Oberon Council has new plan to increase accessibility

LIGHTING will be improved and pathways will be reviewed under a new Oberon Council disability action plan.

Mayor Kathy Sajowitz says Oberon’s 2017-2020 Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) will have far-reaching effects, fostering a community where the participation and contribution of people with a disability is welcomed and valued. 

“Council aims to take a leadership role to advocate on behalf of people with a disability in our community,” she said.

The NSW Disability Inclusion Act 2014, which was passed in August of that year, required councils to develop a DIAP to help remove barriers and enable people with a disability to participate equally in their communities.

An Oberon Council community survey revealed a number of main concerns, including more kerb ramps being required around town; some shops not being wheelchair-friendly; uneven footpaths; and automatic doors being required at the Oberon Visitor Information Centre, council's administration building and Oberon Library.

The council’s new action plan includes more regular cleaning for public toilets, consideration of access to toilets, a review of pathways and improving lighting and signage.

It is also envisaged to improve surface levels and the number of footpaths around the town.

As part of the DIAP, a review of council's facilities and services will include a consideration of the height of public seating, barbecues and council counters.

Where community events are concerned, council will ensure events are accessible for people with disabilities, including making sure promotional material comes in alternative formats for vision and hearing impaired people.

The DIAP includes educating business owners and employers about why specific infrastructure is important and why consideration must be given to access and planning.

Council will report on its progress each year as part of its annual report and Community Strategic Plan.

A summary of achievements will also be prepared annually and provided to the NSW Disability Council under the plan.

Council will also talk with the community to check that the priorities are still the same, and make changes as required.

Oberon Council says its 2017-2020 DIAP aligns with its Community Strategic Plan.