Nothing About Us Without Us
State authorities have reported how they draw upon the lived experience of people living with disability in a range of ways. Some of these include:
Multiple local Councils have Committees dedicated to improving disability access and inclusion that are either partially or entirely comprised of people with lived experience. For example, Campbelltown City Council’s Disability Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee brings together community representatives with lived experience of disability, representatives from disability organisations, elected officials and the Mayor. In 2021/22, the Committee provided important feedback on a number of Council’s planned building improvements and redevelopments.
Consulting in urban planning
The City of Victor Harbor has a similar lived experience Committee that contributes to planning decisions. They ensure all planning and design considerations are in consultation with dedicated lived experience focus groups. This has included people with mobility and sight considerations accompanying the infrastructure team in navigating Victor Harbor’s city centre. The feedback provided has then contributed directly to the Council’s redevelopment plans to ensure best practice in making the city centre more accessible.
Co-design and consultation also play an important role when developing documents and policies. The Electoral Commission of SA embarked on a co-design process with people with lived experience of disability to ensure resources for the 2022 elections were more accessible. The South Australian Housing Authority also developed an Easy English Guide to ensure tenants in public housing were more aware of their rights and obligations. This guide was developed by a specialist third-party provider that hosted focus groups and then further refined the guide through engagement with people with lived experience of disability to ensure it met their needs.
Utilising the lived experience of staff
The Department for Environment and Water’s (DEW) Diverse Abilities working group comprises employees with lived experience of disability. They provide feedback on issues experienced in the workplace and offer valuable insights to decision making within the department. DEW also employs people with lived experience of disability in key roles such as the Coordinator of their Access for All project, who is responsible for helping to improve disability access in national parks.
- Inclusive communities for all
- Leadership and collaboration
- Accessible communities
- Learning and Employment
DHS will continue to embed the vision of Inclusive SA and continue to lead the implementation by strengthening State authorities’ understanding of priority groups.
The four priority groups as identified in the Act, and below, will be the foundation for all Inclusive SA and DAIP actions in future iterations.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability have a right to respect and acknowledgment as the first peoples of Australia and for their unique history, culture and kinship relationships and connection to their traditional land and waters. Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disability face multiple disadvantages.
People from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
Cultural, language, and other differences create barriers to providing supports and services to people with disability from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
Many women with disability face multiple disadvantages and on average, experience higher rates of abuse and exploitation than women without disability.
Children with disability have the right to a full life in conditions that ensure the child’s dignity, promote self-reliance, and facilitate the child’s active and full participation in family, cultural, and social life.
Children with disability are more vulnerable to risk of abuse or exploitation.
The developmental needs of children with disability must be taken into account, with particular focus on critical periods in their childhood and adolescence.