Why do we have a Disability Access and Inclusion Plan?
The Disability Services Act 1993 requires all local government and selected State Government agencies to develop a Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (DAIP).
DAIPs assist public authorities to plan and implement improvements to access and inclusion across seven outcome areas, in regards to services and events, buildings and facilities, information, quality of service, complaints, consultation processes and employment. These plans benefit people with disability, the elderly, young parents and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Local governments play a vital role in the lives of people with disability because of their broad mandate. Unlike most state government authorities, local governments are multi-functional, with extensive responsibilities and activities across property, community and human service areas and, in addition, have the capacity to make policy choices at the local level.
How many people in Western Australia have a disability?
The 2012 Survey of Disability Ageing and Carers conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics found:
- an estimated 389, 800 people reported having a disability
- 236, 200 people are carers of people with a disability
- Over one sixth of the WA population have a disability which equates to 16.2%
- More than 50% of people aged 60 years or over are reported to have a disability
- Around 2.7% or 57, 000 people under the age of 65 are reported to have a severe or profound disability
What are the key elements of a DAIP?
DAIPs will vary according to the functions and services provided by each authority and the needs of the consumers of the services. However, each plan should contain some basic elements.
A DAIP should include:
- a policy statement that incorporates a commitment to furthering the principles and objectives applicable to people with disability, their families and carers by achieving the desired outcomes
- a policy and procedures regarding the Act’s requirements around agents and contractors
- an outline of the authority’s functions, facilities and services, (including in-house and contracted services)
- a description of the consultation process with people with disability and staff used to assist in the preparation of the plan
- identification of barriers experienced by people with disability in accessing services
- strategies designed to progress towards achieving the seven desired outcomes for people with disability
- dates for achievement of the proposed strategies
- a strategy to communicate the plan to staff and people with disability
- a mechanism by which people with disability can provide feedback
- a method to monitor, measure and review results so that the effectiveness of the plan can be evaluated.
What is the lifespan for DAIPs?
The Disability Services Act 1993 states: Not more than five years is to lapse –
A. between the day on which a public authority first lodges its disability access and inclusion plan with the Commission and the day it lodges a report of a review of the plan with the Commission; or
B. between the lodgement of the report of one review of a plan and the lodgement of the report of another review of the plan.
Why is the city conducting public consultation on the DAIP?
The Disability Services Act 1993 states: public authority must undertake public consultation in accordance with the procedure specified in the regulations when preparing, reviewing or amending a disability access and inclusion plan.