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Hamilton Island Holiday Destination

  • March 30, 2010
  • Bruce Bromley

Keywords – Hamilton Island Disability Disabled Accessible Access Wheelchair

Whilst Accessibility on the island is extremely poor for a family with a member with a disability, you could not find a better holiday destination for families as was our case. We rated it a 10 on our customer survey.

The island is extremely safe for children, it is also extremely clean with staff taking great care with its appearance. It is also easy to get around via golf buggies (There are no accessible/ hand operated buggies for use). The facilities are also great with an abundance of swimming pools. Other activities included Jet Skies, Snorkeling and Diving, Para Gliding, sailing etc. There is also a great range of restaurants which have been discussed in this blog.

In a news article in the Sydney Morning Herald it states  

The larger-than-life Mr Williams was a member of the so-called White Shoe brigade – a group of property developers including Mike Gore and Christopher Skase, who saw huge potential in developing Queensland for the retirement market.

It is this retirement market that will will demand good accessibility in addition to tourists.

It is just a shame it is so inacessable for families that have a member with a disability and they get to miss out on what the island has to offer.

Under the Disability Discrimination Act the owners will eventually have to bring the island up to compliance. Lets hope it will be sooner rather than later so everyone in the community can holiday there.

What needs to happen!

Firstly at Board/ Management level an acceptance of the issues as identified needs to occur and a commitment made to address accessibility.

A Disability Action Plan (DAP) needs to be prepared.

What is a DAP?

A disability action plan (DAP) is a proven, effective tool for organisations to plan and implement changes that remove barriers to access for people with a disability.

The implementation of a DAP also contributes to an organisation’s obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006, as well as supporting the principles of the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

A DAP generally addresses the following (but not limited to)

  • reducing barriers to persons with a disability accessing goods, services and facilities;
  • reducing barriers to persons with a disability obtaining and maintaining employment;
  • promoting inclusion and participation in the community of persons with a disability; and
  • achieving tangible changes in attitudes and practices which discriminate against persons with a disability.

Action Plans developed under the DDA must be consistent with the objects of the Act and include people with a disability in the consultation process. Action plans must contain the following :
The development of policies and programs that are consistent with the objects of the Act.

  • A process for communicating the policies and programs to people within the organisation.
  • A process for identifying any discriminatory practices within the organisation.
  • The setting of goals and targets to address the discriminatory practices.
  • Identifying how the policies and programs that have been implemented will be evaluated.
  • Nominating a person within the organisation to take responsibility for implementation of the plan.

Many organisations (both public and private) in Australia have also developed DAPs. A register of DAPs can be located on the Australian Human Rights Commission website.

 

Legislation

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
In July 2008 Australia ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on 17 July 2008 (one of the first Western countries to do so) in a global effort to promote the equal and active participation of all people with a disability. The Convention puts the responsibility back on society to ensure that all people must be provided with opportunities to reach their full potential, regardless of their situation or disability. The Convention is based on principles of equality and non-discrimination and contains 50 articles that address public life and how to ensure the full inclusion of people with a disability.

Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cwlth)
The Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1992 sets out provisions to eliminate, as far as possible, discrimination against people on the basis of disability. The Act requires that people with disabilities be given equal opportunity to participate in and contribute to the full range of life activities. The development of a disability action plan is a means by which organisations can take positive action to eliminate disability discrimination.

National Disability Agreement
The National Disability Agreement (NDA) between the Commonwealth and State/Territory governments came into effect in January 2009 to improve and increase services for people with a disability, their families and carers. This agreement supports participation opportunities and strengthening workforce opportunities as well as improving health and service quality outcomes.

Implementation

This DAP will form part of the management plan on how accessibility will be improved. This may very well be staged over a, say, 5 year time frame.

All the Human Rights Commission want to know is that Access Issues have been identified and a rectification management plan is in place.