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No ‘one size fits all’ for access

Eurobodalla Council has produced new resources to help businesses, sporting and community groups improve their accessibility and inclusion.

The Council is promoting the importance of taking positive action and has compiled a range of practical resources to help.

Among the resources, all available online, is a simple premises checklist that helps identify barriers that may prevent people from using their service or group.

Council’s community development and participation manager Kim Bush said one in five people in Australia had some form of disability and there were many benefits to be gained via an inclusive community.

“Many in our community face barriers to accessing services, activities and facilities that are available to the rest of the community and we’d like to see that change,” she said.

“Disabilities are as diverse as we are and some disabilities are unseen, like Crohn’s disease, chronic pain or anxiety.

“We also have an increasingly diverse community where all teammates, colleagues and employees can provide value and different perspectives.

“It really highlights the importance of treating everyone with courtesy and respect.”

Ms Bush said the notion of good access was no longer simply providing wheelchair friendly spaces – although this remained important.

“You can’t quantify ‘good access’ as one size fits all,” she said.

“For people with vision impairment it might be using large print on menus. For non-verbal communicators it might be having visual options, or for people with hearing difficulties having a pen and paper handy,” she said.

“Ultimately it comes down to attitudes and awareness – being willing to help and putting the person and their needs first.”

Posted on: July 21 2021

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