MetroAccess is an initiative of the Victorian State Disability Plan 2002-2012. It aims to build the capacity of local communities across metropolitan Victoria so that they are more welcoming and inclusive of people with disabilities.
MetroAccess represents a new approach for Disability Services, where the community is the primary focus. MetroAccess is being implemented in partnership with local government.
Over the past two decades government policy has focused on supporting people with disabilities to participate more in community life. However, despite a stronger presence in the community, the extent to which people with disabilities are seen as active members of their community is varied.
In 2000, Disability Services implemented RuralAccess which proved to be a highly successful strategy in addressing the issues of disadvantage and exclusion experienced by people with disabilities in rural and regional Victoria.
Building on the success of RuralAccess, MetroAccess provides an area-based community building strategy targeting people with disabilities across metropolitan Victoria.
MetroAccess has been designed to provide a comprehensive response to the key issues experienced by people with disabilities in local communities.
MetroAccess works to bring together the strengths, resources and creativity of individuals, communities and government to enhance the community membership and participation opportunities for people with disabilities.
MetroAccess achieves this by:
- Working to increase community awareness about the needs and aspirations of people with a disability
- Bringing together a broad range of stakeholders in supporting change in local communities
- Focusing on local area planning and development to address issues of disadvantage and exclusion experienced by people with disabilities
- Developing partnerships and projects that respond to local needs and priorities
- Creating more opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in all aspects of community life
- Playing a pivotal role in promoting stronger co-ordination of effort between disability support providers, local and state government, community organisations and local communities
MetroAccess is based on a developmental approach that seeks to build long- term, sustainable change in local communities. The aspirations, issues and opportunities that exist within each local community provide the driver for the work of MetroAccess.