Accessibility grants grow bigger
Accessibility grants in Bass Coast have doubled this year, with businesses and community groups invited to apply for funding of up to $1,000 per project.
Whether it be hearing systems, pathways, equipment upgrades, ramps or handrails, local businesses and community organisations have been improving access for people with disabilities with the assistance of funding since 2012.
Bass Coast Shire Council is looking for applications from local businesses and community organisations for the upcoming funding round from the Building Disability Inclusive Businesses and Community Organisations, which is open until 28 July 2017.
The funding is provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, Community Building Program of RuralAccess and supported by Council.
The grant money can be spent on a variety of projects that aim to increase the number of people with disability accessing or being included in the business or organisation and priority will be given to such projects.
“This funding can enable businesses and community organisations to be inclusive and accessible to everyone, including people with a disability, whether they be customers, visitors, members or employees,” said Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Pamela Rothfield.
Projects aren’t limited to improving access via ramps; for example, past recipients include:
Wildlife Coast Cruises – installation of a hearing system for visitors with low hearing/hearing aids
The Fat Seagull – installation of a handrail/banister to their staircase leading up to the first floor function area
Rusty Waters Brewery Restaurant and Bar – sealed an existing pathway to their accessible entry with non-slip concrete
Surf Beach Community Park Committee – completion of pathway to connect parking area with park shelter
South Gippsland Bass Coast Swim – purchase of swimming equipment for people with disability for use at the Bass Coast Aquatic and Leisure Centre
Wonthaggi Bowls Club – purchase of two mobile step units to improve access to and from the bowling green
“The wide variety of projects we’ve seen funded in previous years highlight how small improvements make a big difference when it comes to people with a disability accessing your services, buildings and facilities,” Cr Rothfield said.
Other opportunities could include development of large print menus, disability awareness training for staff, a communication access assessment (communicating with people with complex communication needs) or a disability access appraisal of your building.
An in-kind or dollar contribution from your own business or organisation is encouraged, but not essential.
All project proposals need to be discussed with Council’s Community Facilitator – RuralAccess, Kathryn Pryor, before completing an application for funding to ensure your project will meet the relevant legislation for disability access and inclusion, or be provided by a recognised training professional.
For people with communication difficulties, please contact Kathryn via the National Relay Service on 13 36 77 or visit www.relayservice.gov.au.