Return to the Brisbane Access and Inclusion page.
Table of contents
- Lord Mayor's introduction
- Executive summary
- Our shared vision for Brisbane
- A profile of people who benefit from better access and inclusion in Brisbane
- Council's history of access and inclusion initiatives
- Reflection on Council's changing approach to access and inclusion
- How this plan was developed
- Implementation, monitoring and reporting
- An innovative local government role
Our customer service and governance programs provide opportunities for all Brisbane residents to:
- Be an active citizen in an inclusive democracy.
- Have a say on the work we do that matters to you.
- Communicate and easily do business with us.
- Understand how local laws, rules and procedures enhance access and inclusion.
- Keep Brisbane clean, recycle waste and breathe clean air.
- Apply for Council jobs and potentially work in a disability confident organisation.
- Know that rates, fees and charges have been well used to purchase facilities, systems and services that are accessible and inclusive.
What you have told us
When we asked for feedback on the draft plan, we learned about seven key community concerns in relation to Council's customer service and governance programs. A response to each concern has been identified in the relevant section of this plan.
Attitudes are a real barrier
Many of the biggest access and inclusion issues in Brisbane in 2011 arise from lack of public awareness and indifferent or discriminatory attitudes. We need to foster a culture of thoughtfulness and an attitude of respect in the wider community. People would love opportunities to share stories of their own personal experiences of access and inclusion in Brisbane as a way of raising awareness among the wider community.
Supporting visionary thinking and action
Brisbane is a reasonably progressive city but there is a lot to learn from other parts of the world about the latest ways to address access and inclusion issues. We need to continually expose ourselves to international examples of innovation and good practice. Council's long-term community plan, Our Shared Vision: Living in Brisbane 2026, could have a stronger enough focus on universal access and inclusion.
Council's written documents can be too technical and bureaucratic
There has been a noticeable improvement in recent years but many people still find that Council documents use long sentences and jargon they find hard to understand.
Mobile web devices are opening up new possibilities
Web-enabled mobile devices (including smart phones and tablets) are changing the ways people interact with their environment and communicate with others.
People need patient and understanding customer service
Some people with disabilities have had negative experiences of lack of awareness, understanding and sensitivity in interactions with Council staff. They sometimes feel stigmatised or perceived as being “too hard”. People with speech difficulties or complex communication needs say it is difficult to get someone to listen patiently and put in the time to understand them enough to actually resolve their issue. Many prefer to conduct business with Council via the telephone or website, but have experienced difficulties in communicating their concerns over the telephone and find some online forms and systems inaccessible. It is frustrating when there is a lack of follow-up and they have to keep chasing a response.
There are new ways of meeting complex communication needs
Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) systems are being increasingly used in schools, speech therapy, support groups and families. They provide new opportunities for people with complex communication needs to interact with others and their environment, especially using smart phones and tablets in interactions with the broader community. There are interesting possibilities for a wide variety of public settings including using the Wi-Fi that Council is installing in parks, libraries and public spaces.
Disability parking bays are often full and misused
People who need them often find disability parking bays full when they get to their destination, particularly at suburban shopping centres and near health facilities. There is a strong perception that the bays are being misused and there are sometimes heated altercations with people who are not entitled to use them.