As Southern Grampians Disability Support Group Inc, formed in 1994, and as its successor, Hamilton Disability Access Group, the groups have lobbied for better access to a wide range of community buildings and services. In recent years the Rural Access program has been at the forefront of addressing these concerns along with its many other areas of interest. In many cases the Groups have suggested ways to improve proposed plans for upgrades so that the very best outcomes can be achieved for people with physical, sensory and intellectual limitations.
Some projects to date that we have lobbied for are:


Post Office:
Lobbied for latest improvements. This took many years and the help of almost every official in Hamilton and beyond to accomplish.


Performing Arts Centre:
• Lift to Cinema and Auditorium
• Suggested platform area at rear of PAC for wheelchairs and walkers to use, plus small lift from the Auditorium
• Upstairs disabled toilet – complies with regulations
• Latest upgrades: Advice re wheelchair access to Cinema and best placing in seating areas, ticket area
• Understanding fire escape procedures
• Consulted about plans for PAC foyer and entrance and provided some suggestions for better access
• Brown Street crossing – stressed need for remedying incorrect gradients

Library:
Computer room – asked for layout of desks to provide access to at least one computer terminal for wheelchairs and walkers.

The Birches:
• Consulted about plans and made suggestions for improving some aspects of access
• Lobbied for a room for younger patients with wheelchairs to use. A wheelchair accessible room was built in the respite area but it has been necessary for it to be used by general patients as needed.
• Undercover entry

Foster Street:
Consulted about location of disabled parks, gradients etc.

Ballarat Road Overpass:
Saw need for safe footpath on the overpass and contacted VicRoads. Also asked for proper pram crossing onto road to be installed.

Hamilton Village:
Viewed the display home and pointed out some of the access problems.

Alexandra House:
Lobbied for a wheelchair entrance and bell at side door. Alexandra House obliged and has more recently provided disabled parking, excellent toilet facilities and lately a ramp to the gaming area.

Mulleraterong:
Added our voice to pleas for a proper crossing at the front of the main building. Crossing built.

Hamilton Special Development School:
Added our voice over a long period of time to the many asking for desperately needed road improvements which were eventually undertaken.

Hamilton Show Grounds:
Consulted with the committee to seek ways to improve seating, location of disabled parking etc.

HILAC:
Were asked for comment on the plans and for suggestions where appropriate.

Hughan Park:
Lobbied for improved access at the main entrance, toilets.

Hamilton Botanic Gardens:
Asked for input re wheelchair access to barbecue area, lawns, disabled toilets, opening of the Kennedy Street gate nr the bird cage and the new playground layout. Disabled car parks.

Disabled car parks:
Have been asked for ideas about where disabled car parks need to be located; e.g., in French Street outside Gray Street PS, three parks in McLuckies Lane.

Many other incidental and ongoing problems that need to be brought to the attention of the authorities; eg. Visibility at the Gallery Corner roundabout which Council is addressing, the Railway Station difficulties, bus stops and the bus service.

When shops are undertaking major renovations, reminded Council of the need for no steps and ramps that comply with regulations. We stress the exacting nature of gradients and their relevance to safety.

Numerous requests to Council for improving pram crossings at intersections Some works they have carried out are at McIntyre Street and Griffin Street corners amongst others.

Community Inclusion Plans – asked to submit ideas.

Have a representative on the Community Inclusion Advisory Committee

Provided letters of support for various projects and campaigns such as the All Abilities Playground and lakeside improvements project and submissions to government for more funding for accommodation for disabled.