Local business and residents to benefit from Inclusive Towns project

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The Inclusive Towns project is creating opportunities where people with a disability are leading change in their local community.

Following a successful trial in 2017 the project has successfully recruited six support officers with a lived experience of disability who will be working in Eaglehawk, Inglewood, Bridgewater and Maldon, alongside local businesses to promote inclusive practices.

The Inclusive Towns project is a partnership between the City of Greater Bendigo and Loddon and Mount Alexander Shire Councils with funding provided through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

City of Greater Bendigo Community Partnerships Manager Steven Abbott said he welcomed the support officers to the City’s team.

“Inclusion is so much more than physical access, the project helps business improve their communication, physical environment and awareness of disability,” Mr Abbott said.

“Everyone with a disability is a potential customer for local businesses. Forty per cent of adults have some form of disability or long term health condition. The support officers will be advising businesses on changes they can make, which can be as simple as installing a doorbell and sign for customers who may require assistance entering their premises.

“Inclusive communities are communities that thrive, and towns adopting inclusive practices become more attractive options for migration and tourism.

“One of the biggest barriers to inclusion is employment, without employment it becomes much harder to participate in community life. As well as providing employment opportunities for persons with a disability at the City, the Inclusive Towns project is raising awareness and promoting employment opportunities for persons with a disability in the wider community.”

Participating businesses can be recognised by the Inclusive Towns sticker in their front window and business owners, managers and staff members are encouraged to get involved by contacting the City’s Disability Inclusion Team on 5434 6000 or [email protected]


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