Council unveils Disability Inclusion Action Plan

Published Monday, 7th August 2017

Mayor frank carbone leisure centres trainer fred zhao and the honorable ray williams mp
Fairfield Mayor Frank Carbone, Fairfield City Leisure Centres trainer Fred Zhao and the Hon Ray Williams MP, Minister for Disability Services at the launch of Council's Disability Inclusion Action Plan.

Fairfield City Council today unveiled a detailed plan of how Council will ensure the City remains an inclusive and accessible place for everyone.

Council’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan (Action Plan) 2017 focusses on a number of key actions to encourage more positive community attitudes and behaviours within Fairfield City, create more liveable communities, support better access to meaningful employment and further improve access to Council services through better systems and processes.

Mayor of Fairfield City Frank Carbone emphasised the need for Council to work with the broader community to continue improving the City’s accessibility.

“Our vision is for a Fairfield City in which people of all abilities feel valued and that is why Council continues to champion inclusivity both within and outside of Council,” Mayor Carbone said.  

“Council has already undertaken major improvements to Council facilities and City infrastructure over recent years and will continue to work towards ensuring everyone in our City has equal opportunities through accessibility and mobility improvements.”

A number of improvements have already been made at some Council facilities including the installation of disabled toilets, accessible kitchens and hearing loops at public buildings. Council has also placed additional specialised staff and equipment at its early learning centres.

“Every action taken by Council is a step towards greater accessibility and inclusivity, such as the installation of hoists for entering pools at Fairfield and Cabravale leisure centres, and allowing free or discounted entry to the City’s leisure centres for people with disability.”

“Some future actions include conducting a disability audit on all Council facilities and public buildings, establishing a disability service network and providing even more accessible events and services.”

Results from the 2016 Census indicate at least 8 percent (16,911 people) of the Fairfield City population reported needing help in their day-to-day lives due to disability. However Council acknowledges that living with disability also affects families, carers, businesses, extended family and friends.

“Council’s new Disability Inclusion Action Plan isn’t just for those living with disability, but also for their wider community network who may be affected,” said Mayor Carbone.

“We are strongly committed to implementing the Action Plan, both to meet the current and future needs of our people and to continue to support and enable a vibrant and inclusive community.”

Fred Zhao, a Gym Supervisor at Council’s Fairfield Leisure Centre, has limited vision after he was diagnosed with Lebers Hereditary Optic Neuropathy at aged 14.

He joined the Action Plan launch today and spoke of how Council has helped him to continue working towards his career goals of becoming a personal trainer and helping others with their health and fitness goals.

“I feel honoured to be part of an organisation committed to creating an inclusive environment for all,” Zhao said.

“With the Disability Inclusion Action Plan in place, others like me will also have the opportunity to access the tools and facilities required in order to perform and learn to their best potential.”

Minister for Disability Services, Ray Williams, joined Fairfield City Council at the launch of the Action Plan.

“Disability Inclusion Action Planning, across all levels of NSW Government, is both unique and unprecedented in Australia. It means that State and Local Governments are working together to ensure that people with disability can fully enjoy the opportunities available in our community,” Minister Williams said.

“I’m delighted to be here today for the launch of Fairfield City Council’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan, which outlines the Council’s commitment to creating a local environment that better meets the needs of those with disability, improving inclusion and access to services.”

“I want to congratulate Fairfield City Council on their ongoing work in this area, including upgrades to Council buildings and community facilities, and better access to employment opportunities.”

The Action Plan was developed in consultation with members of the community and local organisations that provided valuable insights, personal experiences and ideas for change.

“Council would like to thank the many community members who shared their ideas for the Action Plan with the goal of making our City an even greater place for all,” Mayor Carbone said.

In recent years, Council developed the Pedestrian Accessibility and Mobility Plan, which has helped make moving around Fairfield City easier. This new Action Plan will build on the work already done by Council and will meet the requirements of the NSW Government’s Disability Inclusion Act 2014.

Council will seek feedback on progress from community members with disabilities and will modify strategies and actions where necessary. Council will conduct a full review of the Action Plan after four years.

To view the full Action Plan, or access an easy read version, visit Council’s website www.fairfieldcity.nsw.gov.au/corporateplans