Council wins awards for access and inclusion
Since 2010, Spinal Injuries Australia has run the Inclusive Community Champions Awards, to acknowledge inclusive communities throughout Queensland. Brisbane City Council was acknowledged at these awards in 2014 and again in 2015. The awards recognise Council's work in making Brisbane a more inclusive and accessible city for people with a disability, through implementation of its Brisbane Access and Inclusion Plan 2012-2017.
State finalist winner
Council was announced as a State Finalist Award Winner at the 2015 Inclusive Community Champion Awards, for the Braille Trail Awareness Campaign.
Councillor Krista Adams, Chairman of the Brisbane Lifestyle Committee, accepted the award from Governor of Queensland, His Excellency Paul de Jersey AC, at a ceremony at Government House to mark Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week, on 13 November 2015.
Regional award winners
In a ceremony at City Hall on Wednesday 30 September 2015, Council was presented with four Regional Inclusive Community Champions Awards.
The awards went to four different Council units and all projects had part or full funding support via Council's Access and Inclusion Plan Implementation budget 2014-15.
The nominated projects were:
- disABILITY at Work employment program (High Commendation - Excellence in Accessibility).
- Bellbowrie Pool Accessible Aquatic Playground (High Commendation - Excellence in Tourism, Entertainment or Recreation).
- Mount Ommaney Library (Outstanding Public Facility or Program Award).
- Braille Trail Awareness Campaign (Excellence in Education and Awareness Raising Award).
The disABILITY at Work program was designed to remove barriers to employment for people with disability, and help make Council itself a more 'disability confident' organisation. Seventeen participants, with a range of disabilities - developmental, physical , mobility, mental health, vision, hearing and learning related - took up temporary employment with Council for 16 weeks in 2014-15.
The project provided them with support to adjust to the workplace and to develop skills that would help them find further employment. Fifteen of the 17 participants completed the project and, of these, eight went on directly to further employment, three continued with tertiary study and four are actively seeking work.
At the Bellbowrie Pool Accessible Aquatic Playground, the zero-depth pool allows children using mobility devices and their carers to enter easily, while overhead waterfalls and interactive elements allow safe interaction with water for children of all ages and abilities.
A refurbishment of Mount Ommaney Library included many accessibility-improving features:
- automatic doors at all internal and external entrances
- upgraded toilets for people with disabilities
- wheelchair-accessible computer desks, WIFI benches, and shelving built to national accessibility standards
- a meeting room with universal access features and hearing loop
- a new book returns system enabling easy access for all ages and abilities
- accessibility upgrades to kitchenette facilities.
From August to October 2014, Council ran the Braille Trail Awareness Campaign to raise public awareness about the Queen Street braille trail, which runs 1.6 kilometres through Brisbane’s CBD, from Reddacliffe Place to Anzac Square.
The campaign encouraged the public to keep the trail clear for people with vision impairment, who use it to navigate through the city centre. The campaign involved adhesive signs placed along the trail, advertising posters at CBD bus stops and in Queen Street Mall, and a social media campaign, which elicited a massive response on Facebook, Twitter and Council's website.
In October 2014, Council received six awards as part of the Inclusive Community Champions Awards (ICCA) for the Brisbane region:
- Best Sporting Facility (for Centenary Pool)
- Best Government Department or Agency (for our Toward an Accessible and Inclusive Brisbane video and the CityCat Fleet)
- Best Recreation/Leisure/Entertainment Venue or Precinct (for the All Abilities Playgrounds at Whites Hill Reserve, Camp Hill and the City Botanic Gardens; and for Coopers Plains Library and Grange Library)
The Toward an Accessible and Inclusive Brisbane video went on to receive a State Finalist Award.
For more information about the awards, visit the Spinal Injuries Australia website.