DPA  has made a submission to the Christchurch City Council on their draft Smart City Strategy.

While DPA welcomes Christchurch’s plans to develop a Smart Strategy, it needs to make the stated goal of removing barriers to access a higher priority, and also make explicit in the final document that this applies to removing barriers to digital access for disabled people and other socially marginalised groups within the city.

DPA recommends the council:

  • investigate signing up to the Government’s Accessibility Charter
  • engage in co-design outreach initiatives with Disabled People’s Organisations
  • ensures that the strategy lays the groundwork for improving access to the digital commons for all people, including disabled people
  • works alongside central government to fund free and/or very low-cost internet wireless broadband access to all its social housing tenants and other disadvantaged low-income groups with ongoing free support and training
  • Makes both disabled and older people the highest priority groups for the provision of the above
  • Also provides free and/or very low-cost accessible devices via partnerships between central and local government and local technology providers
  • Uses preferential contract tendering to support IT start ups created by local disabled people and utilise the direct lived knowledge and skills of disabled IT specialists in the building and maintenance of accessible websites and apps

Read the full DPA submission on the Draft Smart City Strategy (Word Doc)