People with a disability are first and foremost people. They are people with skills, abilities, dreams, aspirations and often experience restrictions and multiple barriers in achieving them. Hobart City Council's role in responding to the aspirations and needs of these members of the community is to use whatever is within its scope of responsibility to achieve equal access in the city of Hobart.
This is done through the City of Hobart Equal Access StrategyCity of Hobart Equal Access Strategy
In 2012, Tasmania had the highest prevalence of disability, with a quarter of the state's population living with disability. This is compared to 16% in Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory and 12% in the Northern Territory. The proportion of the population living with disability increases considerably with age. Tasmania also has the highest proportion of people aged 65 years and over with disability (55%).
Of the capital cities, Hobart is expected to have the highest propotion of residents aged 65 and over in the next 40 years. The proportion of Greater Hobart's population aged 65 and over is predicted to almost double to between 24.9% and 28.2% in 2056. It is reasonable to expect that the rate and degree of disability will increase in parallel with Hobart's ageing population.
Core Activity Disability is defined as: People needing help or assistance in one or more of the three core activity areas of self-care, mobility and communication, because of a disability or long term health condition (lasting six months or more). In 2011, 4.4% of Hobart LGA residents have a Core Activity Disability.
The provision of equal access enhances everyone's capacity to participate fully in community life, regardless of their physical or mental capabilities. People with disabilities, and other people with access limitations, have the same fundamental rights as all members of the community, as articulated by the following principles.
- People with a disability should not be defined by their disability.
- People with disabilities have a right to equal access to facilities, services, programs, activities and employment in order to fully participate in the community and have equal opportunity to fulfil their individual potential.
- Changes to the physical and social environment to improve access and equity assist people with disabilities to integrate more completely into the community, and also benefit the wider community.