Building inclusive communities

We are working towards an inclusive and accessible society for everyone.

What is accessibility and inclusion?

Being inclusive means everyone feels valued and has a sense of belonging. This is regardless of their age, ability, gender, nationality, sexuality or religion.

Inclusive people and places give everyone the choice to be involved. And when people decide to join in, they are treated with dignity and respect.

Teen with disability assisted at bowling centre.

‘Access’ or ‘accessibility’ allows people to take part in the community without barriers. For people with disability, accessibility means they can enter and use facilities in the same way as people without disability. This includes places like:

  • playgrounds
  • shopping centres
  • libraries
  • banks

It also means they have the right equipment, and support workers to help them take part in:

  • their community
  • healthcare
  • education
  • work
  • transport
  • housing

Aren’t we already inclusive?

An inclusive and accessible society benefits everyone.

But we know there are a lot of people with disability who are still excluded from our community.

It is up to us to change that.

Community capacity building

At Latrobe Community Health Service, we are building accessible communities.

Every day we hear from people with disability, their families and carers. They tell us about the barriers they face.

Some of these barriers include things like:

  • unsafe footpaths
  • little-to-no disability parking spaces
  • trip hazards in shopping centres
  • community attitudes that make people feel like they have to hide their disability.

We create opportunities for people with disability to take part in community life. This can only happen when physical barriers and poor attitudes no longer exist.

How are we breaking down barriers?

Latrobe Community Health Service works with:

  • small businesses
  • councils
  • libraries
  • sports clubs
  • health and education providers
  • community

We do this by:

  • Asking people with disability about their experience in their local community.
  • Using this feedback to help improve a particular service or building.
  • Distributing an accessibility self-assessment to businesses and organisations.
  • Providing affordable and practical advice.
  • Creating networking or partnership opportunities.
  • Building awareness of the needs and aspirations of people with disability.
  • Running events where people can find out what access and inclusion looks like.
  • Supporting campaigns that celebrate people with disability. For example, the International Day of People with Disability.
  • Showcasing the stories of people with disability.

Do you want to help?

Do you live with disability? Or are you part of an organisation working towards better access and inclusion? We want to hear from you.

Contact us today

Join a local Access and Inclusion Working Group

Our working groups include people with lived experience of disability, as well as advocates, councils and other organisations. These working groups address community attitudes and behaviour towards people with disability. They also aspire to improve and increase access for people of all abilities.

Complete our access and inclusion survey

If you are living with a disability, your voice matters. Complete our survey to rate how accessible and inclusive your community is. Tell us about the services or activities you want to use or try. Use your experience to break down the inclusion and access barriers you find in your community.

Learn how to be more accessible and inclusive

Understand how inclusive and accessible your organisation is. We can provide some practical, low-cost ways to be more inclusive. This self-assessment is for:

  • businesses
  • service providers
  • community groups

Get in touch

Front cover of report.

Keen to learn more about accessibility and inclusion?

Latrobe Community Health Service has released a discussion paper about access and inclusion. ‘Improving accessibility and inclusivity of people with disability in a community and mainstream setting’  draws on the voices of 600 Australians living with disability and their carers. We encourage all organisations – big or small – to download this report to learn more.

Download the report