Council invites people to forum on disability access and inclusion as committee plans for the next 12 months

PLANNING TIME: Members of the public are being invited to a forum on disability, which will take place next week. Image: SHUTTERSTOCK
PLANNING TIME: Members of the public are being invited to a forum on disability, which will take place next week. Image: SHUTTERSTOCK

The City of Greater Bendigo is inviting people to participate in a forum that will help a local disability inclusion committee plan for the coming 12 months.

The Accessible Greater Bendigo forum takes place in two weeks.

Participants will hear guest speaker Jill Garner from the Office of Victorian Government Architect discuss universal design in the context of accessibility.

The event will also see a presentation and panel discussion from the council’s Bendigo Disability Inclusion Reference Committee on recent achievements.

In addition, four workshops will focus on employment, parking, communication access and business access to help the committee prepare a work plan for the next 12 months.

The committee’s role is to provide general advice to the council, advocating for and undertaking initiatives that supported greater social inclusion of people with a disability.

Collectively, its members have experience and excellent knowledge of disability inclusion, leadership and advocacy skills and connections with the wider community, the council says.

The information provided by the committee enables the city to plan and respond to the needs of people with a disability when developing policies and strategies and undertaking special projects.

Speaking at the one-year anniversary of the committee last September, mayor Margaret O’Rourke admitted Bendigo had to “catch up” to other regions across a range of disability issues, but committed to the city becoming a leader in the space.

She said about 25,000 people living in the municipality had a disability, which accounted for 22 per cent of the population.

The committee was formed in 2016 and comprised 12 community members, six representatives from the city, a councillor and the mayor.

The forum takes place from 11am to 3pm on Thursday May 3, 2018 at the Bendigo Tennis Centre in Nolan Street.

Anyone interested in attending the forum should contact Daniel Rees at the City of Greater Bendigo on 54 346 094 or email d.rees@bendigo.vic.gov.au by Friday April 20, 2018.