the community to attend – and participate more fully – in community events. The secondary aim is to raise disability awareness within our community.

Please feel free to drop by and say hi throughout the festival! You can find us on Marrickville Road.

Community Survey

Published 2 October 2018

At our upcoming Marrickville Festival 21 October 2018 in partnership  Inner West Council , Sydney Local Health District Peer Workers, Clinicians and Consumer and Carer Advisors are hosting a Community Consultation on loneliness.

“Loneliness is a feeling of sadness or distress about being by yourself or feeling disconnected from the world around you. It may be felt more over a long period of time. It is also possible to feel lonely, even when surrounded by people.”-

25 years of the Disability Discrimination Act

Published 2 March 2018

On 1 March 2018 the Disability Discrimination Act (or DDA) celebrated its 25th anniversary.

This was Australia's first piece of legislation to protect the rights of people with disability. A quarter of a century on, the DDA has been used by thousands to fight discrimination in areas including employment, education, and access to goods and services.

Complaints relating to disability discrimination account for around 40% of all complaints received by the Australian Human Rights Commission. That's about the same amount of complaints received for both gender and racial discrimination combined.

The Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Alastair McEwin, says "Over the past 25 years, the act has been instrumental in social change, and has been used by individuals to fight against discriminatory practices in many fields, including education, access to transport, goods, services facilities, and more."

Although we've come a long way, and there have been momentous achievements by people with disability over the last 25 years, there is still so much work to be done. Alastair McEwin says, "Most of the disability discrimination complaints that we receive relate to employment, and the barriers that people face in accessing goods, services and facilities. These types of complaints have vied for top place among DDA complaints for the past five years."

This is clear when it comes to statistics around accessibility, inclusion, education and equal opportunity in Australia:

  • Only approximately 50 per cent of Sydney train stations are fully accessible
  • 53% of people with a disability aged 15 to 64 years are currently employed, compared with 83% of people without a disability
  • 36% of people with a disability aged 18 to 64 years have completed year 12, compared with 60% of those without a disability
  • 45% of those with a disability in Australia are living either near or below the poverty line

Scarlett Finney was just five years old when she faced discrimination. The Hills Grammar School in Sydney said they couldn't accept her as a student, because they couldn't accommodate her wheelchair. Scarlett, who has spina bifida, used the DDA and took the matter to the commission. The matter ended up in the Federal Court and, these days, Hills Grammar is a pioneer in inclusive education.

Visit the Australian Human Rights Commission's "20 Stories" video web page for the stories of Scarlett and others who have used the DDA to improve their lives.

If you want to learn more about Inner West Council's work towards full access and inclusion, visit the Inclusion Access Plan web page.

Council makes inclusion its cornerstone

Published 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 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 Nations 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."

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Page last updated: 22 Jan 2019