Cowra Council candidate calls for better accessibility and inclusivity for people with disabilities

Cowra Council candidate Erin Watt has called for better access and inclusivity for people with disabilities in the shire.

Ms Watt met with staff and clients at Enablement recently, who shared concerns about a lack of wheelchair-friendly premises, facilities and amenities.

Diane Graham from Enablement said while the town has come a long way, more can be done for people with disabilities, including better access into buildings, more transport options and employment or volunteering opportunities.

"Accessibility is a big thing for us. We are familiar with some of the hurdles that these guys face," she said.

"The council do a great job, it's just sometimes you would think some of the information might help in getting a grant because it's more inclusive."

Julie Stephenson, a client from Enablement, said she would like to see modifications such as ramps into local shops, smoother paths across the shire, more wheelchair-friendly toilets, park tables that have space for wheelchairs and walkers and a ramp into the pool at Cowra Aquatic Centre.

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Ms Watt said while there are financial restraints, accessibility should be front of mind for any new developments.

"Something you can do as a councillor is make sure you're asking all those questions when new developments come up, when they're building new stuff at the park... what does it look like? Is it accessible?" she said.

"We need to make sure, every time we spend money again, we're making sure we're not building another thing that is inaccessible."

Ms Watt also met with Katy Oliver and her son Clyde, who also uses a wheelchair.

Mrs Oliver said while Cowra's playgrounds and parks are well maintained, they are not accessible for children with disabilities, lacking smooth paths and inclusive equipment.

She noted Wellington and Lithgow as examples of towns who have installed inclusive, all-abilities playgrounds.

"It's frustrating," she said.

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