The Marshal Liberal Government has today launched the first State Disability Inclusion Plan.
It paves the way for a more accessible and inclusive state for all South Australians living with disability by driving change in State Government agencies and local councils.
The plan, called Inclusive SA, sets out actions and priorities under four themes that will foster inclusion in ways that acknowledge the rights, dignity, autonomy, needs and aspirations of all people with disability.
The four focus areas are:
• Inclusive communities for all
• Leadership and collaboration
• Accessible communities
• Learning and employment Over the next year, every state authority will develop its own Disability Access and Inclusion Plan and report annually on progress.
Premier Steven Marshall said the natural ambition for government is to make South Australia a place where people with disability feel encouraged to participate in everyday life.
“We are committed to ensuring all South Australians with disability can live the lives they choose, with fair and equal access to supports, services and places, like any other South Australian,” said Premier Marshall.
“One in five people in South Australia report living with disability. I want us to be proud of how we include people with disability in South Australia.”
One of the plan’s examples of inclusiveness is the South Australian Museum’s autism friendly family mornings outside regular opening hours. It means families of children or adults with autism can visit the museum with sound and lighting levels designed not to overwhelm people on the autism spectrum.
“I applaud this initiative, which is a great example of how institutions, businesses and managers of public places can make small adjustments to include people who might otherwise feel excluded,” said Premier Marshall.
Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the plan will promote a whole-of-government approach to reducing barriers to participation.
“The new Inclusive SA plan is an important step in addressing the examples of social, economic and virtual barriers that people with disability have shared with us,” said Minister Lensink.
“The needs, abilities and goals of all people with disability must be considered in everything we do.”
Minister Lensink said consultation had been critical to the development of the plan, with more than 1000 ideas contributed by participants and said community consultation would continue to ensure the actions in the plan remained relevant over time.
“We heard that some people felt excluded from participating in their communities because of the way facilities and services were designed, a lack of information or community attitudes,” said Minister Lensink.
Inclusive SA is a direct result of the State Government’s Disability Inclusion Act, passed in 2018 and the first piece of legislation passed under the Marshall Liberal Government.
Last year, the South Australian Museum signed Autism SA’s Autism Friendly Charter and about 90 staff and volunteers attended Autism SA training.
South Australian Museum Community Programs Manager Lara Torr said modern museums were designed to be stimulating, engaging places, but this environment could be overwhelming for people with autism.
“Special light effects, too much light, crowds, too much background noise or unexpected sounds are all potential triggers, especially for children with autism,” said Ms Torr.
“Our autism-friendly family mornings provide a quieter experience with the assistance of a large number of staff – so a trip to the museum is something these families can enjoy together.”
The new Inclusive SA plan will support state agencies and councils to develop their first Disability Access and Inclusion Plans by 31 October 2020.
The plan can be found online at dhs.sa.gov.au/inclusivesa. There is also an Easy Read version available.