The HOME Research Hub have been on a mission to ensure Geelong’s vision of being a world leading example of an accessible city becomes a reality. 

The Conversation recently picked up on the Deakin HOME Project – Accessible and Inclusive Geelong, as it moves towards advancing the project to the next stage.

The project which began in 2018 commenced with community discussion and facilitated community workshops and focus groups. The workshops involved a diverse stakeholder group with local government, community groups and community members with lived experience of the accessibility challenges. Including individuals who could bring their challenges and experience to the discussion was key to reaching the outcomes and priorities that the workshop and focus groups uncovered.

A feasibility study and extensive data synthesis was then undertaken producing an extensive report which included specific action points to 6 priority recommendations.

6 Priority Recommendations for Accessibility and Inclusion in Geelong

The project’s next step is a Symposium which will occur in Geelong on 19 November, 2019. The State Minister will be in attendance and to help all stakeholders come up with an implementation strategy, and discuss possible next steps for the research.

More than being about just building design and environment, the HOME project sits in the area of social science as it is designed to truly understand the impact and accessibility is about. Progressing Geelong to the benchmark of Australia’s most accessible city isn’t about installing a building or picking a project or two, its about rethinking how our cities’ residents and visitors can live, work and explore the city. Employment, housing, education, transport and support services are all areas that need attention. Creating a city that meets that objective requires broad thinking from many disciplines within the social sciences and collaboration with people who experience or are deterred from certain experiences due to accessibility obstacles.

The HOME Project – Accessible and Inclusive Geelong aims to provide a framework for other cities to undertake and follow in their footsteps. 

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