What is Accessible in Salisbury
How the City of Salisbury is addressing accessibility and inclusion
Inclusion Project Officer
The City of Salisbury is the only SA Council with a full-time Inclusion Project Officer and also employs a Diversity and Inclusion Project Officer. Four other Councils have staff who dedicates significant time to access and inclusion. There are a number of other Councils where a community development officer or another professional has responsibility for access and inclusion plans. This role supports Council in establishing social inclusion as a fundamental consideration in all planning.
This will be achieved by:
- Complying with Commonwealth and State disability inclusion legislation and where possible exceeding the minimum requirements of these laws
- Aligning the City’s Strategic Plan with the Council of Australian Government’s National Disability Strategy and Inclusive SA: State Disability Inclusion Plan 2029 - 2023
- Consulting effectively with citizens living with disability, their families and carers
- Providing a physical and communication environment which is sustainable and accessible for all
- Providing civic leadership to increase full and effective participation by citizens with disability within a community which values the diversity, strengths and abilities of its members.
- Advocating to other levels of Government for policies and programs which complement the City of Salisbury’s inclusion and access initiatives, and
- developing Strategically Council programs to increase the capabilities and social inclusion of participants with disability
Listening to Community Members
Every four years Council hosts an Inclusion Forum. Citizens with disability, families, carers and allies are invited to review Council’s Ability Inclusion Strategic Plan and recommend priorities for the future.
Disability Access and Inclusion Network (DAIN)
Supporting community members’ learning and connections
Council also supports DAIN drawn from community members, government and non-government organisation staff which meets four or more times a year.
DAIN participants can:
- contribute to inclusion and access in Council projects and programs
- work together on other access and inclusion matters.
Past improvements in access
The 1992 Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) protects the rights of people with disability. All governments in Australia - Commonwealth, State, Territory and local government have responsibilities under the DDA. All these governments have agreed to implement the National Disability Strategy 2010 - 2020.
Council’s first Action Plan in response to the DDA was launched in 1999.
Disability discrimination awareness training for local government
The “Enabling Access” training package, aimed at staff, volunteers and elected members in local government was launched in 2003. In 2008-2009, more than 300 City of Salisbury staff attended module one of the training related to the DDA and 60 completed a second module on interacting with people with disabilities as colleagues and customers.
In May 2019 senior managers, other managers and key staff participated in a half-day universal design workshop to consider how Council facilities, communications, programs and services can put universal design into practice.
Access to retail businesses
More than 60 businesses with step entries in John Street Salisbury were identified in 2001 by a professional access audit. In 2003 the re-paving of John Street between Gawler St and Church St removed this access barrier by raising the footpath level.
Footpath and road crossing access
Footpath and pram ramp access were the most important issues raised in in early community consultations. Since 2004/05 Council has significantly increased the amount of footpath maintenance work and pram ramp installation especially to assist wheelchair and scooter users. In 2015 Council’s Footpath Policy gave priority to requests for improvements in paths and ramps by citizens with disability and other access requirements. A Footpath Request budget enables Council to respond to residents who experience barriers to moving around the path network.
A demonstration 1800mm wide footpath has been developed over several years in one suburb which has a high concentration of accessible housing and age care independent living units. This wider path connects accessible residences with accessible shops, entertainment venues and bus stops.
Access improvements to some Council buildings
18 Council buildings used by the public, and where Council staff are based, have had initial access improvements. The level of initial access, and priority order of the buildings, were recommended by the Salisbury Access Advisory Team, an informal group of residents with disability chaired by the Mayor (1998 – 2004). This was replaced from 2005 by the Salisbury Inclusion and Access Sub-Committee until 2014.
Mostly these improvements provide wheelchair accessible:
- Parking space
- Main doorway
- emergency exits
- main function area (meeting room, sports courts) for example, in 2008/09 a major project was completed at the Salisbury recreation Precinct including a ramp entry for the 25 metre pool and the purchase of aquatic wheelchairs.
- unisex accessible change facility and the female and male change areas being made wheelchair accessible.
Salisbury Community Hub
DAIN contributed to early design of the Salisbury Community Hub. There is an extended length Disability Parking Permit Area (accessible car park) for rear-loading vehicles. Visual emergency alarms, infra-red and FM hearing systems are provided in some areas. Safe areas are provided for visitors and staff unable to use the stairs during an emergency evacuation and a room is available when the noise and movement in the Hub becomes overwhelming for some visitors and their family. There is accessible unisex toilets on all floors as well as an adult change facility on the ground floor.
Accessible design elements were also included within the library facilities.
Some junior playgrounds have been upgraded to include wheelchair access for children and parents to the swing or rocker section of the play space.
Equal access swings are provided in some play areas.
A regional play facility in Pooraka Unity Park is designed to provide access and challenge for young people of a variety of abilities.
Access to public transport buses
Since 23 October 2002, the Commonwealth Government has made access to public transport legally required, with a 20-year time frame for full access to all public transport bus services and stops.
Salisbury Council exceeded the requirement to make 25% of bus stops accessible by 31 December 2007 see the Attorney General's Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport.
For more information
Contact Michael Taggart, Inclusion Project Officer on (08) 8406 8390.