Factsheet: Disability Access and Inclusion

Sponsored by the Department of Social Services

About the Sponsor

The Australian Government, through the Department of Social Services (DSS), is working to improve the lifetime wellbeing of people and families in Australia by responding to need across their life course, encouraging independence, participation and supporting a cohesive society.

The National Disability Strategy 2010–2020 (the Strategy) provides a ten-year national policy framework for all levels of government to improve the lives of people with disability. The Strategy seeks to drive a more inclusive approach to the design of policies, programs and infrastructure so that people with disability can participate in all areas of Australian life and have the same opportunities as other Australians to fulfil their potential as equal citizens. The Strategy was endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in 2011.

The Strategy is aligned with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and is an important mechanism for ensuring that the principles underpinning the Convention are incorporated into policies and programs affecting people with disability, their families and carers.

The successful implementation of the Strategy is the responsibility of all levels of government. A focus of all governments under the Strategy is to improve the accessibility of mainstream services, supports and infrastructure for people with disability. Local governments play a vital role in implementing the strategy within local communities.

Disability Access and Inclusion Award

The Disability Access and Inclusion Award recognises local governments that have applied the principles of the Strategy, by engaging with people with disability, their families and carers to develop and implement innovative services, practices and/or policies that provide greater opportunities for people with disability to participate in local community life.

This may include access and inclusion in any sphere or capacity, including but not limited to:

  • removing barriers to participation of people with disability in the community
  • strategies and actions that give people with disability a voice in the community and the capacity to influence the design of services, programs and infrastructure that affect their lives
  • greater access to mainstream services and support improve access to:
    • the physical and built environment
    • information technology (IT)
    • social and cultural activities
    • arts, sports and recreational activities
    • employment or other economic opportunities.

For example, local governments could enter measures or projects for this award that:

  • have addressed barriers for people with disability, their families and carers by employing and promoting the principles of ‘universal design’ to local government sponsored projects. For example, this may include removing barriers relating to mobility, sensory impairment or cognitive impairment
  • promote and facilitate the participation of people with disability, their families and carers in the social, cultural, religious, recreational and sporting life of the community
  • promote, facilitate and encourage communication and information systems that are accessible, reliable and responsive to the needs of people with disability, their families and carers
  • promote or facilitate successful partnerships between government and/or business and/or community that achieve improved access and inclusion of people with disability in any sphere or capacity.