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Accessibility News Round-Up: February 2023

There is so much exciting news at the moment – fun accessible activities, new programs, things to see and do  – 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!

Submerged at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium

This month, SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium is unveiling a brand new multi-sensory digital exhibition called Submerged. This large-scale all-ages exhibition will be available throughout the year (2023).

“From a glittering shoreline in the midst of spawning season to a moonlit deep dive into the depths of the bioluminescent unknown, Submerged will tell the story of the dazzling firefly squid and other majestic ocean animals.”

An artist's impression of the Submerged exhibition at SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium

This is a fantastic addition to what is already a great family day out in Melbourne. In addition to the new Submerged experience, you can check out penguins, turtles, jellyfish, sharks, and more!

Tickets (at time of writing) are $47 for adults and $32 for children – and companion cards are accepted. Find out more on the SEA LIFE website.

Accessible Swimming Lessons at The Y in NSW

The Y NSW (you might know them by their previous name, the YMCA) is partnering with Rainbow Club to make swimming lessons more accessible for young people living with disability.

The Y manages 21 aquatic facilities across New South Wales and the ACT. The Rainbow Club will use these facilities to provide their accessible swimming programs, alongside the Y NSW’s existing SwimAbility programs.

A young child and a woman in a pool, standing in the water together with a foam noodle

Learning to swim is not only important for safety in a water-loving nation like Australia, it’s also a fun opportunity to develop new skills both in and out of the pool. Brady’s lessons at Rainbow Club really helped his mobility on land as well as in the water.

Find out more about the swimming lessons on offer on the Rainbow Club website.

An Incredible New Sound and Light Show at Uluru

Our family has had many wonderful experiences in the Northern Territory, and there’s something new that has us hankering to go back. Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia is launching a breathtaking fully-immersive light and sound show, combining ancient Aṉangu storytelling with state-of-the-art, drone and laser light technology.

The show is called Wintjiri Wiṟu – ‘a beautiful view out to the horizon’ in the local Aṉangu language. It will illuminate the Central Desert with lights, projections, and lasers highlighting the beautiful natural spinifex and mulga. Every aspect of the show – from the story shared, to the visuals, to the narration, to the name, to the music – has been developed in consultation with Aṉangu custodians.

Credit: As custodians of the land, Anangu hold the Mala story from Kaltukatjara to Uluru. To share their story from Kaltukatjara to Uluru, RAMUS designed and produced an artistic platform using drones, light and sound to create an immersive storytelling experience.

You’ll be able to take it all in from an accessible viewing platform built on top of a desert dune, with stunning panoramic views. Voyages offers accessible transport options to get you to and from. You can also choose whether to do the full experience with the sunset canapes and dinner, or a shorter version of the show with light refreshments later in the evening. To find out more, contact Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia here.

WorldPride in Sydney is Fabulous and Inclusive!

The City of Sydney is getting ready to welcome half a million visitors for WorldPride 2023, and they’ve gone above and beyond to ensure that it’s inclusive to all. I was actually part of an access and inclusion group making suggestions about how to ensure the event was accessible for people with a disability, and it’s great to see how much they’ve taken on board.

Most WorldPride events will have AUSLAN interpreters and/or hearing loop, wheelchair access with accessible bathrooms, facilities for therapy and guide dogs, quiet/rest areas, and more. Of course, with the number and variety of events happening over seventeen days, some events may not have all of these features, but each event web page will provide specific details about what’s available. There will also be lots of staff and volunteers on hand to assist, and they’ve been trained to support Sunflower lanyard holders. Companion Cards are accepted.

They have an amazing Disability Inclusion Action Plan, as well as maps for Parade Accessible Viewing Areas and accessible transport to and around events, on their website.

We’ve had a great time attending Mardi Gras in previous years, so we’re sure this year’s event(s) is going to be amazing! Keep an eye out for the 80+ participants from People With Disability Australia (PWDA), on their oversize purple, yellow, and blue Harley-Davidson trikes and holding red umbrellas and megaphones.


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