Disability Action Plan 2014-15

Our Disability Action Plan

State Library of Queensland is 'all yours', an inclusive and welcoming place where everyone can connect with ideas and creatively engage with each other. Our Disability Action Plan 2014–15 (DAP) is our proactive and public commitment to taking a lead role in providing accessible and inclusive library and information services for all Queenslanders with disability.

SLQ and the network of 318 public libraries and Indigenous Knowledge Centres across Queensland work with and support people with disability, carers and the wider community. Approximately 45% of Queenslanders are library members, and libraries across the state have a focus on providing accessible and inclusive collections and services, embracing diversity, addressing disadvantage and boosting life participation via strong community connections.

Disability may be hidden or evident from birth (congenital), episodic or stable. It may be a physical, sensory, intellectual, psychiatric, neurological or learning disability. A disability may be temporary or permanent, total or partial, lifelong or acquired. Many people who now have a disability may have spent most of their lives without any disability.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) estimates 18.5% of Australia's population (4.2 million people) have a disability. In Queensland 17.7% of the population (830,000 people) have a disability and about 10.5% of the population (484,400 people) are carers. Carers supporting people with disability play a crucial role in our community.

In December 2013, the Queensland Government released the Queensland Disability Plan 2014–19: Enabling choices and opportunities (QDP). The QDP has provided the focus for Queensland Government Disability Service Plans until 2019. SLQ's DAP contributes to the Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts (DSITIA) Disability Service Plan (DSP) and State Library will provide an annual update of progress on our DAP.

SLQ has a responsibility under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) to ensure we provide equitable access to our facilities, services and programs for people with any form of disability. This document outlines how SLQ aims to enhance our relationships with people with disability.

Policy context

Our DAP supports the Queensland Government's obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and aligns with following key government policies and SLQ strategic documents:

  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth)
  • Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld)
  • Disability Services Act 2006 (Qld)
  • National Disability Strategy 2010–2020
  • Queensland Disability Plan 2014–19
  • The Queensland Plan
  • Queensland Language Services Policy (Auslan)
  • SLQ Strategic Plan 2014–18
  • The Next Horizon: Vision 2017 for Queensland public libraries
  • SLQ Content Strategy
  • SLQ Strategic Workforce Plan.

Actions for 2014–15

SLQ's DAP acknowledges people with disability, their families, carers and service providers are best placed to advise SLQ on how to respond better to the needs of people with disabilities. Implementation of the following actions will improve services to people with disability and enhance working relationships with partners.

Priority Areas
Universal access
Begin implementation of the recommendations of the 2014 SLQ Accessibility Audit, including improved signage and wayfinding, with all recommendations accepted for implementation, including:
  • Modify and adapt buildings to meet identified and required needs of staff with disability
  • Provide wheelchair access to modular staging systems across The Edge and SLQ main venues
  • Install handrails alongside aisles in SLQ Auditorium 1
  • Enhance hearing augmentation loops in SLQ Auditoriums 1 and 2
  • Investigate improvements to signage and wayfinding to SLQ across South Bank.

Conduct a gap analysis of existing assistive/adaptive technologies provided by SLQ and the needs of users with disability, then develop a report for consideration by Executive Team in development of the 2015-16 financial year.
  Review and report on actions outlined in this plan and develop a new plan for the 2015-2016 financial year.
Collaboration and engagement
Deliver the International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) event in 2014 and implement plans to outsource the management and delivery of the 2015 event.

Partner with disability support organisations in the delivery of significant events to enhance awareness of SLQ services and facilities, including:

  • Host launch of Brisbane-based program in Mental Health Week, in partnership with the School of Hard Knocks
  • Collaborate with the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital Foundation to provide patients with disability and their families access to SLQ programs and services
  • Provide staff support for SLQ programming during National Disability Awareness Week.

Identify examples of good practice in the delivery of library programs and services for people with disability, and publish on the SLQ website to encourage Queensland public libraries to consider in their practice.

Promote SLQ services and programs internally and across disability networks in a variety of media, including assistive/adaptive technologies (media for people with a disability).
Building staff capability
Deliver disability awareness training to all SLQ staff.

Develop a workforce strategy for people with disabilities.

Continue to provide employment and work experience for people with disabilities at SLQ.

Continue to quarterly meetings of SLQ's internal DAP Working Group.

Guiding principles

The principles that guide our engagements with community and partners are:

  • Inclusive — we respect the diversity of people in our communities — their backgrounds and opinions, needs and priorities, expectations and interests — and embrace this diversity in our planning and delivery.
  • Collaborative — we value cooperation and collaboration as critical inputs for building productive and sustainable relationships, and commit to engaging our communities and partners in decision-making and activation of SLQ activities, programs and services.
  • Open — we support the sharing or reuse of library data and information to promote community created content, enable open access, and the convergence of knowledge, experiences and ideas.
  • Responsive — we encourage feedback from community and partners and will actively seek and incorporate it into our planning, delivery and evaluation processes to ensure our activities are relevant and community focused.
  • Sustainable — we acknowledge the importance of initiating and nurturing ongoing relationships with our communities and partners and will enter each program with clear intent about lifecycle, expectations, deliverables and outcomes.

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