Parks Victoria is seeking ideas and feedback on the first stage of a new disability action plan, focusing on access and experiences, volunteering and employment opportunities within the organisation.

Parks Victoria will continue to connect people with nature and create a more inclusive environment by developing a new disability action plan.

Now open for community engagement, Parks Victoria is seeking ideas and feedback on the first stage of the plan, to help guide priorities and actions needed to welcome all people to Victoria’s precious landscapes.

Parks Victoria is committed to enabling visitors living with a disability to enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits from being in nature with their families and friends.

Encompassing park access and experiences, volunteering and employment opportunities with Parks Victoria, the plan will also align with the priorities of the State Government’s new state disability plan when released.

Once final, the plan will set priorities and actions for the next four years and continue the work already being done to provide parks for everyone, including improving and creating more accessible environments for visitors with a disability.

In the past few years Parks Victoria has launched or expanded a range of initiatives for disabled people, including online resources for children with autism, the TrailRider program to enable better access for wheelchair users and a developing partnership with Blind Sports and Recreation Victoria to deliver the ‘walk in the park program’ for blind or vision impaired people.

Parks Victoria will host a series of online focus groups and a survey for community feedback.

Supports are available for all participants throughout the consultation process, including Auslan interpreters and live closed captioning.

Since the previous Disability Action Plan 2017-20, Parks Victoria has enhanced consultation with communities, improved access to parks and provided more volunteering and educational opportunities for all Victorians.

Parks Victoria accessibility and inclusion coordinator John Kenwright said Victoria’s parks were places for connecting with nature and each other.

“Parks Victoria plays an integral role in enabling everyone to connect with our wonderful natural environment to ensure they gain many health and wellbeing benefits,” he said.

“Parks Victoria has engaged with people of all abilities to provide more inclusive opportunities for them to explore and enjoy Victoria’s precious natural and cultural landscapes.”

For more information, to register for a focus group or to complete a survey, please visit engage.vic.gov.au/parks-disability-action-plan or call 13 19 63.

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