Bass Coast,
04
March
2016
|
23:19
Australia/Melbourne

Be accessible for all with disability funding

Whether it be hearing systems, changing facilities, ramps and handrails or equipment upgrades, Bass Coast businesses and community organisations have been improving access for people with disabilities with the assistance of a $500 grant.

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 29 April 2016.

The funding is provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, Community Building Program of RuralAccess and supported by Council. Priority will be given to projects that will have an ongoing impact in increasing the number of people with a disability accessing businesses or organisations.

“The purpose of this funding is to get businesses and community organisations making modifications and changes to improve inclusiveness and accessibility for people whether they be customers, visitors, members or employees,” Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Jordan Crugnale, said.

The $500 funds can be spent on a variety of projects which aim to increase the number of people with disability accessing or being included in the business or organisation.

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
  • Newhaven Yacht Squadron – installation of an adult change table and associated equipment for people with physical disabilities
  • 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

“All of these projects highlight how even the smallest of improvements can make a wonderful difference to how people move in and around and interact with your organisation,” Cr Crugnale 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, prior to 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.

More information is available online at www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/accessfunding, by contacting 1300 BCOAST (226 278) or (03) 5671 2211, or emailing ruralaccess@basscoast.vic.gov.au. For people with communication difficulties, please contact the National Relay Service on 13 35 77 or visit www.relayservice.gov.au.