Hon Kelly Vincent – The politics of inclusion; the future is now

Taking a stroll through city and suburban streets throws up a host of examples of why we urgently need to promote best practice in access and inclusion planning.
The experience of encountering, for example, ramps that are too steep, and road crossings that don’t line up is not just inconvenient, poor urban design also poses a risk to public safety.
Attention to the public realm is only the start.  Transportation systems, housing design, tourist destinations, employment and education all need universal design principles applied to them.
Although we’ve heard about the principles of universal design for decades, we’ve seen far too little implementation.  Whatever the blockages have been we need to shift our thinking and create usable spaces for all.
Universal design is good design, and it reflects our needs across the lifespan.  It’s so much more than providing for people with disabilities and older citizens, but it is essential for these groups.  Now is the time to lock in the practices that will provide the ease of access for all, so we can rapidly meet the changing needs of an ageing community.