City of Sydney employees and representatives from the NSW Government updated the panel on the accessibility and inclusion considerations for New Year’s Eve 2019.
The panel provided the following feedback:
- Support for the capacity increases for the accessible viewing areas for people with disability.
- Consider directing people on the website to book alternative accessible viewing areas once a site is at capacity.
- Ensure police are briefed that certain vehicles, including taxis, are able to make their way through road closures to accessible viewing areas.
- Explore providing more charging points for people to recharge powered wheelchairs at the event.
We presented some of the key highlights and status of actions from the annual report for 2018/19 for the inclusion (disability) action plan 2017–2021.
The panel discussed access to on-street mobility parking and off-street accessible parking for people with disability, a key issue raised in the development of the inclusion (disability) action plan. In particular, the panel discussed strategies to encourage commercial parking operators to provide greater information about off-street accessible parking spaces. The panel provided the following advice:
- Consider approaching a large commercial parking operator to work in partnership on this action.
- Consider a place-based approach, partnering with commercial parking operators based in a priority location, such as near a hospital.
We briefed the panel on the draft local strategic planning statement and draft local housing strategy. The panel provided the following advice:
- The panel supported the decision to change planning controls to require the development of housing that is universally designed in line with the liveable housing design guidelines.
- Continue to ensure affordable housing is a priority through targets to enable people with disability and essential service workers to affordably live and work in the city.
- Consider targets for supported disability accommodation to ensure people with high support needs can continue to live in the inner city.
We presented to the panel the facilities access information on the City of Sydney website. The panel gave the following feedback:
- Overall the information is displayed in a clear and systematic way.
- Consider providing information about the path of travel from mobility parking spaces so people know if they can travel from their car to the venue.
- Look at ways to enhance information with photos, such as 360-degree videos or floor plans to give people a greater understanding of the space.
A joint meeting was held with the panel and NSW Accessible Transport Advisory Committee to discuss the Redfern station upgrade and Sydney light rail.
The panel and committee gave the following advice on the main access and inclusion considerations.
- Consider where bollards are placed in shared zones. They can be difficult for people to navigate who are blind or have low vision.
- Consider an option that provides the most direct path of travel.
- Provide drop-off points for taxis and people with mobility concerns to access the station from both ends.
- Ensure good wayfinding signs or have staff available to assist people to orient themselves at the upgraded station.
- Conduct further engagement during the detailed design phase.
Sydney light rail
- Consider announcements on platforms to inform passengers who are blind or have low vision about the direction of travel.
- Increase distance between concrete blocks used for pedestrian protection against hostile threats. They can be difficult for wheelchair users to navigate.
- Ensure people who have low vision are able to differentiate the platform from the transitions and footpath.
- Ensure consistent placement of tactile ground surface indicators along the line.
- Facilitate travel training for people with disability to familiarise themselves with the light rail network.
The panel advised us about ways we can increase people with disability participating at major events and festivals. Ensuring information about accessing an event is easy to find is the first and most important step. Many people with disability won’t consider attending unless they know their needs will be met. All relevant access information needs to be available, as far as possible before the event.
Promoting events to people with disability can be improved by:
- integrating accessibility information into existing communication channels
- developing alternative communication formats, such as easy read
- using social media and existing peak body networks.
The panel also discussed language used to describe disability. Language that focuses on the person first, is the most widely accepted (for example, people with disability). However, where possible, personal preferences should be accommodated.
The panel encouraged us to use terminology that captures the diversity of disability, including people who don’t identify as having a disability. For example, ’people with disability and access needs’ is encouraged.
We briefed the panel on the draft local approvals policy and code of practice: hoisting and construction activities in public places. The panel gave the following advice on access considerations for temporary construction infrastructure:
- As far as possible, temporary ramps should be kept dry and placed under hoardings to minimise slip factor which can create hazards for wheelchair users and blind people.
- Consider signs that warn people walking of upcoming ramps to assist wheelchair users and people with less mobility.
- Seek feedback from access consultants, disability peak bodies and other relevant non-government organisations.
The panel provided advice to our People Performance and Technology division about how to engage and support employees with disability, lived experience of a mental health issue and caring responsibilities.
City of Sydney employees and ASPECT Studios briefed the panel on an initial concept design for a proposed inclusive playground at Cook + Phillip Park.
The panel gave the following advice on key access and inclusion considerations for the playground:
- Provide entry points into the playground as close to public transport and mobility parking spaces as possible, to limit the distance people need to travel to access the playground.
- Conduct further consultation with children with disability and their families, including engaging with respite groups for school-aged children with disability, particularly those that use Cook + Phillip Park Aquatic Centre, the Royal Botanic Garden and the Australian Museum.
- Ensure seating throughout the playground is inclusive, for example a mix of seats with arm and back rests and providing a gap next to benches or seats to allow a wheelchair or pram.
- Ensure there are quiet spaces throughout the playground for children on the autism spectrum.
- Provide adequate coverage of shade through the playground to protect equipment and users.