We have taken the action needed to remove the barriers, both physical and mental for people living with a disability to work, live in play in the city. We are committed to creating an inclusive, accessible city for all, and ensuring our design of the public domain addresses the barriers faced by people with disability in all age groups.
We’re working with people living with a disability through the City’s Inclusion (Disability) Advisory Panel to create opportunities in the city and also to ensure we’re addressing their needs.
Every day, people with disability experience barriers that make it difficult to participate and work in our community.
Barriers may be physical, such as inaccessible streetscapes, social, such as a lack of information in accessible formats, or attitudinal, as people make assumptions that people with disability are not able to participate in certain activities. When these barriers are reduced, the majority of people with disability will experience greater independence and equitable opportunities for social and economic inclusion.
The City supports organisations that provide services to people with disability, older adults and their carers operating in the City of Sydney area. The City’s community centres and libraries deliver a range of new, diverse and inclusive programming. Programs such as the “Big Feels Club” at Green Square, helped to facilitate community discussions about mental health, to help reduce stigma and encourage awareness.
The City supported the Invictus Games through a sponsorship of $36,100 cash and value-in-kind to support a street banner campaign. For two weeks the Games were promoted on 185 of the City’s street banners in high-traffic CBD locations including Martin Place, Macquarie Street and Customs House. This sponsorship enabled the City to promote positive community attitudes towards people with disability.
The City’s landmark Draft Inclusive and Accessible Public Domain Policy and Guidelines and Inclusive and Accessible Event Guidelines provide a framework to apply best design practices that ensure our public spaces can be easily accessed. It has been developed through consultation with people with disability, carers, local service providers, peak advocacy organisations and our advisory panel. This is the first time such guidance on public domain accessibility has been developed. They will be made publicly available to encourage event organisers, developers, designers and others to give a greater focus to access.
As part of the Sydney Lunar Festival held in February 2019, the City of Sydney hosted two tours of the Lunar Lantern exhibition for people who are blind or have low vision. The audio-described tours were led by professional audio describer Fran Mathey, who also described the City’s New Year’s Eve fireworks. The tours also featured interactive tactile elements of the lanterns, to enable patrons to interact and gain a tactile and audio experience of the lunar lanterns.
We are also committed to providing inclusive play equipment and elements in places such as Pirrama Park and Sydney Park, and the upcoming Cook and Phillip Park.