The City of Parramatta is close to finalising its new plan to make Parramatta more welcoming, inclusive and accessible for everyone – including people with a disability, families and older people.
Council is seeking feedback on its draft Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2022-2026, which aims to promote positive community attitudes and behaviours, create liveable communities, and support access to employment and services.
City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Donna Davis said the four-year plan has been developed alongside the community to make sure Parramatta continues to be inclusive and liveable.
“Our vision is for a welcoming city that allows our diverse communities to do the things they want – whether it’s exercising in a local park, visiting the shops or taking a trip to the theatre,” Cr Davis said.
“We are committed to inclusion and rights for everyone, regardless of their ability. An accessible city removes physical and social barriers, creating opportunities for the entire community.
“We can make a building more accessible by removing its physical barriers, but social barriers are harder to measure. We’ve talked to people who deal with these challenges daily and I’m proud of the positive feedback we’ve received so far.”
Inclusive communication and programming are a big part of Riverside Theatres’ efforts to make the theatre an experience that people of all abilities can enjoy with accessible shows, workshops and experiences all on offer at the Parramatta institution.
“Theatre is a wonderful space where communities can come together – and Riverside has always been committed to making it possible for everyone to enjoy a show, both on and off the stage,” Director of Riverside Theatres Craig McMaster said.
“We see first-hand the positive inclusion created when our team use Auslan to greet a hearing-impaired theatre-goer, or wish them a good evening. We offer pre-show prop tours for people who are visually impaired so they can feel the props ahead of the show to help them understand what is happening during the performance.
“We work with our producers and presenters to have relaxed performances for neuro-diverse patrons. These performances are sensory-friendly with less bright lights and loud noises. Our audiences applaud these positive initiatives and our ongoing commitment to making the theatre accessible and enjoyable for people of all abilities.”
Since the launch of the 2017 inclusion plan, the City of Parramatta has completed over 90 per cent of the actions, including accessible upgrades to public spaces, such as Parramatta’s first all-abilities playground at Ollie Webb Reserve and new ‘smart’ digital kiosks to help visually impaired wayfinding.
Last year, Council approved works worth nearly $1 million over the next two years to improve accessibility at community halls across the City.
The community is now being encouraged to have a say on Council’s draft Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2022-2026, which is on public exhibition until 21 June.
More information available on City of Parramatta's Disability Inclusion Action Plan page.