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Getting Equal Access for Everyone

Getting Equal Access for Everyone

Access to every day amenities like buildings, footpaths and public transport will be discussed at the re ‘Access for All – Dunedin’ forum on Tuesday, September 22.

The event (re-scheduled due to snow in June) aims to bring together disabled people, community members and key decision makers from the Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council to discuss improving access for all community members within the city.

Although primarily focused on access for disabled people, whose needs are often seen as secondary, the forum is also open to anyone interested in improving the city’s access for all people.

Disabled Persons Assembly (DPA) Kaituitui (Community Networker) Chris Ford says DPA and CCS Disability Action, who have partnered to hold the forum, recognise that access issues often affect older people and parents of young children as well.

“We welcome anyone in the community to come along and join the discussion. We particularly encourage disabled people and their families/whanau, friends, and support networks to come and have their say on access issues. This forum is the chance for Dunedin residents to talk to the people who can really make accessibility improvements happen”.

CCS Disability Action Acting Southern Region Manager Mel Smith said that having accessible buildings, footpaths, roads and buses benefits everyone.

“This includes blind or visually impaired people who want to navigate our streets safely, the wheelchair user or the courier driver with a heavy delivery wanting to go into a public building, right through to a parent who wants to push their child’s stroller easily through a public garden and then take them onto a bus. All of these things are important if Dunedin and New Zealand is to become a more inclusive society where everyone can participate.”

The forum will be held from at the Clarkson Room, Regent Theatre, from 10am-1pm on 22 September 2015. It will begin with morning tea followed by guest speakers who include staff from the Dunedin City Council, Otago Regional Council and the New Zealand Transport Authority. Registrations are being handled by CCS Disability Action until Friday, September 18, via Alana Draffin who is contactable on (03) 479 6881 or email alana.draffin@ccsdisabilityaction.org.nz.

‘Access for All – Dunedin’ is being jointly organised by CCS Disability Action and DPA Dunedin and Districts with support from the Dunedin City Council and funding provided by the Ministry of Social Development’s ‘Think Differently’ Fund.


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