Disability Strategy

Reference: S09-001
Status: Approved by the Council on 4 August 2009

Everyone (at some point in their lives) will experience a reduction in either their senses, mobility or mental capacity - whether temporarily e.g. through injury or illness or permanently e.g. through old age or resulting from an accident.  

Disability is therefore an important issue that can affect the quality of life of many people in our district. Local authorities are responsible for maintaining, managing and developing key public assets (such as roads, parks and halls) and delivering services (building and resource consents, events, community development) that enhance the quality of life of the communities they are responsible for.  

Local authorities therefore are able to play a major part in reducing the level of disability in its communities.  This strategy sets out how the Council will contribute towards making New Plymouth District more inclusive and accessible.

You can either read the full document online as HTML (below), listen to a summary (6MB mp3) or watch a sign-language video of the summary. A large print version of the summary is also available, please contact us for a copy.

Disability Strategy - One Inclusive Level of Service for All

Introduction

According to the 2006 census, 17 percent of New Zealanders have a disability.  The number of people who experience disability in society is much higher than the recorded 17 percent statistic - if people experiencing temporary disability (eg from injuries or illness) and people who experience disability with age are included as well.  This shows that all of us are likely to experience disability at some point in our lives. 

In terms of this strategy, disability has the following definition: 

"Disability is the outcome of the interaction between a person with impairment and the environment and attitudinal barriers he/she may face.  Individuals have impairments; they may be physical, sensory, neurological, psychiatric, intellectual or other impairments."
Source: NZ Disability Strategy 2001

Local authorities are responsible for maintaining, managing and developing key public assets (such as roads, parks and halls) and delivering services (building and resource consents, events, community development) that enhance the quality of life of the communities they are responsible for.  Local authorities therefore are able to play a major part in reducing the level of disability in its communities. 

This strategy focuses on how the New Plymouth District Council (NPDC or the Council) can directly contribute towards reducing disability in its district.

Background

Central government has identified the importance of addressing disability and has taken action in recent years to address this issue. 

United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

New Zealand signed the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (the Convention) on 30 March 2007, and ratified it on 26 September 2008.  This ratification followed the passing of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill and the Human Rights Amendment Bill (No.2).

The Convention recognises that people with impairments often face discrimination because of their disability and from not being recognised in Government policy and services.

The Convention describes measures and actions (such as legislation and policy) that governments should undertake to ensure that disabled people are able to enjoy rights and opportunities on an equal basis with others.  It does not provide any more rights than those enjoyed by non-disabled people.  However, sometimes extra or different things are needed to enable disabled people to reach the same level of enjoyment, and have an opportunity to live a good life.

The Convention will:

  • Provide greater impetus and support for the implementation of the NZ Disability Strategy. The Convention provides practical guidance on the implementation of the rights of disabled people, both immediately in the text and over time through the regular periodic reporting process to the United Nations; and
  • Assist government agencies to analyse and improve, where necessary, the current mechanisms for promotion and monitoring of policy that impact on disabled people. It will also help to ensure that mainstream services are inclusive of disabled people and delivered in non-discriminatory ways.

National Framework

NZ Disability Strategy
In 2001, the Minister for Disability Issues released The New Zealand Disability Strategy (NZDS) which sets out key actions for removing the barriers facing disabled people.  The NZDS vision is for an inclusive New Zealand where disabled people can say they live in:

“A society that values our lives and continually enhances our full participation.”

Government departments are required to develop annual work plans that show how they will give effect to that strategy.  Progress reports are published annually to enable transparent monitoring against the NZDS. 

The NZDS also encourages local authorities and other organisations to incorporate the strategy into their work programmes. 

The NZDS has seen some significant changes in the way that government departments and agencies operate including:

  • The requirement for all papers that are submitted to the Cabinet Social Development Committee, and other Cabinet committees as appropriate to include a disability perspective.  The decision means that government agencies must explicitly consider what impact, if any, their proposals will have on disabled people and their families before putting a paper to Cabinet;
  • Government agencies and departments are making a conscious effort to collect data on disability in their areas; and
  • Websites are being redeveloped to make them more accessible.

Building Act 2004
There are a number of key pieces of legislation that promote an inclusive NZ including the Local Government Act 2002, Human Rights Act 1993 and Health and Disability Act 2000.  The Act that is most visible at a local level is the Building Act 2004.

Section 118 of the Building Act 2004 makes specific provision for access and facilities for persons with disabilities to and within buildings.  Specifically section 118 states that:

  • If provision is being made for the construction or alteration of any building to which members of the public are to be admitted, whether for free or on payment of a charge, reasonable and adequate provision by way of access, parking provisions, and sanitary facilities must be made for persons with disabilities who may be expected to—

(a) visit or work in that building; and
(b) carry out normal activities and processes in that building.

Section 119 of the act also refers to the need to identify that a building has complied with section 118 by displaying a sign or notice that indicates that the provision has been made.  The sign must be visible from the outside of the building and meet international access symbol provisions. 

In addition to the Building Act, there are national standards that relate specifically to accessibility of buildings.  This standard (Design for Access and Mobility – Buildings and Associated Facilities) is referred to specifically within the Building Act and is used as a guide by the building sector.

Disability in New Plymouth District

There is no specific data on disability at a district level.  Statistics New Zealand collects disability data at a national level as part of the census. 

Assuming that the New Plymouth district demographics are not significantly different from national levels, there are approximately 11,700 disabled people in the district (or 17 percent of the district’s population).  They are likely to be aged 65 or over, living in households as opposed to a residential facility and either European or Maori.  The two most common types of disability experienced by children are learning disabilities (such as dyslexia or attention deficit disorder) or chronic condition or health problem eg severe asthma, diabetes and other chronic conditions.  Adults are more likely to experience physical and sensory (hearing and/or seeing) disabilities.  Injuries and natural ageing were the most common causes of disability for adults.

According to a research paper commissioned by the Ministry of Social Development titled “Disability and work participation in New Zealand: Outcomes relating to paid employment and benefit receipt” in 2005, people with disabilities are less likely to be in full time employment.  The paper showed that the likelihood of employment diminished sharply with the severity of disability for all types of disabilities except hearing.  The study showed a consistent pattern, with disability resulting in an increased likelihood of benefit receipt.

Despite the lack of specific data on disability at a district level, indications of the level of disability experienced in the district can be garnered through a variety of other sources.  This includes government benefits, aging and health statistics.

ACC Benefits

In the year ended 30 June 2008, 4,139 people in the district received benefits from the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), this is the highest level in nine years.  This represents over 8 percent of the district’s population (based on 2006 census figures).

Graph showing the number of active paid claims in the New Plymouth district

People on these benefits are likely to share similar disability issues facing those with permanent impairments such as limited mobility and reduced sensory awareness.

Work and Income Benefits

Work and Income New Zealand offer a number of benefits (sickness, invalid, disability allowance) to people who are unable to work due to either permanent or temporary impairments.  This provides a small indication of the number of disabled people who are not in paid employment in our district.  This excludes those who do not wish to receive this financial support.

A total of 5,905 people in the New Plymouth district (or nine percent of 2006’s usually resident population) received an invalid’s benefit, sickness benefit or disability allowance. 

Number of people receiving a benefit 

 

Source: Work and Income

The sickness benefit is available to people who are temporarily off work or who are working less than usual due to sickness, injury, pregnancy or disability.  The invalid’s benefit is to help meet the living costs of applicants who are unable to work due to permanent sickness, injury or disability.

Age profile of people receiving a benefit

Source: Work and Income

The above graph shows all age groups are affected by conditions that can result in disability (temporary or permanent).  Older people are more likely to receive an invalid’s benefit indicating that the prevalence of permanent disability increases with age.

Ageing population

According to the 2006 census, over 15 percent of the district’s population are aged 65 or older.  As people age, they are more likely to experience disability and suffer from chronic illness than any other age group.  As people get older they often need more assistance or support to continue living independently.  This is supported by the 2006 census data where 41 percent of people aged 65 or older identified having a disability.  The proportion of the population over 65 years is expected to increase to 19 percent of the total population by 2019. 

Obesity

The 2006/07 New Zealand Health Survey found that one in four New Zealand adults was obese (26.5 percent).  Research undertaken by the Ministry of Health during the development of its Healthy Eating Healthy Action Strategy (HEHA) highlighted the health risks linked with obesity.  The HEHA research paper (2003) showed that the likelihood of developing type two diabetes rises steeply with increasing body fatness. Approximately 85 percent of people with diabetes can be classified as type two; of these, 90 percent are obese.  People with type two diabetes are at high risk of a range of disabling conditions, including heart disease, hypertension, amputation, stroke, renal failure and blindness.

Parents with young children

Pregnant mothers often have mobility issues due to their larger size, swollen feet and are more easily tired.  Parents with young children have similar mobility issues as people in wheel chairs and mobility scooters.  Navigating with a single or double pram on footpaths, doorways and supermarket aisles or just having enough room to open the car door wide enough to get prams and children out of the car can be challenging.  Given that approximately 20 percent of the district’s population in 2006 were females aged between 15 and 44 years, there is a large proportion of the population that are able to have children.

What the brief analysis demonstrates is that at some point in time we will all experience a reduction in our senses, mobility or mental capacity.  The issue of disability is therefore a large one that affects us all.  On reflection, every part of our community will be affected either directly or indirectly by the issue of disability and we must address this as a matter of high importance if we are to be an inclusive society.

New Plymouth District Council

NPDC is charged under the Local Government Act 2002 to promote the social, economic, environmental and cultural well being of its communities current and future.  The Council endeavours to deliver its services in a manner that promotes inclusiveness. 

NPDC is also required under the Local Government Act 2002 to be a “good employer” which means that it must ensure the fair and proper treatment of employees in all aspects of their employment including good and safe working conditions; an equal employment opportunities programme; and recognition of the employment requirements of persons with disabilities

The following paragraphs provide a summary of the actions that the Council is currently undertaking to be inclusive.

Strategic Actions

The actions in this category are focused on raising the awareness of staff and the community.  These include:

  • Disability Issues Working Party.
  • Barrier Free Policy.
  • Memorandum of Understanding with Taranaki Disabilities Information Trust to consult on community buildings.
  • Disability issues as a key portfolio within the Community Development Team.
  • The Council is a member of the Equal Employment Opportunities Trust's (EEO) Employers Group and actively promotes its membership in job advertisements.
  • The Council’s website is guided by the standards developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).  The Council website meets priority one and are working towards meeting priority two standards.
  • The Council website is approved for accessibility by the Foundation for the Blind and was a finalist in the 2007 Best Plain English Website competition.
  • Give effect to legislative requirements eg the Building Act 2004, Local Government Act 2002 and Resource Management Act 1991.

Council Services

This category of actions cover the direct interaction between Council staff, its customers and the community.  This category of actions is about how the Council is making its services more accessible to customers.  The following are examples of how the Council is making its services more inclusive.

  • All staff at the Govett Brewster Art Gallery (GBAG) and building inspectors are trained in disability awareness and attend regular refresher courses. 
  • The Council’s libraries provide talking books, large text books and large signs.
  • Regulatory staff enforce mobility parking.
  • Community events such as the Festival of Lights and Waitangi Day are inclusive with accessible venues, limited mobility evenings and children’s activities that cater for all abilities.
  • Council communications, marketing and consultations are delivered using a variety of mediums eg print, radio, forums and websites.
  • The Govett Brewster Art Gallery and Puke Ariki work with the community to deliver exhibitions and programmes that raise the awareness of the community and are inclusive eg sign language, plain language and touch tours at the Gallery and Our Stories exhibition at the museum.
  • All staff participate in the ACC workplace DPI (discomfort/pain/injury) programme.  This programme seeks to ensure that staff are set up properly at their workstations (and have the appropriate equipment) to do their jobs. 
  • The community development team organises forums to discuss disability issues and actively supports community and social service groups that work with disabled people.
  • Production of maps that identify accessible car parks and accessible toilets.
  • The guided walks programme includes walks which are suitable for those with limited mobility. 
  • Text notification options are offered as part of the recruitment process.
  • The Council uses social networking site “Facebook” to provide information about the Council in a variety of forms (audio, visual, written).

Infrastructure and physical environments

This category of actions is about how the Council is currently trying to make its physical assets more accessible.

  • The majority of the Council’s buildings have self opening doors, low counters, large print signage and ramps and other modifications that make them accessible to people with limited mobility.
  • The coastal walkway has been built with accessibility in mind and includes extra wide pathways and drinking fountains that are at a suitable height for mobility scooter users.
  • Footpath widths are 1.4m (where possible) to allow mobility scooters and pedestrians to pass.
  • Play equipment for lesser abled children at Kawaroa park and at Brooklands Zoo playground.
  • Reactive maintenance programme where customers can report issues relating to Council owned facilities or services and they are then referred to the appropriate person within the Council to address.
  • Barrier free audits have been undertaken on a number of the Council’s parks, halls and buildings.

Current Gaps in Service Provision

Despite the progress made by the Council to deliver its services and build its assets in a more accessible way.  The following key gaps have been identified.

Disability Awareness across the Organisation
Disability awareness training is not currently mandatory for all staff and there are differing levels of training for staff on disability awareness.  This spans from no requirement to attend specific disability awareness training e.g. back office staff to provision of comprehensive training related to the job e.g. building inspectors. 

Accessibility Audit of Council Facilities
The Council has reviewed and had surveyed a number of its buildings and assets for accessibility over the past 10 years (e.g Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, toilets, halls, parks, some footpaths and crossings) with various recommendations made and carried out by NPDC where appropriate.  We understand that a number of the assets would have an average to good chance of gaining full barrier free accessibility certification, however only a full audit will provide that information.

Strategic Overview of Disability Issues
Currently disability issues are being addressed to some extent at an operational level but are less evident at a strategic level.  Given the increasing age of our population, it would be prudent to encourage a disability perspective for planning and strategic purposes.  This includes the design of community assets and strategies on how those assets are utilised. 

At an operational level there are prompts (such as the reactive maintenance programme) to address immediate disability issues subject to budget restraints and future life of the assets i.e. a recent toilet review has indicated that a number of the older toilets in the district will be replaced over time, and those earmarked for demolition would be lower priority for accessibility audit purposes.  One option could be more of a focus on incorporating a disability perspective into the planning process to limit the risk of disability issues in the future. 

Current corporate level decision making/planning/strategic processes revolve around the Local Government Act 2002.  These set requirements to consult and consider the needs of the community, the NZDS has identified the need (in some cases) to be more proactive in ensuring that the views and needs of the disabled are heard.  Central government have taken a leadership role in this area and have made it mandatory for cabinet papers to include a disability perspective.

Council currently relies on an informal common sense approach to identifying projects that require a disability perspective.  Formalising the requirement for a disability perspective to be incorporated at an early stage of project development would provide consistency and improve the final outcome.

Disability Awareness in the Community
The Council could more actively promote greater disability awareness through its communications with the community.  This includes the use of more images of disabled people in Council documents and promoting the different ways in which the Council has made its documents and communications more accessible.

Barriers to inclusion

Consultation undertaken as part of the development of the NZDS identified attitudes as the major barrier facing people in everyday life.  The NZDS talks about attitudes and ignorance making their presence felt as stigma, prejudice and discrimination.  Research commissioned by CCS Disability Action  in 2003 provides further support about attitudes and perceptions being the main barrier to participation.  In addition, the research highlights physical barriers and public transport as other major inhibitors. 

The Disabled Persons Assembly and the Taranaki Disability Information Centre organised a forum in March 2009 to discuss the region’s progress against the NZDS.  Around 48 people attended this forum including people with disabilities, organisations that provide support to disabled persons and government agencies.  The general consensus from the forum was that there had been some progress made however the main barriers to participation were still public transport, physical barriers and people’s lack of awareness and attitudes about disability.

Disabled people want to have the same opportunities as able bodied people to lead a full and satisfying life.

Strategic fit

The community has told the Council (through the community outcomes process) that it wants a strong, vibrant and inclusive community.  This was further confirmed through other consultations and surveys including the recent pre community plan “Shaping our Future” consultation in 2008.  This strategy provides strong support for the community’s vision for the future and the Council’s obligations under the Local Government Act 2002.

The Disability Strategy specifically targets the Together Community Outcome which is about a district that is caring, inclusive and works together and where people have a strong, distinctive sense of identity.  The Disability Strategy also contributes to the connected, prosperous, secure and healthy, skilled and vibrant community outcomes.

The Council’s decision to develop a strategy aimed directly at addressing the issues facing disabled people shows that the Council considers this to be an important issue.

Vision and goals

This strategy is working towards a vision of:

“One inclusive level of service for all”

The above vision statement captures the desire of the Council to deliver its services and operate its businesses in a manner that considers and respects the needs of disabled people in the community and within its own organisation.  It recognises that people experiencing disability are strong people with their own views and issues that are no less important than any other member of the community. 

In addition, the vision includes the desire to be seen in the community as a Council that is proud to be a champion and enabler for disabled people.  The vision encompasses the need for people experiencing disabilities to know that the Council values their views and that the Council is making every practical effort to ensure that their views are heard and concerns addressed.  Return to top

The vision is supported by the following three strategic goals.

1. Council services, facilities and assets are accessible to people with a wide range of abilities
This first goal focuses on the tools which Council staff use to engage with the community and/or customers and the assets or facilities that it provides.  This includes the Council’s websites, customer service areas, communications mediums, roads, footpaths, parks, access to events, venues and exhibitions. 

2. Council staff are aware of disability in the community and receive appropriate training
This goal recognises that at the core of Council services and facilities are its people.  Council staff need to be trained and aware of disability issues to enable them to undertake their work in a more inclusive manner.  This extends beyond front line staff to all staff including engineers, planners and administrative staff.  There are differing levels of awareness across the organisation and work is underway to address this issue. This awareness training will be extended to elected members of the Council.

3. Council are active champions of an inclusive society
This last goal recognises that Council plays a large role in encouraging the community to be more inclusive.  The Council builds, maintains and manages a large proportion of the facilities in the district, is one of the largest employers in the district, has a large profile in the community and is visibly more active in its communications with the community.  This goal is about the Council encouraging change in society through active leadership and advocacy on issues facing the disabled community.

The vision and goals focus on how NPDC can directly reduce physical barriers, people’s lack of awareness and attitudes about disability.

The following diagram summarises the linkage between community outcomes, this strategy and the achievement of both.

Disability roadmap

The following table sets out the strategies that will be employed over the short, medium and long term to achieve the Council’s vision for “one level of service for all”.

Strategic Goal Outcome Short Term
1-3 years
Medium Term
4-6 years
Long Term
More than 6 years
Council services, facilities and assets are accessible to people with a wide range of abilities. Council assets and facilities are more accessible.

Information on the level of accessibility of public facilities are readily and easily available for the public and staff.
Audit Council assets and facilities for accessibility and develop responses to issues identified in the audit.

Actions to remedy identified accessibility issues are incorporated into the relevant asset management plans, long term council community plan and annual plan processes.
Remedial work on areas identified in the audit.
More people are encouraged to participate in consultations. Consultation policy and guidance material developed to guide staff on how to consult with the community in a more consistent and inclusive way.

All staff are encouraged to utilise the consultation resources to guide them in their consultations with the public.
Council services, facilities and assets are accessible to people with a wide range of abilities. Council information is accessible to a wider range of people. Council information resources incorporate mobility information (e.g. carparks and toilets) where appropriate.

Public consultations and Council information resources are available on request in a number of different formats including large print and audio.

Best practice on how to produce multi-media communications are developed to guide the production of future documents.

Council website is made more accessible through compliance with W3C (world wide web consortium) standards for accessibility.

Customer mobile text service investigated and incorporated into the long term council community plan process.
Customer mobile text service implemented if approved in the long term council community plan.
Council services, facilities and assets are accessible to people with a wide range of abilities. Future planning incorporates a disability perspective. Council report template incorporates a section on disability considerations. Review of the need to have a disability consideration section in the council report template.
People with all abilities are able to access Govett Brewster Art Gallery (GBAG) and Puke Ariki services. Govett Brewster Art Gallery (GBAG) and Puke Ariki to review its services for accessibility in consultation with the disabled community.
Govett Brewster Art Gallery (GBAG) and Puke Ariki to implement actions identified during consultation with disabled community on how its services can be more inclusive.
The Council delivers on its commitment to have one inclusive level of service for all. Monitoring framework set up for the disability strategy.
Ongoing monitoring of the strategy.
Council staff are aware of disability in the community and receive appropriate training. Staff incorporate a disability perspective within their respective roles. Disability awareness training programme is developed for staff.
Staff receive appropriate disability awareness training.
Skill bank developed and promoted for use within the Council.
Council are active champions of an inclusive society. The disabled community have fair notice of up and coming consultations to enable them to decide which ones to participate in. Utilise existing communications mediums to promote up and coming consultations to the community.
Council are active champions of an inclusive society. The community is more aware of the need to consider people with. Incorporating images of disabled people in the community in Council documents where appropriate.

Facilitate the development of a community owned disability strategy.
Implementation of the community owned disability strategy.
Host life-time design forums.

Achieving Strategic Goal One - Council services, facilities and assets are accessible to all

The actions under this goal are about how the Council can deliver its services and build its assets in a more inclusive way. These actions will help promote an inclusive society through the actions that Council has direct control over at an internal and external level. Through these actions the Council will also be able to encourage change by being a role model for other organisations. This includes community consultations, access to information on Council services and asset design.

Project / Action: 1.1 Understand the level of accessibility of Council facilities and public assets

Undertake a barrier free audit of the Council’s facilities and public assets such as Council service centres, footpaths, parks and walkways.  This will enable the Council to incorporate improvements into its asset management plans and provide information resources on accessibility to the community.  The audit will include recommendations on how to address identified barriers.

Responsibility: Property, Roads, Parks, Venues

Resources required: Staff time, summer student, Budget: Parks - $20k

Project Milestones
Property:

  • Category 1 property-High Public Use ‘  schedule to be all audited by 30 June 2010.
  • Category 2 & 3 property-low public and non-public usage –to be audited by 30 June 2012.

Roads:

  • CBD footpath audit to be completed by 31 March 2010.
  • All other footpaths to be audited by the 30 June 2012.

Parks (including Halls):

  • Parks and halls audited for accessibility by 30 June 2011.

Recreation and Events:

  • Audit all Council run events to identify any accessibility issues that exist by 2010.

Venues:

  • Develop criteria/audit approach with Barrier Free Taranaki by 31 December 2009.
  • TSB Stadium, Yarrow Stadium, TSB Showplace audited by 30 June 2010.

Project / Action: 1.2 Creating an action plan for making Council facilities and public assets barrier free.

The results of the audit will be incorporated into planning documents such as asset management plans, long term council community plans and activity management plans.  This will enable the working party to monitor progress.

Responsibility: Property, Roads, Parks and Halls, Venues

Resources required: Staff time

Project Milestones
Property, Road, Parks, Venues:

  • Action plans presented to the Disability Issues Working Party within three months of the completion of each major audit work stream.

Roads:

  • The identified actions will be incorporated into the renewal budget for footpaths and new footpath work where applicable. 
  • The shortfall will need to be approved by the Council as part of the annual budgeting process.  The actions will need to be prioritised to reflect usage.

Parks:
Action plans incorporated into asset management plans, reserve management  plans, development plans and other key plans and strategies.  

  • The completion of next Asset Management Plan in three years time, and
  • Action plans incorporated into relevant plans when completed.
  • Rolling review over the next six years.

Recreation and Events:

  • Review accessibility levels within existing event planning documents/plans by 30 June 2010.

Project / Action: 1.3 Implementation of the action plan

The implementation of the various action plans will be dependent on the completion of the barrier free audits for each area.

The cost of the actions will be incorporated within the existing asset renewal and maintenance programmes.  Any additional funding requirement will need to be approved by the Council as part of the annual/LTCCP budgeting process.

Responsibility:  Property, Roads, Parks, Venues

Resources required: Staff time, Parks: $20,000 per year from 2010/11 onwards.

Project Milestones: Set out within Action Plans under 1.2 above.

Project / Action: 1.4 Consultation policy and guidance material

Guidance material will be developed to help staff to undertake consultations in a consistent and inclusive manner.
Responsibility: Corporate Policy and Strategy

Resources required: Staff time

Project Milestones: Guidance material completed by 31 December 2009.

Project / Action: 1.5 Council information and publications will be more inclusive

Council information and consultation information will be available in a variety of formats including large font publications, audio CDs for large consultations and via the Council website.  Council community publications will include images of disabled people and information on mobility car parks, toilets, and accessible routes will be added to existing information pamphlets.

Responsibility: Various, owners of consultation, (Strategy and Policy Team) of brochures (Regulatory Team, Parks) and Communications Team. 

Resources required: Staff time

Project Milestones
Communications Team:

  • First HTML version of the LTCCP available by 31 March 2009.
  • Google accessibility map showing car parking, toilets, etc on website available by 31 December 2009.
  • Imagery of disabled people on web/in brochures incorporated by 31 December 2009.
  • Working party to develop best practice for multiple format publishing .e.g large print, audio etc by 30 June 2010.
  • All documents on the Council website to be in HTML by 31 July 2010.
  • Infomaps to include mobility car parks and toilets by 30 June 2010.

Parks:
Will include this action as part of regular rolling review of Parks brochures.  Parks aim to update 1-2 brochures per year.

Customer Services:

  • Council produced map of mobility car parks to incorporate accessible toilets by 30 November 2009

Project / Action: 1.6 Customer mobile text enquiry service

The Council will explore the possibility of offering mobile text services to enable customers to text their inquiry to the Council.  This will provide an additional way for people with hearing difficulties to communicate with the Council.

Responsibility: Customer First Team 

Resources required: Staff time, $TBA 

Project Milestones:

  • Analysis completed by 31 August 2009.
  • Project prioritisation by Customer First Steering Committee completed by 30 September 2009.
  • Identify required budget by 30 September 2009 otherwise put forward as LTCCP project.

Project / Action: 1.7 Council report template to explicitly include a disability perspective

Given that the majority of our community are likely to experience disability on a day to day basis and this is not likely to decrease with the forecast increase in the ageing population.  It is important that future planning includes a disability perspective. 

Adding a specific section to the Council’s report template for disability considerations, similar to tangata whenua considerations currently, would act as a reminder to report writers, management, governance and other stakeholders about the importance of this issue.  It helps to demonstrate that the Council is taking disability issues seriously. 
 
Responsibility: Corporate Policy and Strategy, Secretariat 

Resources required: Staff time 

Project Milestones: A disability perspective section will be added to the report template within one month of the strategy being adopted by the Council

Project / Action: 1.8 Council website is accessible

The Council uses the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards as its guidelines for useability and accessibility of its website and lowering barriers to information for people with disabilities (visual, hearing, physical, and cognitive). 

The NPDC website meets Priority 1 (the minimum standard for government sites) and meets many of the Priority 2 standards (e.g. foreground and background colour combinations provide a sufficient contrast when viewed by someone with colour deficits or when used on a black and white screen).
 
Responsibility: Communications 

Resources required: Staff time 

Project Milestones:

  • Council website will meet priority 2 criteria by 31 July 2009
  • Puke Ariki and Govett-Brewster Art Gallery website redevelopment project briefs will incorporate a disability perspective by 30 June 2009

Project / Action: 1.9 Encourage ongoing participation through regular sign language, plain language and touch tours for disabled visitors

Puke Ariki and the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (GBAG) are the main Council activities that provide exhibitions and learning opportunities for the community.  It is important that their services meet the customers’ demands for accessibility and there are clear and consistent expectations. 

Responsibility: Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (GBAG), Puke Ariki 

Resources required: Staff time 

Project Milestones:

  • Consultation with disabled people during the Our Stories exhibition to understand how to make Puke Ariki services more inclusive completed by 30 September 2009.
  • Govett Brewster Art Gallery (GBAG) consultation with the deaf and blind associations to be completed by 30 November 2009.
  • Puke Ariki and GBAG to share consultation results and prepare its actions by 31 January 2010.

Project / Action: 1.10 Monitoring framework

This strategy includes a set of performance indicators linked to each strategic goal to enable the Disability Issues Working Party to track the progress of the strategy.

This action relates to the set up of the monitoring reports and processes that enable monitoring reports to be produced.
 
Responsibility: Corporate Policy and Strategy,Community Development

Resources required: Staff time 

Project Milestones: Monitoring reports and processes set up within two months of the strategy being adopted by the Council

Monitoring progress

The following table sets out key indicators that will be used to track the progress of the strategy.

Indicator Target 2009/10 Target 2010/11 onwards
Project milestones are achieved. 100% 100%
Percentage of disability groups that are satisfied with the accessibility of Council services (in-house survey). Baseline Satisfaction no less than previous year
Requests for Council information to be made available in either large print or audio formats are provided within 24 hours of the customer’s request for that information. 100% 100%
All Council run or sponsored events are accessible. 100% 100%
Percentage of community consultations where large print and audio CD versions of the summaries are available and consultation documents are available in html format on the Council website. 100% 100%
Percentage of actions identified in the roading audit completed each year. - 10%
Average accessibility rating of the Council’s buildings.
Baseline Year on year improvement until maximum rating is reached
Number of progress reports provided to the Disability Issues Working Party per year. 1 1

 

Achieving strategic goal two – Council staff are aware of disability in the community and receive appropriate training

The actions under this goal are about how the Council can better equip its staff to provide a more inclusive service to its customers. 

Project / Action: 2.1 Disability awareness training

A disability training programme will be developed for inclusion in the customer service training programme.  This training module will meet NZQA unit standards. 

Disability awareness will be incorporated into the induction programme for new staff.  Further specialised training will be organised as required by HR.

Disability awareness will also be incorporated into the Healthy Staff programme in less formal ways e.g. guest speakers, disability awareness activities etc.
 Human Resources

Responsibility: Puke Ariki, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery (GBAG) 

Resources required: Staff time, cost met from within existing training budget 

Project Milestones:

  • Disability awareness module (for inclusion in the customer service training programme) developed by Skills Active NZ that meets NZQA unit standards by 30 June 2010.
  • Work with Taranaki Disability Information Centre to incorporate a disability perspective into the current customer service training programme (in lieu of the NZQA unit) by 31 December 2009.
  • Incorporate module by 30 June 2010; Govett Brewster Art Gallery (GBAG), Puke Ariki front of house staff (iSite, Vivid, Library and Museum), Contact Centre and Call Centre staff complete module by 30 June 2011.
  • Disability awareness incorporated into induction programme by 31 December 2009.
  • Disability awareness included in Healthy Staff Programme by 31 December 2009.

Project / Action: 2.2 Skill bank

Human Resources will create a skill bank that will recognise staff that have specialist skills, knowledge and experience e.g. sign language, nursing, or ability to speak different languages.  This will enable other parts of the organisation to enlist these skills where needed e.g having a list of interpreters to call if a person is needed to translate at public meetings or at the front counter.

Responsibility: Human Resources 

Resources required: Staff time 

Project Milestones: Skills bank set up by 31 December 2010.

Project / Action: 2.3 Consultation training

Consultation is an important part of what the Council does, whether it is in relation to hearings on affected parties for resource consent applications or community consultations on the use of open spaces in the district to new footpath developments.  It is important that staff involved in consultation have the same understanding and framework when seeking feedback.

General consultation training will be offered to all staff and more targeted training offered to staff who have to consult as part of their job. This training will build on the Consultation Policy and Management Guidelines that support the Policy. 
 
Responsibility: Corporate Policy and Strategy  

Resources required: Staff time, cost to be met from staff training budget.

Project Milestones: First consultation training session offered by 30 June 2010.

Monitoring progress

The following table sets out key indicators that will be used to track the progress of the strategy.

Indicator Target 2009/10 Target 2010/11 onwards
Project milestones are achieved. 100% 100%
Disability awareness incorporated into at least one of the activities that comprise the Healthy Staff programme Achieved Achieved
Consultation training offered at least once a year Achieved Achieved
Number of participants attending the consultation training sessions Baseline To be set in 2010/11 based on 2009/10 attendance levels

Achieving strategic goal three – Council are active champions of an inclusive society

 
This last goal recognises that Council plays a large role in encouraging the community to be more inclusive.  The Council builds, maintains and manages a large proportion of the facilities in the district, is one of the largest employers in the district, has a large profile in the community and is visibly more active in its communications with the community.  This goal is about the Council encouraging change in society through active leadership and advocacy on issues facing the disabled community.

Project / Action: 3.1 Existing communication mediums used to inform stakeholders of current and upcoming consultations

The Council uses a number of mediums to communicate with different stakeholders in the community such as the Percolator newsletter, Seven Days, Council website and email networks.  This action will seek to utilise existing mediums to inform stakeholders of both existing and future consultations to enable these stakeholders to decide which consultations to participate in.
 
Responsibility: Communications, Community Development
Resources required: Staff time 
Project Milestones:
Community Development:

  • Percolator to start including a list of current and up and coming consultations by 31 August 2009
  • List of current and up and coming consultations emailed monthly from 31 August 2009

Communications:

  • Communications team to receive list of up and coming consultations to include in existing communications channels as appropriate (e.g. website, SevenDays, etc) by 31 July 2009.

Project / Action: 3.2 Establish and use an image library collection of disabled people

An image library of disabled people in the community will be developed and its use will be actively promoted within the Council.

Responsibility: Communications 

Resources required: Staff time, provided from within existing budgets 

Project Milestones: An image library of disabled people in our community is developed by 30 April 2010. 

Project / Action: 3.3 Life-time design forums

CCS is facilitating the introduction of the lifetime design concept for future house construction in the district.  Basically it means building future homes to defined standards that make them disabled friendly with wide doors and hallways and bathrooms that can be easily be upgraded for the disabled. 

Council staff will host the Lifetime Design forums including speaking at the forums and promoting the forums.

Responsibility: Community Development, Building Team 

Resources required: Staff time 

Project Milestones: First forum to be held on 17 June 2009

Project / Action: 3.4 Work closely with other stakeholders to increase the community’s awareness of disability

The Council will work closely to support other stakeholders in the community such as the Taranaki District Health Board and Taranaki Disabilities Information Centre (TDIC) to raise the community’s awareness of disability.  This includes supporting initiatives such as the TDIC’s development of a mobility scooter register.
 
Responsibility: Community Development, Corporate Policy and Strategy 

Resources required: Staff time 

Project Milestones: Provide support to community groups to develop a community owned disability strategy.

Monitoring progress

The following table sets out key indicators that will be used to track the progress of the strategy.

Indicator Target 2009/10 Target 2010/11 onwards
Project milestones are achieved. 100% 100%
Number of submission prepared by the Disability Issues Working Party per year 1 1
Number of Lifetime design forums hosted per year 1 1
Number of events/exhibitions per year that raise the community’s awareness of disability in the community:
•Community Development
•Puke Ariki
•Govett-Brewster Gallery


2 events
1 exhibition/event
1 exhibition/event


2 events
1 exhibition/event
1 exhibition/event

 

Monitoring and implementation

This section describes how the disability strategy will be implemented including roles and responsibilities once it has been adopted.

The internal owner of the strategy will be the Community Development team, specifically the Community Development Advisor who is responsible for the Disability portfolio. The internal owner will be responsible for being the internal champion for the strategy and prepare the monitoring reports for the Disability Issues Working Party.

The internal owner is not accountable for the achievement of the individual actions contained in the action plan above unless it is their specific action. The responsibility for the achievement of the actions rests with the relevant teams. 

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