Advocating for Improved Accessibility
Over the years, it has become glaring more than ever that local governments cannot get the work done all alone. Instead, they need all members of the community well aware of the needs and peculiarities of individuals with a disability. In turn, it becomes the responsibility of local governments to advocate for improved awareness, consideration, and understanding of people with disability.
Similarly, local governments must advocate across all levels. This will involve making a case for inclusion and improved access across other levels of government, that is state and federal. Even more, they must establish the necessity for inclusion with local businesses and developers.
So far, various local governments have taken the responsibility of advocating both nongovernmental organisations and governmental organisations as representatives of their community. This advocacy has also taken various forms, especially when it comes to local businesses, state governments, and developers. For instance, partnering with state governments to create resources to improve and increases accessibility through infrastructural development.
There is no doubt that advocacy is a vital tool as local governments seek to improve the social and economic access of people with disability. This advocacy is also vital as local governments collaborate with other local governments either at a regional or sub-regional basis. This also extends to collaboration under new partnerships or existing arrangements.
So far, local governments continue to advocate outside and within their sector through the following means.
Advocacy in Planning and Development
One significant area where local governments advocacy has been prominent is in the area of planning and development. In recent years, there have been increased plans for infrastructural development that improves accessibility for individuals with a disability. This cut across areas such as public transport, retail and residential centre development and redevelopment in some cases. These options have become viable techniques and opportunities for local governments to increase economic and social inclusion through access improvements.
There is no doubt that the Building Code of Australia and Disability Discrimination Act Standards provide some form of protection for people with disability. However, the reality is that it is far from enough. There is a need for a higher level of inclusion when it comes to infrastructural access.
This is where the local governments come in. They advocate for a higher standard through the local development planning and development process. In turn, this ensures that people with disability can enjoy improved and greater accessibility in private and public infrastructure’s design. This also ensures great accessibility in public transport.
Local government apply a specific strategy to different stakeholders. From formal proposals to lobbying, the goal remains increased accessibility.
Increased Local Business Capacity
There is no doubt that local business engagement, especially concerning issues of accessibility is vital if there is to be an improvement in the peculiarities of people with disability. In turn, local governments advocate to various businesses prompting them to understand the needs of individuals with disability better. This way, they can respond effectively and create an inclusive environment.