Disability inclusion planning in NSW

5.1 State Disability Inclusion Plan

As part of sections 10 and 11 of the Act, the NSW Government must develop a four-year State Disability Inclusion Plan. The Act says the plan must guide how the whole government works towards inclusive communities for people with disability. It also must say how access to mainstream services and community facilities can be better.3

The NSW Disability Inclusion Plan (NSW DIP) was launched on 26 February 2015. The plan is our commitment to making sure people with disability have the same opportunities as everyone else. It identifies and breaks down the barriers that stop that from happening.

The plan aligns with the Australian National Disability Strategy and obligations under the UN Convention. The NSW DIP focuses on four action areas identified by people with disability, the NSW Government and the community. These action areas are:

  1. developing positive community attitudes and behaviours
  2. creating liveable communities
  3. supporting access to meaningful employment, and
  4. improving access to mainstream services through better systems and processes.

New initiatives under the NSW DIP have included:

  • the Employable Me series for ABC TV
  • training packages and awareness campaigns for employers
  • inclusive tourism strategies
  • community-based partnerships and grants
  • employer and employee networks
  • new committees, plans and agreements to steer progress.

5.2 Reviewing the NSW Disability Inclusion Plan

In June 2018, we asked the Sax Institute to review the NSW DIP after its first four-year period. This review was required under the Act. The Sax Institute partnered with the Centre for Disability Policy and Research at the University of Sydney.

We wanted to understand if the goals set out in the NSW DIP support people with disability by:

  • building inclusive communities
  • improving their access to mainstream services and facilities.

As part of the review, we looked at existing documents and heard from over 150 stakeholders. This included people from:

  • NSW Government agencies
  • local councils
  • peak bodies
  • community organisations
  • disability sector organisations
  • people with disability.

The review found that we are making progress in achieving the goals of the NSW DIP. However, there is still more to be done. We need to work better and more consistently across NSW Government agencies and local councils. Only then will we be able to achieve the goals. The review report and its key findings are available on the NSW Parliament website.

The current Act required NSW to have a State Disability Inclusion Plan. The following question is asking if this is still important and what needs to be included in the plan.

Question 3:

Are the provisions relating to the State Disability Inclusion Plan still correct and relevant?

Do you think a State plan is necessary, and if so, what do you think is most important to be included in the plan?

5.3 Disability Inclusion Action Plans

Section 12 of the Act is about Disability Inclusion Action Plans (DIAP). These plans make sure people with disability are included and can participate fully in the community.

Only government agencies that are ‘public authorities’ are required to develop DIAPs. More information on public authorities is available below.

The plans must be consistent with the NSW DIP. Public authorities must set out the steps they will take to make sure people with disability have access to:

  • general supports and mainstream services
  • specific supports
  • buildings, facilities and information within the community
  • employment opportunities.

Section 14 says people with disability must be consulted to make sure DIAPs focus on the right priorities.

Who needs to have a DIAP?

A public authority is defined in section 7 of the Act as:

  • a government department – see Schedule 1, Part 1 of the Government Sector Employment Act 2013. There are currently eight government departments.
  • a local council
  • an entity prescribed in the Disability Inclusion Regulation 2014, including:
    • Australian Museum Trust
    • Destination NSW
    • Library Council of New South Wales
    • Office of Finance and Services. (Note: the Office of Finance and Services is now within a government department and therefore clause 5(d) of the Regulation is redundant).

All NSW government departments were required to have their DIAPs in place by 1 December 2015, and all local councils were required to have their DIAPs in place by 1 June 2017. Other agencies not considered a government department are not required to develop a DIAP. These include:

  • Institute of Sport
  • Information and Privacy Commission.

Many agencies not required to develop a DIAP still participate in disability inclusion planning. This showed in the review of the NSW DIP by the Sax Institute.

Making sure DIAPs are on track

Under section 13 public authorities must report to the Minister on the progress of their DIAPs each financial year. This is usually part of their annual report.

Section 13 requires the Minister to table a report about the progress of DIAPs in Parliament each financial year.

Like the NSW DIP, all DIAPs must be reviewed every four years. Section 14 further requires that, in reviewing its DIAPs, each public authority must have regard to guidelines issued by the Secretary.

Questions 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 relate to Disability Inclusion Action Plans which all government departments and local councils are required to have in place to document the work they are doing to promote the inclusion of people with disability.

Question 4:

The Sax Institute review reported on NSW Government agencies and local government DIAPs.

Should the Act cover more than just NSW Government agencies and local government, DIAPs? If so, what other groups do you think should be required to have a DIAP?

Question 5:

Are DIAPs effective in achieving greater community participation and inclusion for people with disability? If not, how do you think they could be made to better to ensure participation and inclusion of people with disability?

Question 6:

What improvements, if any, could be made to help agencies prepare their DIAPs? What are the steps you think they should be required to complete before drafting their plans?

Question 7:

Are the elements included in Disability Inclusion Action Plans still appropriate, or are there parts you think should be removed or added to make them more effective?

Question 8:

Are the reporting requirements for Disability Inclusion Action Plans enough? If not, how do you think they should report and who should they be reporting to?

Last updated:

09 Sep 2022

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