Disability and the community

What actions are being taken to include disabled people more fully in Australian communities?

Recently, progress has been made in parts of Australia in improving access for people with disabilities. You will probably have seen ramps in public buildings, for example, or noticed signals at pedestrian crossings that have sounds as well as lighted symbols. There is still, however, a lot of work to be done.

Activity Four

To get a better idea of the problems people face, and the type of things available to help them, go to http://www.guidedogs.com.au .

Go to 'Education and Resources' and select 'Access' and read as many of the sections as you can. Although this site is particularly about people with impaired vision, much of the information is also relevant to other forms of disability. Add some interesting facts, pictures or questions to the graffiti board.

Now let’s compare two major Australian cities which are working hard on the issue of access to the central business area for disabled people. They have both set up websites to provide information on the subject. Choose one of the following sites and one item to begin with (for example, Perth Cultural Centre or a Melbourne restaurant).

http://www.accesswa.com.au/

http://www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/CommunityServices/DisabilityServices/Pages/Disabilityservices.aspx

(Sydney also has some less detailed information at

http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/AboutSydney/CBDDisabledAccess/Default.asp)

Fill in the first row of the Data Retrieval Chart in Worksheet 1. If possible, examine some other different venues and rate them, too.