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Accessible facilities: world becoming better place for people with disabilities

Curry Reserve has become home to the Macarthur region’s area’s first fully accessible and accredited public toilet and adult change facility.

The new change facility, which received its Changing Places Australia accreditation on January 29, is wheelchair accessible and includes a tracking adult hoist system, full sized adjustable change table, new toilet and shower and change room amenities.

Its accreditation means the facility is certified to cater for users with high support needs and their carers, where additional space, assistance and specialised equipment are required to allow them to use amenities safely and comfortably.

Mayor of Camden, Cr Theresa Fedeli, said she was incredibly proud to be only the fifth council in the state to receive a Changing Places Australia accreditation in a public space.

“The closest councils offering a public and Changing Places accredited facility includes Canterbury-Bankstown (45 kilometres away), Georges River (55 kilometres away) and Lake Macquarie (180 kilometres away),” Cr Fedeli said.

“There are more than 6,000 Camden residents currently living with some form of disability, so it’s important for us at council to create inclusive and happy spaces that our residents don’t have to travel long distances to access.

Thumbs up: Mayor of Camden Theresa Fedeli with resident Jodie Edwards and her daughter Hayley Edwards at the new change facility in Curry Reserve water play space.

“I’m also incredibly proud to say Camden is the only council in the Sydney region to offer free Master Lock Access Keys (MLAK) for this public facility to eligible residents.

“This is an innovative system that enables people with disability to have 24/7 access to public facilities. We’re also the only council in Australia to offer an innovative pin pad code system for our facility.”

Local resident Jodie Edwards said the space and now the accredited change facility has made life a lot easier for her family.

“My 16-year-old daughter, Hayley, has Angelman syndrome,” Ms Edwards said.

“Hayley loves water, so being able to completely immerse herself with the help of the wet wheelchairs and watch the water spurt up around her makes her day.

“And now we have no changing issues at Curry Reserve. Hayley needs full assistance to be changed and this requires her to be laying down at times. We usually have to do this in the back of the car, which is not very comfortable or private.

“It’s normally very hard for us to find activities and places that the whole family can enjoy together. It’s a relief to be able to go to Curry Reserve Water Play Space, watch everyone have fun and not have to worry about rushing home to change Hayley.”

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