The panel provided the following input and feedback for the update of the City’s Accessible and Inclusive Event Guidelines:
- Access and inclusion at events should be at the forefront of event planning and not considered as an afterthought. It should be considered an essential component of events and best practice sought in access and inclusion through implementation of the Guidelines.
- Where possible, the City should use its influence to ensure the Guidelines are implemented.
- In addition to updating the Australian Standards and providing guidance for online events, testimony and case studies should be added to give examples of lived experience.
- Information for pre-planning to attend events is key for people with disability and should be made available via event websites prior to the event along with a person to phone and email.
- Having disability aware staff at events can assist with help and support, and accessibility enables people with disability to attend and participate in inclusive events.
The Panel discussed issues faced by people with invisible disabilities, providing the following feedback:
- If people cannot visibly see your disability, people may ignore it, disbelieve it, or react negatively towards a person with lived experience.
- Greater understand and acceptance of all disabilities (including non-visible disabilities) requires utilising regular opportunities to share lived experience and educate the community to ‘normalise’ disability.
- People should not make assumptions, and should openly ask the question: Do you have any access requirements? What are they? How can I help you?
The Panel discussed priorities for 2023 meetings, including: Reviewing and embedding the ‘Social Model’ of disability and the use of enabling language; accessible and affordable housing; reviewing Council’s Inclusion (Disability) Action Plan and the 4 priority areas; and educating businesses to improve access and inclusion.