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Email Link   People with Disabilities

An accessible and inclusive community means creating possibilities. It enables people to live their lives according to their individual interests, needs and aspirations, no matter who they are or their circumstances. It means being able to physically move around the community and feel included as a member of the community. It involves access to buildings, festivals, events and open space such as streetscapes and parks, and inclusion in arts and culture, leisure, sports, education, employment and social life. Tweed Shire Council is committed to ensuring equal opportunities for people with disability to take part in every aspect of community life and have fair access to Council and community programs, services and resources. Council employs a Community Development Officer - Aged and Disability.

To contact a member of the Community Development Team, please call (02) 6670 2400 or 1300 292 872 or email

Events and Activities Supported

International Day of People with Disability

International Day of People with Disability is a United Nations designated day held annually on 3 December. The day aims to promote a better understanding of disability issues, with a focus on the rights of people with disabilities and the gains from integrating people with disabilities in every aspect of the political, social, economic and cultural life of their communities. The goal is for full and effective participation of people with disabilities in society. It was established by the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1982.

Access and Inclusion Awards

The Tweed Shire Access and Inclusion Awards were launched in 2013 to celebrate achievement and innovation in building an accessible community.

The awards recognise and acknowledge action by individuals, community groups, organisations and businesses that build and promote an accessible and inclusive Tweed community. They culminate in an awards ceremony in early December, to coincide with the International Day of People with Disability.

Please visit the Access and Inclusion Awards page for more information.

Watch a video of the 2013 awards ceremony, featuring the entertainers and all the award and certificate recipients (external link)

Tweed Shire Beach Wheel Chairs

Tweed Shire Council has four beach wheel chairs available for use. They are stored at Fingal Head Beach, Cabarita Beach, Tweed Heads and Pottsville. The Fingal Head and Cabarita chairs have a specific region that they are permitted to be used in and under no circumstances can the chairs be removed from that area or transported elsewhere. The Tweed Heads chair may be transported for use at any Tweed Coast beach. The hirer is responsible for all transportation arrangements and payment of the refundable deposit for this chair. At the time of hire, the user / family member / care giver is required to read and agree to the terms of use, sign a lease agreement and provide identification. The terms of use are guidelines to ensure that the person using the chair is kept safe at all times.

For further information or to arrange hire of a beach wheel chair please contact: Community Services on (07) 5569 3110 or email

Subsidised Aquatic Centre Membership

Subsidised Aquatic Centre membership (subject to conditions) are available.

For further information, please visit the TRAC Memebership page (external link).

Committees, Interagencies, Networks and Working Groups

The Community Development Officer - Ageing and Disability is involved in the following groups to advocate for and support initiatives of people living with a disability in the Tweed.

The Tweed Shire Equal Access Advisory Committee is appointed to advise Council of community and organisational perspectives on access issues. Objectives of the Committee are to:
  1. Provide a forum to address public access issues raised by the community.
  2. Provide advice and recommendations for consideration to Council on relevant access issues.
  3. Provide advice to Council to assist in raising public awareness of access issues.
  4. Provide advice to Council, as requested, on access provisions for major building and development applications.
  5. Keep Council informed on disability access issues.

The Tweed Disability Interagency Network is a bi-monthly forum for all service providers and representatives of consumer groups who are interested in the promotion, expansion and coordination of disability services in the Tweed Local Government Area.

Policy and Strategic Documents

A range of policies and strategic documents are used to inform planning for people living with a disability across the Tweed Shire. These include the Community Profile, Census data, Issues Papers and Social Plan.

The 2011 Census shows that 5,865 people with a disability need assistance with core daily activities (an increase of 1,180 people from the 2006 Census) and 8,549 people indicating they provide assistance to someone with a disability. The Tweed Shire Community Profile (2008) reports figures from the 2006 Census estimating that as many as 19,066 people in Tweed Shire live with a disability, (including 4,685 requiring assistance with core daily activities). This was twenty four percent (24%) of the total population at that time (79,321 persons). Seventy per cent (70%) of people with disabilities in Tweed Shire are aged over 55 years of age and the number of people with disabilities increases with age. In Tweed Shire over twenty two percent (22%) of the population is over 65 years of age which is twice the NSW rate. This number is predicted to increase in coming years.

Access and Inclusion Policy

The Access and Inclusion Policy provides a framework outlining Council's commitment to improving access and inclusion.

Access and Inclusion Policy (46kB PDF)

Access and Inclusion Action Plan 2018-2021

Council's first Plan was adopted on 21 August 2014. It was developed through consultation with the community, Council's Equal Access Advisory Committee, Management and staff, Councillors and through research. The Plan has now been updated and outlines a process for assessing and implementing changes that will make our community a place that everyone can enjoy. An accessible community provides everyone with equal and dignified access to all aspects of community life. Access and Inclusion Plans are a response to the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and enable local government to outline commitments to addressing access barriers that prevent involvement in the community. The NSW Disability Inclusion Bill 2014 requires local government to develop and implement Access and Inclusion Plans that are integrated into the Community Strategic Plan.

This Plan was adjusted in 2018 to meet the NSW Disability Inclusion Action Planning Guidelines in the NSW Disability Inclusion Act 2014.

There are four Key Focus Areas in the new Disability Inclusion Plan:
  1. Developing positive community attitudes and behaviours
  2. Creating liveable communities
  3. Supporting access to meaningful employment
  4. Improving access to services through better systems and processes
An additional column has been added to each of the five tables in the current Plan to show where the actions fit into these new focus areas..

Access and Inclusion Plan 2018-2021 (2.54mB PDF)

Access and Inclusion Plan 2018-2021 - Easy English Version (729kB PDF)

Issues Papers

The Tweed Shire Issues Paper and Profile for People with Disabilities has been endorsed to inform the development of Council's Access and Inclusion Policy and Action Plan.

Tweed Shire Issues Paper and Profile of People with Disability (574kB PDF)
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