Large scale events such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games are contentious because of the cost of preparation. However, with careful planning, these events can leave a legacy of lasting benefits for communities. That’s the aim of the Brisbane 2032 Legacy Strategy.
Vision: “By 2042, we will live in an inclusive, sustainable and connected society, with more opportunities in life for everyone.”
Universal design is mentioned throughout the document as an underpinning principle for inclusion and accessibility as if they are inherently the same thing. Consequently, the language defaults to “universal accessibility”. This term is often interpreted as meeting disability access standards in the built environment, which do not guarantee inclusive outcomes.
Similar to other policy documents, universal design is explained at the very end. If universal design is an underpinning principle of all aspects of the Games, it should be at the front of the document. Nevertheless, “universal design” is found under each of the focus areas.
Focus of the strategy
The strategy focuses on society, economy, connectivity and environment. The strategy, titled Elevate 2042, uses the Paralympic Games as the platform for “advancing accessibility and empowering people with disability”.
“Elevate 2042 is the catalyst to create a truly inclusive society
for all. From universal design underpinning everything we build to providing sport for
every Queensland child with a disability, I cannot wait to see what we have achieved by 2042.” Dr Bridie Kean
Inclusion and accessibility
By definition, the Paralympic Games must be inclusive and accessible. However, the concepts should be considered across all aspects of both Games. Co-design processes are mentioned in relation to people with disability but not other marginalised groups.
The key points listed on the Paralympics Australia website for “Advancing accessibility and empowering people with disability” are:
- People with disability can participate fully in the community
- And have a voice on housing, transport, education, employment and sport
- With accessible, inclusive sports infrastructure and events
- Queensland’s Disability Plan 2022-2027: Together, a Better Queensland
- Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031
Image from the Paralympics Australia website