Wheelchair Accessibility is a Human Right
Did you know that the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) makes it against the law for public places to be inaccessible to people with a disability?
This means that places like; Public footpaths and walkways, Educational institutions, Shops and department stores, Cafes, restaurants, pubs, Parks, public swimming pools, public toilets, and pedestrian malls, Hairdressers and beauty salons HAVE to be accessible (except where this would involve “unjustifiable hardship” – to find out more about this click here).
Do you know what this means?… that people with a disability CAN AND SHOULD EXPECT to be able to enter and make use of all public places. That if you have a disability you CAN AND SHOULD COMPLAIN if a place is inaccessible to you.
In fact, after complaints from people with a disability:
- A local council improved accessibility to three local shops by constructing footpath ramps, altering stair areas, widening some path areas, and relocating post boxes and traffic signs to create a clear passage.
- A bank installed a ramp at the front door to allow a local customer with a disability to independently conduct her financial transactions.
- The furniture in a college canteen was rearranged to improve access for a student with a disability, which also improved traffic flow for everyone.
- A shopping complex provided way finding information to direct people to the lifts for improved accessibility.
- A lift was modified to provide tactile and audio information about floor numbers to better accommodate people with visual or hearing impairments.
THESE ARE GREAT WINS FOR ACCESSIBILITY!!
Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Legal Requirements
There are even strict legal requirements that Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAVs) Owners & Drivers, such as ourselves, must meet to ensure the safety of passengers. For example, we must ensure that each vehicle is equipped with the necessary restraint systems to safely secure each wheelchair and its occupant and that the vehicle has a functioning air conditioner/heater.
CPVV’s requirements are included in the Determination of Specifications for Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles PDF, 189.5 KB (CPVV WAV Specifications) published in the Victoria Government Gazette on 20 February 2020.
For more information visit the Commercial Passengers Vehicles Victoria page here.
So, you may be wondering...
What exactly is wheelchair accessible in Melbourne?
Whilst Melbourne still has improvements before it becomes fully accessible there are still plenty of options for people with a wide variety of disabilities and needs. Below is some information about accessible accommodation, activities and attractions and the best ways to get around in Melbourne and Victoria.
♿️ Melbourne mobility map
Download a mobility map of the centre of Melbourne, courtesy of City of Melbourne. The map shows useful accessibility information such as street gradients, toilets, parking and public transport stops.
♿️ Getting around Melbourne
The City of Melbourne can help you find out about accessible parking, public transport, taxis and vehicle hire and getting mobile on Melbourne’s footpaths.
♿️ Travellers Aid
Travellers Aid provides travel-related support and aid including accessible toilet, shower and change amenities, equipment loan and a rest area. It provides advice and assistance to older and frail people, and people with disabilities to ensure safe passage. Travellers Aid is located at City Village on Bourke Street, at Southern Cross and Flinders Street stations in Melbourne’s CBD, and at Seymour Station and Ballarat Station in regional Victoria. Travellers Aid also provides services at iconic Melbourne events. Bookings are essential.
♿️ Arts Access Victoria
Arts Access Victoria provides access, engagement and professional development in the arts and cultural life across Victoria for people with a disability.
♿️ Accessible outdoor activities
Parks Victoria and some local governments provide all-terrain wheelchairs, or TrailRiders, in several parks and some towns for visitors to explore the great outdoors. Chairs are suited for sandy and semi-rough tracks, trails and beaches. Parks Victoria provides a range of other accessible facilities, including boating aids, beach wheelchairs, a Stairclimber to access Buchan Caves and modified cabin accommodation.
♿️ Accessible beaches and sport
The closest accessible beaches to the centre of Melbourne are St Kilda and Port Melbourne beaches, but there are many more across Victoria. AAA Play has compiled an exhaustive list of these as well as places where you can take part in inclusive sports activities.
♿️ Accessible Experiences
Discover a range of accessible experiences suitable for a wide range of people with disability, from basic to complex mobility levels. This website will help you explore and have fun across Victoria.
♿️ Accessible Accommodation
Search for accessible holiday accommodation options across Victoria with this online booking service. The booking engine includes curated booking for NDIS participants.
Do you need help getting around Victoria?
We would love to support you in getting around Victoria in one of our wheelchair accessible vehicles. You can go with one of our drivers or take your own driver, that’s up to you! You may be able to even use your NDIS funding to cover the costs.
Contact us here if you have any questions or if you would like a quote We are happy to help!
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