Drive for change

CITY of Stirling Councillor Samantha Jenkinson says it is time local governments improve infrastructure for people with disabilities, including introducing adult change tables.

Cr Jenkinson, a People with Disabilities WA executive director, recommended the council investigate adult change table facilities in key shopping precincts as well as recharge points for electric wheelchairs.

She said the City of Stirling should capitalise on the recent State Government Community Inclusion and Community Infrastructure grants.

�Being able to access the community can provide people with profound disabilities the opportunity to feel part of the community and enjoy community activities like swimming, shopping and attending sporting games,� she said.

�It also provides a way for the community to see the diversity of humanity and become more accepting of that diversity.�

Ability Centre service user Matt Cook said new infrastructure would help to reduce the indignation of not having the appropriate amenities.

�Right now there is a struggle to even fit into a supposedly disabled toilet, let alone close the door, making it very difficult to get some privacy,� he said.

Cr Jenkinson said the recent announcements to develop Westfield Innaloo and Karrinyup shopping centres posed a good opportunity to upgrade specific infrastructure and encourage people with disabilities to involve themselves in the community.

�People who have profound disabilities and need support cannot stay out for long periods or do not take part in activities if it is too difficult to change or they are at risk of sitting in wet or soiled clothing,� she said.

Ability Centre chief executive Judy Hogben encouraged the City to improve facilities for people with disabilities.

Applications for grants of up to $50,000 are now open for the Community Inclusion Grant and the Community Infrastructure Grant through the Disability Services Commission.