Make Adelaide into “Access-alaide” – d4d Launches Plan for Accessible City

Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood will find out how difficult life can be for wheelchair users when he spends an hour in a wheelchair at today’s International Wheelchair Day celebrations.

Mr Yarwood was invited to experience life on wheels by Dignity for Disability Party Leader, Kelly Vincent MLC, who today launched her party’s policy for a more accessible city and state at the event.

Outlining a four-point plan for better accessibility in the city and across the state, Ms Vincent said d4d had formulated strategies to make accessibility a priority for businesses and government and to stop the perception that disability access was costly and not worthwhile.

“Dignity for Disability is very supportive of making Adelaide and South Australia a welcoming and exciting place where young entrepreneurs, artists and small business are given the best chance of making a living,” she said. “But this should not be at the cost of disability access. Having a full and exciting city does not mean locking people with disabilities out.”

The four-part policy’s major points are:

– Offer incentives for prioritising accessibility. “Developers and others involved in building our state need to be encouraged not just to meet accessibility standards but also to go above and beyond them with the inclusion of things such as physical markers to help the vision impaired,” said Ms Vincent. “Government and council should provide incentives like fast-tracked planning and reduced fees for applications that prioritise accessibility.”

– Run an accessibility design competition. “Funding a design competition that calls for innovative and cost-effective design solutions to commonly occurring accessibility problems will generate new thinking on the issue and raise public awareness,” said Ms Vincent.

– Give grants for accessible city activation. “The hugely successful Splash Adelaide program should be augmented with the addition of grants to make pop-up venues accessible,” said Ms Vincent.

– Make art accessible. “Dignity for Disability will lobby the State Government to make extra funding available to arts organisations that accompany their performances and shows with accessibility measures such as audio description and Auslan interpreters,” said Ms Vincent.