What is your vision for an accessible and welcoming community?

What is your vision for a State Disability Inclusion Plan to make our community accessible and welcoming, based on fairness and respect?

To help you provide your feedback we have prepared a State Plan Discussion Paper which asks some questions about access and inclusion in our community.

Read the State Plan Discussion Paper or the Easy Read version and join in the discussion below.

We are keen to hear from everyone, including people with lived experience as well as other members of the community.

Comments closed

Lee Williams

15 Apr 2019

Acceptance, understanding and education would go a long way to solving some issues. A person with a disability can help with this, a carer, the rest of us. Many people are not aware of daily issues, re transport, venues, toilet facilities etc, until the issue is pointed out to them, or they find themselves in need of assistance. Lots of things could be simply solved by compassion, consideration, and the desire to include everyone when solving problems. As the problems are numerous, so are the resolutions, it could be $$, time and sometimes stubbornness that delays real action. I think gently educating, and showing the community how to involve everyone, will bring about a better result. Instead of labelling all the disabilities, maybe just identify the problem, and also suggest a solution. No doubt in the future, we will have many more categories of disabilities, so I think this consultation, will need to include a lot of stuff as it all evolves. Maybe cost analysis on the aids required, to assist patrons and those providing the inclusive community would encourage many more options for people on a daily basis, when they leave home. And lets face it we all like a day/night out occasionally. Everyone has a responsibility to make our community inclusive.

Pat foley

14 Apr 2019

I would like entertainment venues and sellers to make change.
Booking concert, sporting events can be near impossible why because people that need accessible seating need to book over the phone and not able to book on line. I have missed on so many events because of this.
Recently I booked concert tickets and the concert got changed to another venue I'm reallocated tickets are not in an accessible area. I have phoned twice to get this resolved which has happened.

Another thing I would like to see change in is.
When at a sporting event or concert etc often you can't see as people stand in front of you. I would like to see either front row access or elevated area so all can see

Rebecca Coles

12 Apr 2019

I would like to see some effort to ensure disabled toilets are accessible for all. I believe there needs to be two types of toilets placed in disabled toilet facilities. One for people in wheelchairs which is likely to be a slightly lower height toilet and one for other disabilities.

My mother has osteoarthritis and requires two hip replacements. At home she would use a commode as the regular toilet is too low. In public disabled toilets they need a higher height toilet for this type of disability or for the elderly.

I would also like to see perhaps an app for disabled that has a GPS so that wherever a person with a disability travels to it lists localities which are wheelchair and disabled friendly i.e. toilets, eateries, sports and recreation facilities that cater, taxi and other transport services, beaches with wheelchair access and any other relevant helpful information.

Another thing would be good in restaurants/cafes is to have a few bariatric chairs, higher in height so that it is a stable chair for disabled to sit and safely enjoy a meal without risk of chair collapse as these days they have flimsy cheap quality chairs.

Cinemas already have wheelchair access, however having a few seats that are higher in height, perhaps wider that are appropriate for bariatric or people with certain disabilities who are not in a wheelchair but use a rollator/walker.

Another thing I would like to see is 1 little person seat in every train carriage. They cater for us regular height people but not for a little person.

Mykayla Porcelli

07 Apr 2019

I am currently teaching in my local inclusive preschool program. This caters for six preschool aged children with special educational needs. It is heartbreaking to see these students forced to go on and attend mainstream schooling when they are qualified for a special class option simply because these classes are already full. We need more special class options. I understand mainstream can still provide support in some ways, however I have seen students and families absolutely lost and heartbroken that they didn’t get placed where they needed to be. The impact is on the child’s physical and emotional well-being.. not to even mention their learning.

Patricia Sutton

05 Apr 2019

People with psychosocial disabilities are the most marginalised and discriminated cohort of our population.
Many live very isolated lives, many live in sub-standard residential facilities, many languish in gaols, many are homeless, many more are living with overburdened families, particularly ageing parents.
They are NOT included in the Plan's list of especially vulnerable people - this demonstrates the lack of knowledge and understanding in the community - and within health and disability services - even about their existence.
There is a widespread lack of understanding that a small number of people with mental illness, notably those with schizophrenia, experience psychosocial disabilities as a result of their severe mental illness.
This urgently needs to be addressed by the disability sector.

Sue shywolup

04 Apr 2019

As a educator working with children I would like to see greater support for parents dealing with children struggling with anxiety/ social anxiety and school refusal. I have had personal experience with two children dealing with this and found no support. We have a long way to go in understanding school based anxiety and the enormous pressure that this places in families. We need training for educators and support staff for schools in a similar way that we support children in the Autism spectrum. We need to collect data on the frequency particularly in high schools as anxiety amongst youth is a growing issue. We need trained support staff in schools. Victoria is a lot further along the process in understanding and supporting their families.

Tara Force

27 Mar 2019

As both a professional working in disability and a parent of a child with a disability, I see the biggest challenge as community attitudes. If we can change the way people 'think' about disability it would naturally lead to better inclusion. In fact, over time, true inclusion wouldn't need to be defined because it would just be natural and normal for people of all abilities to live life together. We see this modelled in other countries around the world who from the very beginning of life do not seperate their children with disabilities from others. In fact, this is where we see that we are setting ourselves up for exclusion by the very existence of 'special' schools and 'special' programs and potentially by not accurately defining inclusion. I say we work on helping to re-define attitudes to disability and the rest will follow.

Marian Whitaker

25 Mar 2019

Transport is a major issue for disabled people. Buses are not safe because there are no restraints, people get injured. Transport budgets should be adequate for people to access their community, health and public services. Acesss to all public buildings, and the footpaths to get there must be improved. For example most banks have great access to their buildings but physically getting along the path or across the road is impossible. Since we are all now required to use computers and phones to communicate with government services, can you please pay for the equipment, training, and bills to manage that, and would you please consider how those who are visually impaired can interact with services. Concerning decision making, it would be good if we were consulted on major changes before they happen e.g. NDIS and the scrapping of the SATSS scheme.

Government Agency

Disability Policy Unit > Marian Whitaker

28 Mar 2019

Hi Marian, thank you for your feedback. Your comments will be considered as we develop the State Plan. Regarding SATSS, this program has been extended for eligible people with disability.

Government Agency

Disability Policy Unit > Marian Whitaker

28 Mar 2019

We will review transport and accessibility for people with disability to ensure best practice. If you have any safety concerns, don't hesitate to call the Adelaide Metro InfoLine on 1300 311 108.

Katie Watts

23 Mar 2019

I believe those with disabilities in our community need better exposure – as a person who is generally
Able-bodied with some varying limitations, I have been exposed to level of disocclusion within our everyday communities that able-bodied people more than likely take for granted. I would like to see more education about these conditions in schools and let children learn about them from an earlier age, and rather than expressing them as barriers, learn how to discuss how we can be more inclusive as people in everyday life – I think that’s important as it starts from our attitudes and the way in which we view people too – for example teaching people not to use the disabled toilets or change rooms because theirs is not available – the only reason people still do this is because their attitude toward people with disabilities is poor which comes from lack of education. I would also make in mandatory to learn sign language in schools, instead of, or rather alongside other languages already being taught which would help to communicate with those who aren’t able to completely hear. Also I would make closed-captioning available at the movies so those who cannot hear are able to go out in the community to do the same things as others. Everyone has the right to enjoy themselves. I would also make doorways much larger in public spaces to fit wheelchairs and walkers through, and make doors swings outwards so it’s easier for people to get in and out, and especially in restaurants which so many of them I come across are designed without consideration for disabled bodies. On that note – if people are unable to construct or change the design on their public business, there should be a sign available out the front of each public space which mentions disabled services not available – this saves people time and frustration by avoiding these places and finding somewhere that CAN cater to their needs – and by doing so, these places should also have a sticker or sign which shows this as well.

Lastly, I would change the ability for those with physical barriers to be able to access the beach – this is something I feel quite strongly about. A large, wide and flat concrete or cement pathway to the ocean with barriers each side to help those who may have difficulty walking and need to use a wheelchair, car, walker, etc. I might not have the best way of coming up with the physical construct of this idea, but again I am not an architect or designer.

Darrell O'Brien

21 Mar 2019

I believe the government should continue the access cab and Taxi voucher provisions for disabled persons. These vouchers should be increased in value for transport for medical purposes.

Government Agency

Disability Policy Unit > Darrell O'Brien

28 Mar 2019

Hi Darrell, thank you for your comment.

The South Australian Transport Subsidy Scheme has been extended until the end of the year for eligible people with disability, regardless of whether they are NDIS participants.

The State Government will continue to work with the Commonwealth to ensure that people with disability receive the funding and supports they need.

Darrell O'Brien > Darrell O'Brien

28 Mar 2019

Is this a veiled statement to say that the subsidy will end at the end of the year is this financial year or calendar year.

Government Agency

Disability Policy Unit > Darrell O'Brien

02 Apr 2019

Thank you for your further comment.

Our apologies, the South Australian Transport Subsidy Scheme has been extended until the end of the calendar year for eligible people with disability.

State Government continues to work with the Commonwealth to ensure that people with disability receive the funding and supports they need.

Margaret Lloyd

21 Mar 2019

Things I would like to see:

1) Changing places in all shopping centres, parks and large institutions.

2) More regulation for footpaths. I still see tables, chairs, signs, scooters, etc sprawled out across footpaths. Particularly when there are road works, I see footpaths half-finished, and alternative paths are inaccessible so that people have to find their own, much longer, path around.

3) Accessible, frequent, widespread and affordable public transport.

Debra Clark

20 Mar 2019

Many people who use power wheelchairs are too tall to get under a regular table and hit their knees. This makes dining out or even eating at a park almost impossible. Public recreation values need to have tables with ample space underneath for leg clearance. All tables should have clearance at the end and perhaps provide tables at varying heights to accommodate people who use manual wheelchairs or children. Accessible toilets are essential as well.

Kirio Crespo

20 Mar 2019

Accessible websites must be included too, people with disabilities use the internet as much as every one else. Sadly most websites aren't accessible to them. As a web developer that runs a local web development company that specializes in web accessibility, I can firmly say that mostly Government websites are built with accessibility in mind. Most websites on the internet aren't built by the public sector, the vast majority are built and belong to private organisations. If Australian or South Australian websites aren't built with accessibility in mind, the Disability Inclusion Act 2018 is redundant. As far as I know, there isn't an organisation that approves or enforces the development of accessible websites for people with disabilities. I propose the creation of such organisation.

Debra Clark > Kirio Crespo

20 Mar 2019

I agree strongly. Many websites did not allow input from voicerecognition software such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking. This is extremely frustrating because to enter data you have to to dictate it first into an accessible program and they can cut and paste into the website. Often times this does not even work and you are forced to struggle with an on-screen keyboard. If you have little or no use of your hands is can be extremely frustrating.

Kate Swaffer

20 Mar 2019

For a truly accessible community, it is imperative we acknowledge the different types of disabilities, including those which are mostly invisible. Disability signage needs to start reflecting this. For example, some physcially disabled people may be very harsh on someone with an invisible disabilty using an access toilet, and better signage may help this.

There are many types of disability, which are often not considered, including the following:

Intellectual disabilities
Physical disabilities
Psychosocial disabilities
Cognitive disabilities
Sensory disabilities
Speech and communication disabilities
Some mental health conditions cause disabilities
Other co morbidities and ageing may cause various disabilities

It is important to note that people with dementia and autism are categorised as living with cognitive disabilities by the World Health Organisation. People with speech disabilities, including any form of aphasia caused by stroke, dementia or other conditions need support; this can be provided by SCOPE .

Other conditions such as mental illness can cause varying physical and/or psychosocial disabilities. The many types of physical disabilities - e.g. sight impairment, wheelchair users, are more easily visible. Hearing impairments less so, although most businesses provide hearing loops.

Obviously health services and accomodation is fundamental. The built environment is also imperative, and using dementia enabling design princiles when developing community services and buildings, supports almost all disabilities.

Finally, as a person with acquired disabilities, one term I really dislike is 'special' needs. I have different needs than when I was able bodied, but find the term special needs patronising. Language is important; it can be disempowering, or empowering.

Jane Shepherd

19 Mar 2019

Decent accommodation is fundamental to well-being. Any funds that can be directed to housing for the disabled would be very welcome...and, ultimately, cost effective. For example, how many inmates of our gaols are unable to navigate life on the outside due to mental illness or a brain injury? More funds for Housing SA and other support organizations would make such a difference to many people's lives.

Debra Clark > Jane Shepherd

20 Mar 2019

I agree with this but it is also accessible housing all round. As a wheelchair user it is impossible to visit friends of family who have inaccessible houses. While there has been great improvement in public buildings and public transport in the last 10 years footpath's to access buildings including houses still need greater attention.

Jane Shepherd > Jane Shepherd

21 Mar 2019

Thanks, Debra. Much more attention is needed to increase accessibility for wheelchair users and those using other mobility aids eg. walkers.

Elizabeth Spence

19 Mar 2019

There are lots of disabilities that don't fall under the usual umbrella, so cater for them as well - there's plenty of allergic asthma sufferers who barely leave their houses due to shops, businesses and people either spraying air-fresheners, misters, perfumes, deodorisers, smoke etc about (all of which can literally kill someone with asthma); also some more indoor events for those who aren't permitted in the sun or sunlight for more than a few minutes.

Trevor van der Linden > Elizabeth Spence

21 Mar 2019

This is the most challenging part of being a carer for a person with a disability, is it's not a 'standard' disability.

Elizabeth Spence > Elizabeth Spence

21 Mar 2019

It's the most challenging part of being the one with the disability too. If people can't see it then they often won't acknowledge it. More needs to be done - like peanuts, most people are aware of how dangerous they are for those who are allergic, the same needs to be done for other things.

Kathleen Smart

18 Mar 2019

Private boarding houses for people coming out of mental institutions can be expensive and poorly run. For example, a family member had to stay in a boarding house which had no sitting room. All the rooms were rented out because there was no requirement for a sitting room.

Kathleen Smart

18 Mar 2019

One idea might be to have festivals to include disabled people in the community, for example, a wheelchair-based party, or a come-and-play event for people at Elder Park.