(27/11/2019) Freo celebrates International Day of People with Disability
The City of Fremantle will mark International Day of People with Disability with a community event, as well as launch a new initiative aimed at creating an accessible and inclusive environment for people of all abilities.
International Day of People with Disability is held on 3 December each year to celebrate the achievements of people with disability and promote awareness, understanding and acceptance in all communities.
The City’s Access and Inclusion Community Development Officer Julie Monument said it was important to raise awareness of the issues experienced by the 4.3 million Australians living with a disability.
“We can all work together to break down barriers for people living with disability and help make our community more accessible and inclusive,” Ms Monument said.
“This year we are celebrating International Day of People with Disability, in conjunction with International Volunteer Day, with a community party at The Meeting Place on Thursday 5 December from 9.30am–1pm.
“Join us for a special morning tea, inspirational talks and fun activities where you can try a mini massage, take a ride on a trishaw or enjoy music from the Walyalup Kannajil Choir.
“Our event is accessible and we encourage all people with disability, their families and carers to come along and join the fun.”
Ahead of the community event, Fremantle Library will launch a weekly ‘Quiet Hour’ to welcome people with sensory challenges, such as autism and dementia.
Every Wednesday from 11am–12pm, Quiet Hour will create a low-sensory environment, including lowering lights, turning off beeping sounds on machines, reducing the volume on phones and offering a quiet breakout space. Fremantle Library also offers patrons access to an outdoor courtyard, accessible toilet and kitchen facility, and story boards available upon request.
“Too many sensations, sounds and people can be extremely stressful and overwhelming for people on the autism spectrum, so we want to make their library experience that little bit easier,” Ms Monument said.
“We’ve received overwhelmingly positive feedback from local autism organisations for the initiative; in fact the artwork for our Quiet Hour poster was designed by a young girl from the Autism West Youth Group.
“Earlier in the week, Fremantle Library is holding an inclusive volunteering workshop facilitated by E-QUAL Disability Consultants on Monday 2 December from 10am–12pm.
“This free workshop is designed to support our local volunteers and volunteer organisations who work with colleagues or clients with a disability. To register your interest in the workshop, contact the City’s Volunteering Officer here.”
Meanwhile, the City is also reviewing its Access and Inclusion Plan as part of its commitment to ensure all buildings, facilities, services, events, information and employment opportunities are available to all community members, including those who have a disability or access and inclusion requirements.
Expressions of interest are now open for working group members to assist in the development of the City of Fremantle Access and Inclusion Plan 2020–24.
Working group members will need to attend approximately four meetings, commencing late January to early February 2020. The meetings will be held during business hours in Fremantle.
Applications close Sunday 12 January 2020, visit the My Say Freo website to submit your application.
For more information about International Day of People with Disability and to RSVP for the event at The Meeting Place, visit the City’s website. Alternatively, people can contact the City’s Access and Inclusion Officer here.
Image: Hannah pictured with the poster artwork she created for Fremantle Library’s Quiet Hour, which will welcome and support people with sensory challenges, such as autism and dementia.