The panel was advised at Council’s meeting in December it approved:
- the draft inclusion (disability) action plan 2014–17 will be publicly exhibited from February 2014. The draft plan will be produced in a range of accessible formats including accessible e-text, easy English, electronic PDF and hard copy.
- the inclusion (disability) advisory panel is to be reappointed for an additional 2 years until 2017 with the terms of reference amended to allow for 2-year terms to a maximum of 4 years.
The panel provided guidance and feedback on:
- our equity and diversity strategy including recruitment strategies to attract people with disability and initiatives to support current employees with disability.
- the redevelopment design of the Darling Harbour precinct.
- accessibility at the Biennale of Sydney 2014.
The panel provided an update on consultations held out-of-session including:
- urban design consultation
- economic development strategy consultation
- meeting with the Retail Advisory Panel.
Panel members also developed advice in the form of 8 easy and practical strategies for retailers and people working in hospitality to improve accessibility.
These strategies will be provided to the Retail Advisory Panel to distribute in the lead up to the Christmas shopping period.
The panel provided guidance on plans to update the city centre accessibility map including boundaries and what should and should not be included on the map.
The panel also provided guidance on accessibility initiatives for the 2014 Sydney Festival.
The panel was updated about the public toilet strategy, the legible Sydney wayfinding strategy and access improvements to streets in the city centre.
Aspects of the our draft development control plan (amendment number 2) were discussed including accessible parking, access reporting in development applications, emergency evacuation and street activation. The panel’s comments will be used to inform future reviews of the plan.
The panel provided advice on a new policy that guides accessibility in areas not covered by the Australian Disability (Access to Premises – buildings) Standards 2010, such as parks, walkways and footpaths. The panel's feedback focused on design, maintenance, management and information provision.
The launch of our draft economic development strategy was discussed and the panel will be briefed on the economic development strategy in a separate meeting next month.
Further consideration was given to the draft inclusion (disability) action plan. The panel advised about prioritising actions that would improve accessibility at our events and improve retail access.
The panel was briefed on the proposed introduction of light rail in George Street and provided advice about fully accessible design. The advice included wayfinding in open pedestrian spaces for people with vision impairment and the accessibility of side streets that intersect with George Street should be considered. The progress of the design work around the light rail in George Street will be monitored by the panel to identify further input opportunities around accessible design.
The panel was also briefed on the draft public toilet strategy, which recommends improvements to the availability, accessibility and maintenance of public toilet facilities.
A discussion was held about the access and inclusion aspects of our current planning controls, which the panel will continue discussing with planners at future meetings.
The meeting focused on our new inclusion (disability) action plan. The panel discussed the structure of the plan, showing support for a long-term vision and set of outcomes balanced with supporting actions with a short-to-medium term focus. Panel members also suggested priority actions for the inclusion plan over the next 2 years and will provide further feedback when the plan is drafted for Council and placed on public exhibition later this year.
The creative city cultural policy was also reviewed. The panel discussed the issues of access and participation for people with a disability in attending, and actively producing or participating in, cultural activities. Panel members will add further input through the consultation process, which closes on 31 May.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore welcomed the new panel members at their first meeting and recognised the importance of the panel's advice to help shape a welcoming and inclusive City of Sydney.
The panel went straight to work discussing the development of a new inclusion (disability) action plan, which will be the driver for access and inclusion improvements across the local area in coming years. The panel advised the new action plan should link with our overarching strategic directions, have clear governance and reporting, and be focused on outcomes. The plan should include physical, economic and social outcomes that are person-focused, for example:
- people with disability have a say
- people with disability have access to information
- people can get out and about in the local area.
The panel was updated on 2 projects – the legible Sydney wayfinding strategy and infrastructure upgrades to improve bus stop accessibility across the local area and kerb ramps in the city centre.
The role of local government to facilitate community readiness for the National Disability Insurance Scheme was also discussed by the panel.