Therapeutic Gardens Australia was founded with the purpose of promoting and designing inclusive natural spaces. We recognise that people of all abilities can benefit from therapeutic landscapes, highlighting the need for them to be accessible by all.
International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is held on 3 December each year with the aim of increasing public awareness and acceptance of people with disability, with a different theme each year. This year’s theme is “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all” with a focus on ‘leave no one behind’ and empowering people with disability to be active contributors of society. (Source) This is based on changes to the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development.
The NSW Government seems to have already started moving on this exciting new agenda. Minister for Planning and Housing Anthony Roberts recently announced changes being made to playground and park design guidelines to facilitate children with special needs and their carers alongside children without disability. Roberts also stated his intention to audit existing NSW playgrounds with the view of retro-fitting within 5 years. (Source)
As part of the initiative, the NSW Government has pledged $750, 000 to the Touched by Olivia Foundation to support the development of two more inclusive play spaces. TGA is overjoyed to see the government investing in making places more accessible, and we would like to congratulate Touched by Olivia for their incredible achievements in providing inclusive play spaces for children. We hope to be sharing a similar success for therapeutic gardens in the near future.
We are also happy to see that a champion for people with a disability has recently joined the Senate. At 23, Senator Jordan Steele-John is the youngest ever senator in Australian politics as well as the first person with a disability to sit in the upper house. Below is a excerpt from his powerful first speech (quote begins at 11.46).
“We must now recognise that disability is not created as the result of various medical impairments but is, in fact, created by society’s collective failure to adapt to and embrace and celebrate the varying levels of ability which we all have.”
With these recent changes, it should not be long before we see positive fundamental changes in the way society views people living with a disability.