Improved facilities for disabled
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.
Melissa Northcott at Elizabeth Quay.