Key Issues for People with a Disability

Key Issues for People with a Disability


Action Plan

Survey Report

March 2014


Executive summary......




About the sample......


Key issues for people with a disability......

Top three priorities......

Ideas for responding to priorities......

Organisations or partners......

Additional comments......

Appendix: Online and Paper based Survey Instrument......

Executive summary

This report presents an analysis of community feedback regarding the Disability Action Plan. Collection of feedback commenced on 14 November 2013 and concluded on 27 December 2013. Responses were collected through a paper survey distributed at community events, an online survey promoted on the Moonee Valley City Council website and through relevant email lists and intercept surveys in Westfield Airport West, Milleara Shopping Centre and Moonee Ponds Central.

A total of n=115 individuals participated through the various research channels. The sample had the following characteristics:

•The majority of respondents were female (65 per cent).

•The majority of respondents were aged over 50 years (42 per cent).

•The majority of respondents specified their main language as being English (89 per cent).

•Almost half (46 per cent) of responses were from carers, just over a third (35 per cent) were from people with a disability and a quarter (27 per cent) were service providers or relevant organisations.

•Of those with a disability, the most common disabilities experienced were intellectual (35 per cent) and mobility (28 per cent).

•More than two thirds of participants (77 per cent) indicated that they live in a postcode within Moonee Valley.

When presented with a list of potential issues, overall, the top three issues for people with a disability in Moonee Valley were providing and maintaining physical access, employment and volunteering, and changing community attitudes. The top three priorities varied according to respondent type; amongst people with a disability, the most commonly selected issue was providing and maintaining access, whereas for carers it was inclusive events and activities. It is important to note, however, that the variations between these two groups are not statistically significant.

When asked to write in what they thought the top three priorities for the Disability Action Plan should be, the most common themes were employment and volunteering, community attitudes and transportation infrastructure (footpaths and parking). Furthermore, a number of specific access issues emerged, specifically housing access, public transport access and shop and building access.

When asked to share any ideas they might have for how Council can respond to these priorities, there were no single stand-out suggestions. Instead, the range of comments can be broadly grouped into five topics: planning and infrastructure, employment, events, communications and customer service, and advocacy and inclusion. In order to best utilise this feedback, it is recommended that one reads the actual comments, reported on page 10 of this document.

A wide range of potential organisations or partners were suggested to assist in meeting these priorities, the most common being Doutta Galla (5 mentions), State and Federal Government (5 mentions), ANNECTO (2 mentions) and Public Transport Victoria (2 mentions).

The remainder of this document provides the following further information:

•research background and methodology;

•information about the sample; and

•detailed analysis of specific questions, including quotes.



Moonee Valley City Council is currently developing a Disability Action Plan. The plan will be a strategic document to support the entire community to be more inclusive and accessible.

In order to assist with the development of this plan, Council identified the need to provide the community with an opportunity to provide their thoughts on what the plan should cover.


A Disability Action Plan survey was developed and then distributed in a number of ways:

•paper survey distributed at community events;

•online survey (using surveymonkey) promoted on the Moonee Valley City Council website and through email invites to relevant stakeholder lists; and

•intercept surveys in Westfield Airport West, Milleara Shopping Centre and Moonee Ponds Central.

The survey was launched on 14 November 2013 and the last response was accepted on 27 December 2013. An ‘Easy English’ version of the survey was created, however no responses were available.

Notes on analysis

Due to a lack of content in their response (that is, they didn’t answer any of the critical questions asking about issues and priorities), four records were removed from the data file prior to analysis:





Respondents’ quotes are included throughout in bullet pointed italics. Where required, spelling and formatting (eg. deleting unnecessary spaces or capitalisation) has been corrected within the direct respondent quotes. No other alteration to quotes has been made.

Further information

This survey was conducted by Moonee Valley City Council. For further information please contact Christy Arnott, Council’s Social Research Officer, on 9243 1024 or at .

About the sample


Survey responses were collected across a range of sources. Identical question wording and survey structure was used for the online, paper and intercept survey.

The majority of those surveyed were completing the survey for themselves (62.3 per cent), however just over one third (35.7 per cent) were completing it on behalf of someone else.

Age, gender and cultural background

One in ten respondents did not to provide their gender (11 per cent) and one in five (20 per cent) did not to provide their year of birth. When conducting an analysis of those who did provide these details, there would appear to be a higher incidence of females participating in the survey, and participants represent a range of ages between 35 and 64 years old. There were very few responses from those aged under 25.


Most (89 per cent) respondents indicated their main language was English.

Engagement with topic

The majority of those who participated in the research were people with a disability, or carers of people with a disability. However, there were also reasonably high levels of responses from people with an interest in human rights, including disability. When combining the service provider, advocacy, school, support group and leisure facility provider or relevant organisation categories, a total of 27 per cent of respondents were from one of these services.

Of those who indicated that they are a person with a disability, the most common disabilities experienced were intellectual and/or mobility disabilities.

More than two thirds (77 per cent) of respondents indicated that they live in a postcode within Moonee Valley. Almost half (46.2 per cent) suggested that they work in Moonee Valley, and there were also small numbers who indicated that they undertake recreation (15.4 per cent) and/or study (7.7 per cent) in the region.


Key issues for people with a disability

Respondents were presented with a list of ‘issues’ and were asked to select which of these they believe are the key issues for people with a disability in Moonee Valley.

The most frequently chosen issues were providing and maintaining physical access, employment and volunteering and changing community attitudes.

When breaking the data out by respondent category (that is, whether they are a person with a disability or a carer) there are no statistically significant variations in answers due to small sample sizes. However, a higher incidence of carers selected inclusive events and activities (49 per cent) than people with a disability (30 per cent). Whilst this is not statistically significant it may be indicative of carers appreciating more support. There are also differences between these two groups when ordering the issues from most often selected to least often selected, showing the top priority for carers as being inclusive events and activities, whereas this is the seventh on the list for people with a disability.

People with a disability (n=40) / Carers (n=53)
Providing and maintaining access / 52.5% / Inclusive events and activities / 49.1%
Changing community attitudes / 52.5% / Advocacy / 47.2%
Employment and volunteering / 45.0% / Changing community attitudes / 47.2%
Mobility / 42.5% / Employment and volunteering / 47.2%
Advocacy / 40.0% / Providing and maintaining access / 37.7%
Accessible information / 37.5% / Mobility / 26.4%
Inclusive events and activities / 30.0% / Accessible information / 26.4%

Employment and volunteering opportunities was the most commonly selected issue amongst those aged 18-24 (87.5 per cent), while the most frequently selected issue amongst the elderly (65 years or older) was providing and maintaining physical access (70 per cent).

Top three priorities

Respondents were asked to write in (verbatim) what they think should be the top three priorities for Councils’ Disability Action Plan. Most of those who completed the survey provided at least one priority (100 out of the 115).

An analysis of the verbatim comments was conducted and groupings were created, as shown in the following chart.

Employment and volunteering was the most commonly mentioned priority.

Some of the comments made within each category presented above are as follows:


The topic of access is spread across a number of categories. The more specific access requirements mentioned were transport, parking and footpaths (29 per cent), housing (24 per cent), public transport (12 per cent) and shops and other buildings (9 per cent).

•Commercial shopping areas and adequate parking.

•Help provide transport.

•Visibility marking on curbs, footpaths and crossings.

•Mobility Transport.

•Improved access to shopping centre

•More disabled spaces not enough ramps

•Helping with physical independence, especially transport and housing.

•More housing public that is accessible to disability.

•More low cost, accessible housing.

•Finding suitable housing for disabled for the near future.

•Service to allow people to stay living at home.

•Improving access to public transport within the region.

•Public transport; trams with easy access.

•Access to local shops car park and easy access to buttons of crossing.

There were also many general comments about access that were less specific or only mentioned by one or two respondents (therefore were included in the general ‘access’ code).

•Physical access throughout the community for people with mobility challenges.

•Ensure MVCC is fully wheelchair accessible - also business, education and recreational.

•Physical access E.G. bright colouring footpaths curbs.

•Access for the blind (Guide Dogs) in all restaurants cafe's and bars.

•Accessibility to open space and public events.

Employment / volunteering

Over a third (38 per cent) of responses mentioned something about employment or volunteering as one of the top three priorities. Most comments within this category simply mentioned a need for more employment and volunteering opportunities for people with a disability without any further elaboration, however a few did provide more detail:

•Assistance with rewarding employment.

•Employment / volunteer options for intellectually disabled.

•Providing purpose in living (match the person with a vocation).

•The promotion of volunteering opportunities both inside and outside of business hours.

•Helping people with disability to work a casual job. Give the casual jobs.

•Risk taking by council to open up opportunities for employment / volunteering.

Community attitudes

Over one quarter (30 per cent) of comments mentioned changing community attitudes and perceptions.

•Helping disabled people feel at home comfortable and accepted.

•Educate people about disabilities.

•An inclusive community where people with disabilities are included (not just tolerated).

•To make public more aware and accepting of people with disability.

Events and activities

More than one in five responses (22 per cent) stated that holding events and activities should be one of the top three priorities for the Disability Action Plan. None of the comments mentioned any specific ideas regarding events or activities:

•More activities in community for people with a disability.

•More social opportunities for young adults w disabilities, via group activities.

•Community inclusions activities.


Nearly one in five responses (19 per cent) mentioned inclusion as a priority, mostly relating to events and activities. This category also encompasses other aspects of inclusion:

•Inclusion for all types and levels of disability.

•Inclusive programs / work experience.

•Activities for young children – inclusion.

•Promoting community access and inclusion.


The category of information spans topics from accessibility of information through to providing more information about events:

•Improving access to information on services run by both the Council and Community organisations.

•Simple language/pictorial advertising events.

•Improving access to information on services run by both the Council and Community organisations.

•Accessible information and technology.

•Detailed accessibility map of places where people congregate to socialise (ie. restaurants, bars, cafes). Use good examples when planning and consult with people who have a disability (you could contact Women with a Disability Victoria for this). Melbourne City Council is about to update theirs which had better content than other examples (though outdated).

•Providing information RE service.


Almost one in ten (9 per cent) responses called for services to be more age appropriate:

•Aged frail.

•Preventing isolation that besets disabled as they get older.

•Services to assist and support aged and disabled.

•Easy access to Aged care customer service.

Quality of support

Some (5 per cent) called for refinement of service delivery to better meet the needs of people with a disability.

•Experienced staff working with carers / services.

•Reduce waiting time between applying for HACC services and services being provided.

•Services to disabled e.g. Home service and support.

•Personal Care Home care etc.

•Continue improve availability of help.

•Personal and individual approach to service provision.

Council programs and services

The Council specific programs and services mentioned were:

•Great library services.

•Provide services and assistance to people with disability.

•Leadership by council.


There were calls for improved advocacy across a number of topics:

•Advocacy and partnerships > Traders and Business > state and federal > Developers.

•Advocacy on issues to increase independence.

•Advocate and provide better nutrition, recognise that eating might not provide nutrition.


Respondents identified a number of other priorities that do not clearly fit within the above categories:

•Stop East West Link

•Providing an equal level of support to ALL those with disabilities including autism

•Toilet access in public halls.

•Ongoing subsidized physio services

•Keeping public areas hazard free during development works.

•Mobility shopping and banking with carer

•Can’t read


•Making it part of what they do all the time, not just a box they tick

•Increase font size in vision friendly colours

•Promotion of achievement regardless of ability

•Mobility e.g. upgrading ped and school xing

•Practical assistance - housing work (volunteer and paid)


Ideas for responding to priorities

A further verbatim field was provided for respondents to share any ideas they might have for how Council can respond to these priorities.

Suggestions can be broadly grouped into five topics: planning and infrastructure, employment, events, communications and customer service, and advocacy and inclusion:

Planning and infrastructure

Within this grouping there were a number of very specific suggestions. These mostly revolve around upgrading footpaths, roads and parking to increase safety and access.

•Before any roads, parking areas and footpaths are repaired or planned; that mobility challenged people and their vehicles are taken into consideration in proportion to the people affected within the community.

•High visibility markings on curbs, gutters and around crossings need to be consistent.

•Spend money on repairs to footpaths and road crossings.

•Audible traffic lights at traffic stops.

•Begin planning for an expansion of tram services.

•Buckley street shops opposite Essendon Secondary college not accessible by wheelchair.

•Build more high-rise or better public housing.

•Council assisting us with securing housing and legal matters.

•Community Bus i don’t know about the Times.

•Disable parking area in shopping to have a time e.g.9.00-4.00 pm.

•Council to consider barriers to participation in its facilities and programs and work with disabled people to minimise or remove these barriers.

•Increase the number of parks that cater to children with disabilities.

•It would be nice to stay on one public transport to get into the city - we catch the bus, it takes ages.

•More funding for wheelchairs and aids.

•More public toilets with wheelchair access.

•Our daughter (Down's Syndrome) could live independently in an appropriate unit close to her sisters and work. She works at queens Park aged care centre and the units owned by Doutta Galla would be perfect. However purchasers must be over 55. This kind of accommodation would be perfect.

•Policing of 'access car spaces' will pay for itself within very short time; educate middle management, particularly home care; involve people with disability on committees/groups and respect their knowledge and wisdom - tokenism is no longer tolerated.

•Improvements at Essendon railway station- the platforms are too low to enable easy access in and out of trains. The train should line up with the platform - currently the "step" into and off the train is just far too high for the disabled and elderly. Installation of super stops at Essendon central roundabout and at Moonee Ponds junction (the tram steps are too high for disabled people to easily access.