Download: State Government Access Guidelines for Information, Services and Facilities
State Government Access Guidelines for Information, Services and Facilities
These guidelines are to be used by State Government agencies to assist them to fulfil their social and legislative responsibilities by ensuring that their services can be accessed by all of their customers, including people with disability. The guidelines provide information on how to make services accessible.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers 2012, showed that 382,300 Western Australians (17.4 per cent) reported having a disability.
While the onset of disability may occur at any age, the likelihood of having a disability increases as people get older. For example, almost five per cent of the population under five years has a disability compared to almost 50 per cent of Western Australians over 60 years of age. The Disability Services Commission estimates that the total number of people with disability will increase by 50 per cent by the year 2026, largely as a result of the ageing population.
People with disability consistently report that they do not have the same opportunities as others to participate in community life. They face barriers such as being unable to hear what is said, read small print, climb stairs or understand signs.
Most barriers that people with disability experience in relation to information, services and facilities can be avoided through informed planning and management, frequently at no or little additional cost. Good access also benefits other members of the community, including parents with prams, seniors and those with a temporary disability through accident or illness.
State and Commonwealth legislation recognises that people with disability should have the same opportunities as others to join in all aspects of community life, including access to premises. The State Disability Services Act (1993) (DSA) and the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act (1992) (DDA) are particularly relevant.
The DSA requires State Government agencies and local governments to have a Disability Access and Inclusion Plan and to report on the implementation of the plan's access initiatives to the Disability Services Commission and in their annual report.
The DDA aims to provide uniform protection against discrimination for all people with disability in Australia. The Act requires that people with disability are able to access any building that the public is entitled to enter and use, and have access to any services and facilities provided in those buildings. The Act applies to all levels of government and the private sector and is complaint-driven.
A working party consisting of representation from the Disability Services Commission, the Department of the Premier and Cabinet and several non-government organisations has developed the State Government Access Guidelines for Information, Services and Facilities. The guidelines, which have been developed in consultation with all departments, identify best practice for government departments in ensuring their information, services and facilities are accessible to people with disability.
State Government Access Guidelines for Information Services and Facilities are available from the Disability Services Commission website, http://www.disability.wa.gov.au.
Dr Geoff Gallop MLA
For enquiries contact:
Michael Carroll 9426 9776
Manager, Planning and Information Analysis
Disability Services Commission
Other relevant Circular/s:
Circular/s replaced by this Circular:
19/01, 18/99, 39/94