Thursday, February 22, 2024

Kiama marks International Day of Disability with new plan

Kiama Council has marked International Day of People with Disability today by releasing its new Disability Inclusion Action Plan.

The Council has also released the accompanying Implementation Plan, which has actions for Council to undertake during the first year of the Plan.

Director Planning, Environment and Communities, Jessica Rippon said the Plan was an important part of Council’s commitment to improving the liveability of Kiama for those with diverse backgrounds and abilities. 

“Our Kiama Community Strategic Plan requires Council to provide spaces, services and initiatives that foster a proud, inclusive, and connected community for all,” Ms Rippon said.

“The DIAP is an important tool for Council, working with our community, to make that happen.”

Ms Rippon thanked the many people involved in reviewing and updating the DIAP, including residents, visitors, local organisations and Council staff.

“An essential part of developing our new DIAP was consulting widely with those in our community with disability as well as those involved with providing services and facilities they rely on.”

“This ensures the DIAP is well designed and targeted for people with a disability, and but also gives our community a sense of shared ownership of and responsibility for seeing it implemented, along with Council.”

Ms Rippon said the Implementation Plan, with 32 actions across 13 priority areas, ensured the goals of the DIAP would become reality.

“These actions will be embedded into the Delivery Program and Operational Plan as part of the budget process for 2024-25.”

The actions have been broken into three categories:

A: Actions that can be implemented with existing staff resources such as consultation and engagement, advocacy and representation.

B. Actions that can be programmed and budgeted within the maintenance/capital works program such as accessibility compliance upgrades at facilities.

C. Actions eligible for funding support from the NSW government such as accessible paths to beaches and accessibility ramps/lifts at pools.

“I’m pleased to be able to say that the majority of commitments under the Implementation Plan are achievable through existing Council works and staff resources.”

The DIAP aligns with the Principles of Social Justice, the Kiama Community Strategic Plan 2022-2032, and is informed by the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) and the NSW Disability Inclusion Plan 2021-2025.

The Disability Inclusion Action Plan is a legislative requirement under the NSW Disability Inclusion Act 2014.

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