Dis­abil­ity friendly premises recog­nised

Isis Town and Country - - News -

BUSI­NESS op­er­a­tors and em­ploy­ees across the re­gion are be­ing asked to self-as­sess their pre­pared­ness to ap­pro­pri­ately en­gage with a per­son with a dis­abil­ity.

Bund­aberg Re­gional Coun­cil spokesper­son Cr Judy Peters said recog­nis­ing and hav­ing em­pa­thy for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties is an in­te­gral part of any car­ing and con­nected com­mu­nity.

“Dis­abil­ity Ac­tion Week is the time to re­in­force mes­sages en­sur­ing peo­ple with spe­cial needs are af­forded ac­cess to ev­ery op­por­tu­nity our com­mu­nity lifestyle of­fers in the same vein as able-bod­ied peo­ple,” she said.

Coun­cil is a mem­ber of the Bund­aberg Dis­abil­ity Sec­tor Net­work (BDSN) which is an open fo­rum, meet­ing bi-monthly to iden­tify is­sues, de­velop strate­gies and share in­for­ma­tion and re­sources.

“Mem­bers of BDSN have com­piled an “ac­cess check­list” that poses a range of ques­tions to al­low busi­ness op­er­a­tors and staff to check the dis­abil­ity friendly na­ture of the premises and to en­sure staff are ad­e­quately trained and in­formed to deal with clients with a dis­abil­ity,” she said.

Ken Parker, a BDSN mem­ber and Sun­care Com­mu­nity Ser­vices man­ager said many peo­ple were obliv­i­ous to the fact that dis­abil­i­ties came in many guises.

“Many peo­ple do not have an ob­vi­ous or ap­par­ent dis­abil­ity and of­ten they are the fo­cus of com­mu­nity crit­i­cism for util­is­ing dis­abil­ity park­ing or other ser­vices for im­paired peo­ple,” he said.

Mr Parker said Bund­aberg had a high per­cent­age of peo­ple with dis­abil­ity rat­ing about six per cent higher than the na­tional av­er­age.

“Ad­di­tion­ally, do busi­ness own­ers ad­e­quately train staff in deal­ing with the dis­abled? Are the premises dis­abil­ity friendly?” he said.

Mr Parker said the ac­cess check­list was de­signed as a tool to get peo­ple talk­ing and to get busi­ness own­ers fully aware of a need to be in­clu­sive.

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