The Disability Network Forum has developed a new resource to help organisations develop a Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) after new laws passed which require NSW Government departments and local councils to commit to improving access and participation for people with disability.
Council of Social Service of NSW CEO Tracy Howe said the plans would play a vital role in eliminating discrimination and promoting an ethos of access and equity.
“For too long people with disability have experienced barriers to their full access and participation in the community. If organisations really commit to developing and implementing these plans, it will be a real game changer – not only for people with disability but for the whole community.”
Ms Howe said although DIAPs are currently only compulsory for public authorities, all organisations and businesses have the capacity to benefit from having an effective action plan in place.
“A successful plan will have a number of benefits, not only for people with disability, but also for the organisation developing the plan and the wider community.
“They encourage broader participation and inclusion, boost reputation and can lead to increased consumer and client satisfaction. As they work to eliminate discrimination, they'll also reduce complaints.”
The resource includes strategies to ensure access to buildings, events and facilities, access to information and services, specific needs are accommodated, complaints are handled appropriately, employment is supported and new funding agreements promote inclusion.
“A large focus of a good plan is having strategies in place to boost employment of people with disability,” said Ms Howe.
“A recent report from Deloitte showed if employment participation by people with disability improved by 10 percentage points, it would contribute 40 billion dollars to the economy. That's a good outcome for everyone.”
The Disability Network Forum includes representatives from: First Peoples Disability Network, Aboriginal Disability Network NSW, Association of Blind Citizens of NSW, Brain Injury Association, Deaf Australia NSW, Deaf Society of NSW, DeafBlind Association NSW, Institute For Family Advocacy, Intellectual Disability Rights Service, Multicultural Disability Advocacy Association of NSW, Consumer Advisory Group - Mental Health (NSW CAG), NSW Council for Intellectual Disability, NSW Disability Advocacy Network, NSW Disability Advocacy Network, IDEAS NSW, Physical Disability Council of NSW, Positive Life NSW, Self Advocacy Sydney, Deafness Council (NSW), Side By Side Advocacy Inc., People with Disability Australia and NCOSS.