Im­proved fa­cil­i­ties for dis­abled

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By CAITLIN TILLER

EL­IZ­A­BETH Quay will in­clude WA’s first dis­abil­ity chang­ing place as part of a statewide ac­ces­si­bil­ity net­work.

Dis­abil­ity Ser­vices Min­is­ter He­len Mor­ton an­nounced the roll­out of 14 spe­cial com­mu­nity bath­room fa­cil­i­ties across WA in the next two years, in­clud­ing Ya­gan Square, Perth Sta­dium, the East Perth wa­ter bank and Scar­bor­ough Beach.

Ms Mor­ton said the ameni­ties, de­vel­oped along­side Na­tional Dis­abil­ity Ser­vices WA (NDSWA) and the WA Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (WALGA), filled a need for peo­ple with dis­abil­ity whose ac­tiv­i­ties were ham­pered by a lack of ap­pro­pri­ate bath­room fa­cil­i­ties.

Each chang­ing place will in­clude a height-ad­justable adult-sized chang­ing bench, a track­ing hoist sys­tem, space for a per­son with dis­abil­ity and two car­ers and a non-slip floor.

Count Me In am­bas­sador and Dis­abil­ity Ser­vices Com­mi­sion board mem­ber Melissa North­cott was one of 75,000 peo­ple sur­veyed dur­ing con­sul­ta­tion.

“It's great for peo­ple with dis­abil­ity, fam­i­lies, car­ers and dis­abil­ity sup­port or­gan­i­sa­tions to have the free­dom to enjoy their sur­round­ings and be able to par­tic­i­pate in the com­mu­nity with­out be­ing seg­re­gated be­cause they don’t have a place to go,” Ms North­cott said.

“Hav­ing mul­ti­ple phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties and be­ing born pre­ma­ture, I know some of the chal­lenges and is­sues – I know what it’s like.”

Ms North­cott said chang­ing sim­ple things could make a mas­sive dif­fer­ence to peo­ple’s lives.

“It’s not just about dis­abil­ity, al­though that’s my pas­sion,” she said.

“Ev­ery­body de­serves to have a voice and be in­cluded in ac­cept­ing, ac­ces­si­ble, in­clu­sive, wel­com­ing and par­tic­i­pa­tion in ev­ery com­mu­nity.

“It’s fan­tas­tic the gov­ern­ment is com­mit­ted to fund­ing it, not shelv­ing it and that WALGA is com­mit­ted to as­sist­ing with th­ese projects.”

An NDSWA spokes­woman said dis­abil­ity ser­vice providers, peo­ple with dis­abil­ity and their car­ers were in­vited to a stake­holder fo­rum to de­ter­mine lo­ca­tions and 650 sur­vey re­sponses were re­ceived.

“A panel made the fi­nal de­ci­sion on 14 lo­ca­tions based on feed­back, as well as ad­vice from lo­cal and State Gov­ern­ments about planned fu­ture in­fra­struc­ture,” she said.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d447810

Melissa North­cott at El­iz­a­beth Quay.

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