Ideals of freedom, diversity and inclusion have long inspired the culture of social reform that thrives in Adelaide today. Here at the City of Adelaide, putting people’s wellbeing first is at the heart of what guides us in all that we do to make the city an ever more welcoming and inclusive place for everyone to enjoy.
Endorsed in February, the Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2019-2022 (DAIP) outlines where Council’s efforts are focused moving forward and how we intend to achieve our goals. Supporting this body of work is a newly appointed 12-member Access and Inclusion Advisory Panel, made up of people with relevant lived experience and organisational representatives.
Among the new members is Jarad McLoughlin, a passionate advocate for Adelaide’s disability and LGBTIQ communities and a familiar voice for fans of the programs De-Stigmatised and The Wire on Radio Adelaide.
Jarad was diagnosed with Autism (Asperger’s Syndrome), has Ayme-Gripp Syndrome and other vision and hearing impairments, none of which dampen his enthusiasm for getting amongst city life.
“I’ve been coming into the city since I was about 13,” said Jarad. “I like the East End precinct because there’s a variety of different cultures that immerse themselves in many parts of Rundle Street. I studied at the University of Adelaide’s North Terrace campus, so I’ve always enjoyed all the food choices here too.”
Jarad’s motivation for applying to join the Panel was to have a seat at the table to help shape positive outcomes for access and inclusion around key city projects.
“We want to be sure that the city of Adelaide caters for everyone, that no one feels they have to keep away,” said Jarad.
“Everyone should be allowed to come to the city, to have a grand time and do whatever it is they set their minds to – whether they want to go to a night club or a pub, study on campus, go out for dinner, watch a movie or go to a festival performance. No one wants to be othered, excluded or secluded.”
Removing barriers that hinder people’s city experience is one thing, but it’s important to be aware of where they might exist in the first place.
“I don’t have any of the issues that a lot of people with disability have. I’m not totally blind, I’m not Deaf, I’m not in a wheelchair and I don’t have to use a seeing eye dog – but people on the Autism spectrum are quite prone to have information and sensory overload attacks. We have to process so many noises and sounds, from cars, public transport, people walking, running, talking or shouting.”
To help with his sound hypersensitivity Jarad usually moves about the city wearing noise-cancelling headphones. These reduce noise levels by about 40 per cent but see him rely heavily on visual cues to safely get about and road rules being observed by drivers, cyclists and others on foot.
“Pedestrian safety is an area we can keep improving so every person with a disability can get around the city without fear.”
Meet all the members of the City of Adelaide’s Access & Inclusion Advisory Panel and download a copy of the DAIP by visiting cityofadelaide.com.au/access-inclusion