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Legislative and policy context

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) was ratified by the Australian Government in 2008, reflecting Australia’s commitment to promoting and supporting equal and active participation by people with disability in economic and social life.

The Convention affirms that all persons with all types of disabilities must enjoy all human rights and fundamental freedoms, and identifies where adaptations must be made for people with disabilities to effectively exercise their rights.

Disability Inclusion Act 2018

The South Australian Disability Inclusion Act 2018 (the Act) supports the UNCRPD, requiring that the operation, administration and enforcement of the Act supports and furthers the principles and purposes of the UNCRPD as much as reasonably practicable. It provides a legislative framework to support equal access and inclusion for people living with disability in community activities and services including recreation, education, health, and public transport.

The Act sets out a number of principles aligned to the UNCRPD, and requires the creation of a State Disability Inclusion Plan for South Australia (the State Plan). The first State Plan came into effect on 31 October 2019.

The Act also requires all State authorities to develop and implement a Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (DAIP) in accordance with published guidelines, which demonstrates how the State authority intends to give effect to the objects and principles of the Act and the State Plan.

Each DAIP must also include:

  • Measures to ensure that people living with disability can access mainstream support and services provided by or on behalf of the State authority.
  • Strategies to support people with disability in the following areas:
    • access to built environs, events and facilities;
    • access to information and communications;
    • addressing the specific needs of people with disability in programs and services; and
    • employment.

Relationships to other legislation, and government and Departmental strategies and frameworks

The development of the first DIT DAIP was guided by Inclusive SA – the first State Disability Inclusion Plan 2019-2023 and DAIP Guidelines for State Authorities, and is aligned to and will support the following legislation, strategies and frameworks:

  • The National Disability Strategy, National Disability Insurance Scheme, and National Disability Agreement
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992, Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002, and Disability (Access to Premises – Buildings) Standards 2010
  • South Australian Public Sector Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2019-21.

Related Departmental strategies and policies include:

  • DIT Strategic Plan 2016-2020
  • DIT Diversity and Inclusion Program Overview and Plan.

Defining disability

The Disability Inclusion Act 2018 defines disability in relation to a person as including long-term physical, psycho-social, intellectual, cognitive, neurological or sensory impairment, or a combination of any of these impairments, which in interaction with various barriers may hinder the person’s full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

This Plan and the Department’s general strategic approach to improving accessibility will be informed by the social model of disability, which views disability as the result of the interaction between people living with impairments, and barriers in the physical, attitudinal, communication and social environment.

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