Local Governments possess a high level of expertise in disability and have policies and processes in place to promote and increase access and participation.
The key pieces of legislation that impact on the provision of accessible information, services and facilities for people with disability include the Disability Services Act 2004 , the WA Equal Opportunity Act 1984 and the Disability Discrimination Act, 1992.
Australia was also one of the first signatories to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability on 30 March 2007.
Disability Access and Inclusion Plans (DAIP’s)
Western Australian Local Governments have a legislative requirement to develop and implement a Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (DAIP). The DAIP’s assist Local Governments to plan and implement improvements to access and inclusion across seven outcome areas;
- Services and events;
- Buildings and facilities;
- Quality of service;
- Consultation processes, and
Under the Disability Services Act, Local Governments are required to report on the progress of their DAIPs, as well as include a submission regarding DAIP implementation in their Annual Report.
For further information on Local Governments DAIP requirements, visit the Disability Services Commission website.
Disability-related grant programs
WALGA is delivering two disability-related grant programs with a combined value of $2.85 million funded by Disability Services Commission - the Changing Places Grants program and the Community Infrastructure Grants Program.
Changing Places Grants program
Disability Services Commission (DSC) in partnership with WALGA has provided funding to Local Governments for the construction of a network of Changing Places across metropolitan and regional Western Australia.
Changing Places will improve access to and inclusion in the community for a wide range of people who cannot be away from their home for any length of time because of their personal hygiene needs. Changing Places provide people with disability, or with other continence needs, increased inclusion and participation in everyday life including employment, travel, recreation, holidays and events. Changing Places will benefit people with disability, their families and carers as well as other members of the community.
Community Infrastructure Grants Program
The Community Infrastructure Grant Program provided funding to Local Governments and community organisations with the aim of improving community access and inclusion for people with disability by delivering improved access to public buildings and spaces and by providing community services to support people with disability to participate in community activities.
The funding for the Community Infrastructure Grants is provided by Disability Services Commission and administered by WALGA.
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
The National Disability Insurance Agency’s (NDIA) Perth Hills trial site opened on 1 July 2014 for people with disability in the Local Government areas of Swan, Kalamunda and Mundaring.
On 28 April 2016, the Commonwealth Government announced the trial site would be extended by 12 months to 30 June 2017 to ensure people with disability continue to receive supports while a full scheme approach is finalised. The trial area is also being expanded from 1 January 2017 to the Local Government areas of Bayswater, Bassendean, Chittering, Toodyay, York and Northam.
For information about the national Disability Insurance Scheme visit www.ndis.gov.au.