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Accessibility News Round-Up: April 2023

There is so much exciting news at the moment – school holiday activities, improved accessibility, exciting exhibits  – that it’s easy to miss something amazing. Here’s a round-up of everything that’s caught my attention lately. If you have any hot tips, please share them in the comments or over on our Facebook page!

Accessibility News Round-Up April 2023 - text overlaid on image of Braeden and Hubby in front of a Spongebob display at the Royal Easter Show

Autism-friendly activities 

LiveBig has put out a fantastic list of the best autism-friendly things to do.

“Individuals with autism may have unique needs and preferences when it comes to recreational activities due to differences in sensory processing, social communication, and repetitive behaviours, which can impact how they experience and interact with the world around them. These activities have been chosen specifically to provide a positive and comfortable experience for individuals on the autism spectrum and their carers and families,” said Juliet Middleton, CEO of LiveBig.

We’ve been lucky enough to try some of the activities over the years, so here’s a few of the Have Wheelchair Will Travel tried-and-tested recommendations.

Find more of LiveBig’s recommendations on their website.




Radiothon is back!

Throughout the month of April, Vision Australia Radio is raising money and support via Radiothon. They’re hoping to raise $50,000 to help cover the costs of keeping the service on-air.

Did you know that an average of 350,000 people tune in to Vision Australia Radio every month? It’s a vital service for people who are blind or have low-vision. Programming includes newspapers and other print publications being read on-air, current affairs, and programs on blindness and low vision-specific topics. It’s both an incredible source of information and a point of connection for community.

Promotional image for Radiothon from Vision Australia - a man broadcasting behind a mixing desk, speaking into a microphone

You can find your frequency or tune in online at varadio.org. All donations of $2 or more are tax deductible, and can be processed online or by calling 1300 84 74 66.

All-abilities fishing in Queensland

2023 is the Year of Accessible Tourism in Queensland, and we’re loving seeing stories of accessibility and inclusivity coming out of the Sunshine State. One story that caught our eye was about fishing charter operators reeling in new customers by making their activities accessible to all.

Fishability on Bribie Island assists aspiring fishers who need extra support to experience the joy of fishing. They have trained and experienced volunteer guides, purpose-built motorised rods and reels, wheelchair-accessible vessels, and more.

Pacific Wind on the Gold Coast is Australia’s first wheelchair-designed charter cruise boat. It’s a therapeutic haven for people with disabilities, even if they’ve experienced challenges with accessibility on the water in the past. The boat was designed and fitted for wheelchair access by Michael Brown, a quadriplegic angler who uses a wheelchair.

Plus, there’s a brilliant innovation coming out of Hervey Bay: the Reel Keen Powerchair, a specialised piece of equipment that allows wheelchair users to hold a rod and reel in their catch. Robert Agius, a fishing fanatic who uses a wheelchair, developed the rod that can turn a powerchair into a game fishing chair in just minutes. We’re excited to see what Robert does next, too – he has plans to purchase a purpose-built vessel to take fellow fishing fanatics to his favourite spots.

Sharks is coming to the States!

The Sharks exhibition from the Australian Museum is headed off on a global tour.

The Australian Museum has welcomed over 160,000 to the blockbuster exhibit over the past six months. It’s an awe-inspiring experience, with 10 life-size scientifically-accurate models, plus cultural objects, state-of-the-art projections, and interactive video content. There are over 200 species of shark swimming in the waters around Australia, and this exhibit focuses on the importance of conservation efforts, as well as their significance in Pacific cultures.

Two kids in front of a life-size shark figure at the Australian Museum's Sharks exhibition

American followers, you’re in luck: Sharks is headed your way! It will debut in Florida, before heading to Texas, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

Find out more on the Australian Museum’s comprehensive website guide.


ATSA Independent Living Expo Melbourne (sponsored)

Where will you be on the 24-25 May? Register now for ATSA Independent Living Expo Melbourne

New to the world of Assistive Technology? Need some tips and hints on paediatric seating and equipment? After solutions for access to aquatic activities? Want to learn more about pressure injuries? Interested in home mods and housing options?

Answers to all these questions and more are on offer at ATSA Independent Living Expo, through the five-track free seminar program and the 160 plus exhibitors involved, over 24-25 May at the Melbourne Showgrounds. Its free and we will shout you a coffee for pre-registering.

ATSA Independent Living Expo promotional image: MELBOURNE 24-25 May, PERTH 31 May-1 June

And we are also delighted to be hosting an Adaptive Clothing presentation (Fashion Show!) which will add some fun and colour into day 2 of the program. Interested in modeling? Please email events@atsa.org.au

For the first time we are also offering a test track for you to test drive modified vehicles from Automobility, Freedom Motors, Mobility Engineering and Total Ability.

To register and learn more visit https://expo.atsa.org.au/





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