Accessibility in Hobart
Updated: Aug 19, 2022
I have a long standing interest in accessibility for all. The first interactions I had with people who had different abilities to my own was at preschool. I went to a preschool that was for kids with vision and hearing impairments. Then through primary school, one of my best friends, Mel, was a wheel chair user due to cerebral palsy. As a result of my lifelong friendship with Mel, I have met all sorts of people doing great work in the accessibility space. One who deeply inspired me was Madeline Sobb. She was an advocate for youth disability accessibility in Melbourne and good friends with Mel. Prior to her passing, she was doing amazing work to make Melbourne a more accessible place for people of all abilities. I want to continue that work here in Hobart.
Accessibility matters, it improves the quality of life for anyone with mobility or sensory impairments. I see the effects of poorly accessible infrastructure on this community every day in my professional life as a paramedic.
There are various acts that govern the right to access and discrimination, including the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. The least we can do as a city is ensure Hobart is compliant with the relevant legislation. To their credit, the City of Hobart has an equal access policy but I think it is a piecemeal and does not address some of the key barriers affecting equality of access in our city.
If elected I have a planned equality in accessibility program that has been developed in conjunction with the relevant community. I will move that The City of Hobart:
Ensure The City of Hobart's online interfaces meet accessibility standards.
Commence a program to ensure ALL road crossings in Hobart LGA have accessible crossings with cut curbs and tactile feedback indicators. And increasing the number of pedestrian priority road crossings in Hobart LGA (Zebra crossings etc).
Instigate a grant program for small businesses to upgrade their premises to meet disability standards.
Work with the department of State Growth to formally transfer the responsibility of bus stop infrastructure to councils, with State funding attached, to ensure bus stops meet the disability discrimination act (100% of bus stops are meant to be compliant by 2023)
Lets work together to ensure Hobart is accessible for everyone.