Maitland City Council is collaborating with Community Disability Alliance Hunter (CDAH) to foster greater inclusivity and engagement within the community.
This partnership will pave the way for developing a comprehensive Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) that reflects the diverse needs and experiences of individuals living with disabilities in the region.
Mayor Phillip Penfold explained the partnership between Maitland City Council and the Community Disability Alliance Hunter.
“We’ve partnered with CDAH to engage proactively with community members with lived experience of disability to enhance our community’s overall wellbeing and liveability,” Phillip said.
“CDAH, as a peer support organisation run for and by people with disability, are very well suited to connect with people with lived experience of disability in Maitland and help us to create a draft DIAP based on valuable feedback.”
CDAH Executive Director, Andrew Vodic said that inclusion is a shared journey that requires active engagement. We’re looking forward to working with people in Maitland who have lived experience of disability and working to improve their experience in the community.
“CDAH will facilitate a series of engagement initiatives with a broad range of stakeholders, including Disability Service Providers, individuals with disabilities, youth representatives, community and peer groups, and many others through one-on-one interviews, face-to-face and online group workshops,” Andrew said.
“Engagement will be further supported by community pop-ups and an online survey, all structured to gain valuable insights into the challenges and barriers faced by those seeking access to services, facilities, and active participation in community life.
“We’re here to identify and understand those barriers, provide a collective voice, and help propose meaningful and impactful solutions through a new DIAP so everyone has access to services, and meaningful employment and can feel connected to the community.”
Coordinator of Community and Recreation Planning, Cordelia Hough said the partnership with CDAH underscores the organisation’s dedication to creating a community that promotes equal opportunities and respects the diverse perspectives of individuals with disabilities, including the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, the culturally and linguistically diverse, and LGBTQI+ people with a disability.
“By taking a collaborative approach, we’ll ensure we hear the voices of those living with disabilities and facing exclusionary practices within our region, acknowledge them, and actively integrate feedback into our action plan,” Cordelia said.
Key insights and learnings from the engagement initiatives will serve as the foundation for creating a new draft DIAP which will be made available for public feedback and presented to Council for endorsement.