Thursday, 13 July 2017
A voice for the minority
VICTOR HARBOR TIMES | June Taylor
Dignity Party Member of Parliament in the State Legislative Council Kelly Vincent visited Victor Harbor on Tuesday, July 11, and met with local people, including City of Victor Harbor mayor Graham Philp.
Ms Vincent has cerebral palsy and attends parliament in a wheelchair. She was elected at the 2010 state election for the Dignity Party and has a strong voice for those in need and who are not always able to speak for themselves.
Ms Vincent said recent census figures released, revealed that within the Victor Harbor council area there has been a 30 per cent increase in residents aged 75 or over and a “whopping” 45 percent increase in residents requiring assistance for core basic needs.
“This has implications for planning and services and we need to design facilities and programs that will meet this community’s needs” Ms Vincent said.
“Changes the community can make are things like learning about the need for universal design. This carries right down to small, but important things such as providing and using a microphone and sound system at events so that everyone can hear.
Ms Vincent also discussed issues concerning disabled toilet facilities, change tables for elderly, disabled and infirmed, along with beach mats, electrical hoists, medicinal cannabis, the National Disability Scheme and access to buildings for wheelchairs, as well as prams.
“It’s not always the disabled and elderly that require help, but often struggling young mums with pushers can face difficulties when entering premises. My challenge is to find a way to help the minority,” Ms Vincent said.
She pointed out there was support for elderly people in need through the Federal Government ‘My Aged Care’ program. “However, there are issues with the digital by default approach whereby everyone is expected to access services and programs online. It is important that people are given the practical support they need to negotiate the online nature of many government services,” she said.
Ms Vincent will process the information received during her visit and source government funding for the most urgent needs of the community.
While in the area Kelly visited the South Australian Whale Centre.
“We need to design facilities and programs that will meet this community’s needs” Kelly Vincent MP