If you are not a person who has a disability, you may be wondering what exactly is disabled accessible in Melbourne? That’s a good question! Well, there is lots that is disabled accessible in Melbourne, including; the Melbourne Zoo, NGV International, ArtVo, the Australian Sports Museum, ACMI, Melbourne Museum, Melbourne Aquarium, Immigration Museum, and the Arts Centre in Melbourne.
Considering all these options you may be wondering what’s the problem?
Well, as a person with a disability who is on and off mobility aids, I can testify to how much harder life is when you have to constantly consider whether something is accessible or not. You have to be extra prepared every time you go somewhere new; is there a ramp? is there a lift? is there a parking spot nearby that will allow for enough time? is there a disability toilet? is the shop far away? are the hallways big enough to get my wheelchair through? is there an accessible changing room? are the disability spots usually full? And the list goes on…
Not only is accessibility a human right, but it ensures for a good and healthy livelihood, where a person with a disability is able to roam their community without hassle or barriers. It means they are able to also enjoy the same beauty, culture and art that everyone else in Melbourne or Sydney get to experience and that they don’t miss out. Who else struggles with FOMO? Well, imagine if you had a disability and experienced that on a daily basis simply because they could not access a certain place or building. https://www.artvo.com.au/
Why is Disabled Accessible Transport important?
People with disabilities should have equal access to transportation to fully participate in all aspects of life. It not only ensures their safety but also provides them with a sense of independence and autonomy. Without access to transport, people with disabilities may not be able to attend work or school, access health care, or participate in social activities.
What challenges do people with disability face?
Physical barriers such as stairs, narrow doorways and lack of elevators, make it difficult for people with mobility impairments to navigate through public transport. There is also a lack of awareness and understanding among the general public regarding the needs of people with disabilities. The infrastructure of public transport in Melbourne is also inadequate, which makes it difficult for people with disabilities to travel.
What are the options available for disabled accessible transport in Melbourne?
There are various transport options available for people with disabilities in Melbourne. Wheelchair accessible taxis are available for people who require a vehicle that can accommodate a wheelchair. Public transport options such as buses and trains have made significant progress in terms of accessibility, with low-floor buses and train carriages that can accommodate wheelchairs. Private hire vehicles that are wheelchair accessible are also available for hire, providing people with disabilities with more flexibility and convenience.
How is Melbourne fairing in terms of disabled accessibility?
If you have a disability, getting around Melbourne can be a challenge. However, there are public and discounted private services available to help with your transport needs. Additionally, accessible parking spaces can be found near the entrance of all public buildings.
Accessible Parking Spaces
Accessible parking spaces are marked with a sign showing a blue wheelchair symbol. These parking spaces are often also marked with a blue wheelchair symbol on the ground. To use an accessible parking space, your vehicle must display a disability permit. You can find more information about disability parking permits on the VicRoads website, or visit the City of Melbourne website for more information about parking for people with disabilities.
If you use a wheelchair, you can book a taxi that is able to carry your wheelchair. These taxis have lifts to ensure you and your wheelchair can safely get into the taxi. Visit the Taxi Services Commission website for more information about taxis and traveling with a disability.
Accessible Trams, Trains, and Buses
Many trams on Melbourne’s network have low floors and spaces reserved for people using a wheelchair. Seats near the doors are reserved for people who have mobility issues or special needs. All metropolitan and regional trains are also wheelchair-accessible. Many of Melbourne’s bus services from Monday to Friday have low floors and wheelchair access.
Visit the Public Transport Victoria (PTV) website to learn more about disabled access to public transport.
Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Hire
You can hire a wheelchair accessible vehicle with a ramp or an electric hoist that can maneuver your wheelchair in and out of the vehicle. A driver can be included and our vehicles are regularly cleaned and maintained to ensure for a safe and comfortable experience. Having family members and friends with a disability we understand the complexities of living with a disability and aim to provide flexible services to accomodate for all of your needs! Contact us here if you have any questions.
Moving Forward with Disabled Accessibility in Melbourne
The city of Melbourne seeks to make Melbourne one of the world’s most accessible and inclusive cities. They developed their first action plan in 1999 and are currently working off a Disability Access Plan 2020-2024 which was researched, developed and co-designed with the City of Melbourne’s Disability Advisory Committee and addresses barriers in our built, information and social environments.