Plan to improve the lives of those living with disability

Published on 28 June 2024

Three men running on an athletics track.

Kingston’s blueprint for improving the lives of those living with disability has been finalised after a second round of community consultation.

Developed with a team of 16 local people who either have a disability or care for someone with a disability, the four-year draft All-Abilities Action Plan focuses on four key priority areas:

  • Changing attitudes and caring communication
  • Healthy and active lifestyle
  • Getting around Kingston
  • Participating in the workforce

Among the 30 actions identified in the plan are initiatives such as increasing the number of people with disability employed by Council, the establishment of a disability access and inclusion consultative forum, embedding universal design principles in all capital projects, increasing the network of changing places facilities, and working with local traders to implement a Good Access is Good Business program.

Kingston Mayor Jenna Davey-Burns said she is deeply proud of the approach to put people’s voices at the centre of the process.

“This is a real and honest guide to improving inclusion and accessibility in Kingston for people with disability which benefits our whole community. Frank, thoughtful and straight-forward contributions from a team of locals, who either have disability or care for someone with disability, has given this plan heart,” Cr Davey-Burns said.

“It is an authentic, achievable path to providing people with disability in Kingston more support and we hope it makes our community members with disability feel valued, included, and empowered to contribute to our community.

“Vitally the team’s various backgrounds within the local community have ensured there were many and varied opportunities for local people to have an input. Careful consultation has given a voice to people living with all forms of disability, including those with more severe or profound disability who often experience paternalistic and disempowering approaches to design.”

Yammerbook Ward Councillor Tamsin Bearsley said living with disability shouldn't be a barrier to accessing our community, our services, our facilities, and our outdoor spaces.

“That's why it was essential to put our all-abilities community at the centre of our planning and designs,” Cr Bearsley said.

“We've heard from our community that they want an inclusive Kingston for everyone. From safe and accessible pathways to inclusive playgrounds and parks, our vision is a Kingston where everyone is valued and included to contribute and enjoy our wonderful community.” 

The co-design team said they contributed their experiences and understandings, working together in a respectful and curious way to develop this plan for the benefit of all people in the community.

“The plan is for everyone who lives, works, studies or visits Kingston. It is a real and honest plan. It continues to be a work in progress in that the more we achieve, the more we can do to include people with disability in our evolving, learning, and growing community,” they said.

The vision for the plan developed by the co-design team is:

As a person with a disability in Kingston I feel valued and included and can contribute to my community. I have the freedom to access what I need, when I need it, without feeling vulnerable, because I live in a community where diversity is seen as a strength, and accessibility and inclusion benefit everyone.’


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