Wollongong CBD will get more accessible parking spaces and rangers will crack down on illegal parking as part of Wollongong City Council's efforts to make the city more accessible over the next five year.
The whole local government area will also have more accessible public toilets and adult change tables and will become easier to get around on footpaths and cycleways under the council's draft Disability Inclusion Plan 2020-25.
If supported by councillors on Monday, the plan will go on public exhibition with the hope of "creating an inclusive city that enables people with disability to participate equally in all aspects of city life".
In Wollongong, more than 13,000 people live with a profound or severe disability and six per cent of the population require support in their day to day lives due to disability, the council said.
The new document is an update of an earlier 2016-2020 plan, under which the council four accessible toilets (at Bald Hill, Nicholson Park, Galvin Park and Thirroul Bathers Pavilion) and installed two adult change tables at Stuart Park and Western Suburbs.
It also upgraded 156 footpaths and kerb ramps, installed three pool lifts, and upgraded parking in 84 accessible car parks. It also provided career opportunities for people with disabilities, and committed to improving access to Wollongong's beaches by installing wheelchair beach matting.
However, a survey of people with disabilities, their friends, families and carers indicated there is still a long way to go, with toilets, parking, footpaths, council-run events and children's playgrounds still rated poorly in terms of their accessibility.
To fix this, the council plans to develop and implement an accessible parking strategy for the CBD, and come up with a priority list where more parking spaces are needed. These will be closely monitored by rangers.
There will also be more accessible toilets installed, and more adult change facilities, and "key destinations" will have better, continuous access paths so that there are fewer barriers for people with a disability.
When upgrading parks and street scapes over the next five years, the council plans to use universally accessible equipment, and access will be a key feature of the council's infrastructure projects.
Tactile and braille signage will be installed in the CBD, and more accessible bus stops will be put in place throughout the city.
As well as physical changes, the council plans an education program for residents and businesses to increase the visibility of people with disabilities and highlighting the contributions they make to Wollongong.
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