City helps celebrate disability day party

THE International Day of People With Disability turned 21 on Tuesday with a large crowd turning out in Hargreaves Mall for the celebration.

Celebrations started with the Choice Voices choir along with bands Willie Bonkers and Rudely Interrupted.

International Day of People With Disability turns 21

There was also a display of balloon football and modified cricket along with a chance for people to get their face painted.

SportzRulz Victoria director Pam Dawkins said she had been involved with International Day of People With Disability for almost 10 years.

"It's great to see the transition from where we were struggling to get people to come to where it is now. It is amazing," she said.

"The fact that we have more involvement from other organisations has helped grow it.

"Once we got Bendigo Volunteers Resource Centre on board it opened up the door to more opportunities. Having a team of volunteers has made a great change."

Six months of preparation meant organisers could plan big and give the day the attention it deserved.

"The unity of community organisations helps people with disabilities take the next step," Ms Dawkins said.

"People with disabilities know they have barriers but unless they know the community is listening, that barrier will be  a constant stumbling block."

Ms Dawkins said the new access maps were an example of helping disabled people get past those barriers.

The City of Greater Bendigo launched the maps, which are designed to inform people about disabled access, amenties and information to make getting around Bendigo easier and more comfortable.

"We tried to cover everything by asking community groups what we do and don't need on the map," City of Greater Bendigo community development officer Glynn Jarret said.

"It has been built up by community and is information for everyone."

People are able to be download the new maps from the council's website or onto their iPhone. It is also available from council offices and libraries.

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