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Disability advisor promotes access for all

Two people with mobility aids near Town Hall.

We’re making it easier for all people to navigate and enjoy the City of Melbourne with expert advice from our Disability Advisory Committee.

Passionate committee member Janice Florence – Access Development Officer for Arts Access Victoria and Artistic Director of disability theatre company Weave – shared with us some of her goals.

What does your work with Arts Access Victoria involve?

We work with the Arts Centre, Circus Oz, the Malthouse and many others to improve physical access and Auslan interpreters to performances.

We encourage audio-described performances for people who are blind or low vision and ‘relaxed’ shows for people on the autism spectrum.

We also strive to get the work of artists with disabilities recognised and into main venues.

We’ve also trained 500 arts, local government and corporate organisations in disability awareness over the past eight years or so. It definitely keeps me busy.

What do you enjoy about being on the City of Melbourne’s Disability Advisory Committee?

It’s a great opportunity to network with people from different disability organisations and groups, and to work together.

Often in the disability world people only advocate for their own group, so this is a great opportunity for us to get to know each other and work together.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of the role?

Being able to have input into things that are happening in the city, like instituting more Changing Places accessible toilets in the city and access to new apartment buildings.

There is actually no legislation about accessibility for private housing, so that means that people with disabilities have really limited choice about where they can live.

We had some input into guidelines for new apartment buildings in the city, to try to influence more accessibility for people with a range of disability.

To find out more, visit Accessing Melbourne.

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