Christchurch organisations have made significant progress in advocating for those with disabilities by establishing the Accessibility Charter, National’s Disability Issues spokesperson Nicky Wagner says.
“It is important that public buildings and outdoor spaces are genuinely barrier free to ensure to ensure accessibility for our disabled community,” Ms Wagner says.
“The Accessibility Charter, established by the Barrier Free NZ Trust and the Earthquake Disability Leadership Group, gives organisations an opportunity to lead the implementation of best practice accessible design in their communities.
“The landmark document advocates for the universal design of public places and spaces. It goes beyond the minimum accessibility compliance expectations of the building code.
“Organisations in Christchurch have come together to support the charter. At the launch yesterday the Canterbury District Health Board, Christchurch City Council, Development Christchurch Ltd, Otakaro Limited and Environment Canterbury all became signatories to the Charter.”
The opportunity to make Christchurch a fully inclusive and accessible city was highlighted in the City Council’s “Share an Idea” process and incorporated into the Canterbury Recovery Blueprint for the city.
All government and council rebuild work has aimed to ensure people of all ages and abilities can participate fully in the city’s activities.
“I congratulate the Barrier Free NZ Trust and the Earthquake Disability Leadership Group on their initiative and encourage other communities to take up the opportunity to create some of the world’s most accessible and liveable cities,” says Ms Wagner.
See the Accessibility Charter here.