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Accessibility News Round-Up: January 2024

There is so much exciting news at the moment – school holiday activities, Grand Slams, Valentine’s Day specials, and more – 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 January 2024 - text overlaid on image of Braeden with surf lifesaver in a buggy on a beach

Dig in at DIG IT these school holidays

If you’re running out of ideas to fill in these last days of school holidays, you need to check out DIG IT at Tamborine Mountain. Just an hour from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, Australia’s first mini-excavator park gives kids (and kids at heart) the opportunity to live their construction dreams.

The park is custom-designed with a range of fun, educational and engaging activities to teach kids about earthworks, engineering, building, safety, and teamwork. Don your hard hats and high-vis gear, and develop a new range of skills on one of nine CAT 1.7 tonne mini-excavators.

A kid operating one of the DIG IT excavators with a support person standing nearby

DIG IT offers a range of accommodations to ensure that their experience is accessible to all. They have portable ramps to assist with boarding the machines, visual diagrams and captions for instructions, accessible bathrooms and designated parking. Sessions are capped, to ensure that everyone gets a fair go – no disappointments or missing out!

It’s best to bring along some support to assist with providing direction, physical transfers, and – of course – encouragement and support! There are platforms positioned beside the machines that make it easy to stay close by.

DIG IT is open every day during school holidays (except public holidays), with 2-hour sessions running from 8:30AM-4:30PM. Bookings are essential, and you can call (1800 00 DIGIT) or email to discuss specific needs before you purchase tickets. $59 for child/adult admission, concession $55.

Ace accessibility at the Australian Open

Nothing marks the peak of the Australian summer like the Australian Open. The swish of rackets, the thud of the ball, the umpires call – most of us will be watching from home, but if you’re heading down to the arenas in Melbourne, you’re in luck. Accessibility at the Australian Open has always been excellent, but with Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott’s strong advocacy, this year might be the best yet.

Overhead view of an Australian Open match in a full stadium just after sunset with the Australian Open in the bottom right corner

All entrances to the Australian Open venues are barrier-free and accessible, and organisers have partnered with Travellers Aid to assist people with disabilities getting to, from, and around the events. There are two Changing Places facilities available (in Rod Laver Arena and John Cain Arena), and two sensory rooms for those who need them (AO Ballpark and John Cain Arena).

We’ve got a more comprehensive round-up of the support available, and ways in which the Australian Open are making the sport of tennis inclusive, over on Travel Without Limits.


Why book with Accessible Accommodation

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An advertising image for Accessible Accommodation with multiple small photos of accessible properties laid out. The text below the images reads: Look, book, stay, with peace of mind. www.accessibleaccommodation.com 1300 180 889

We ensure you get the right room. There’s nothing worse than turning up to a hotel only to find the accessible room hasn’t been reserved for you.

We offer 250+ options Australia-wide. Choose from a variety of holiday homes, motels, apartments, caravan parks, house boats, and more.

Our listings are extensively access audited. The information we provide is accurate and up-to-date. What you see is what you get!

You can speak to a human. Unlike other booking sites, we are Australia-based and always here to help.

We ask all the right questions, so you don’t have to. Our listings include 50+ frequently asked access questions, a video tour, and lots of images.

We have lived experience with disabilities. We get it. Our award-winning team members live with a disability, or have a family member who does. We truly understand your accessibility requirements, because they’re our accessibility requirements too.

We offer exclusive specials and great rates. We negotiate special rates, and we ensure that you’re not charged more for an accessible room.

2023 was an incredible year for the team at Accessible Accommodation, and we’re looking forward to helping you plan your travel and accommodation in 2024. We are here to help make travel easier for people with disabilities. Look with us, book with us, and contact our dedicated team on 1300 180 889 if you need assistance. STA packages available.


Feel the love at Rydges South Bank

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and if you’re looking to celebrate, you should check out the specials at Rydges South Bank. They’ve just announced their MONTH OF LOVE package for romantic rendezvous in February, including overnight accommodation, valet car parking, a full Rydges Grand Room Service breakfast each day, and a bottle of sparkling on arrival. There’s also an incredible Bacchus Valentine’s Day Degustation, with love-themed seasonal food served in a stunning restaurant setting.

Rose petals sprinkled across white linen on a bed

I had the opportunity to stay at Rydges South Bank (unfortunately prior to this special, so no rose petals and chocolates for me!), and accessibility is excellent. It’s so rare to find an accessible hotel room with a spectacular view, but Rydges has one on offer (request at time of booking). Make the most of it from the step-free balcony, which has plenty of room to accommodate a wheelchair. The room itself is spacious, with lowered amenities, grab rails, and lots of little touches that make a stay special. Check out my full review here.

The MONTH OF LOVE package is available for stays throughout the month of February (last check-in 28 Feb). The Bacchus degustation is scheduled for Valentine’s Day (14 Feb) from 5:30PM. Book either – or both! – online.

Last call for Wonderwater!

This summer has been a SCORCHER in Sydney, and you might think you’re running out of ways to cool off. You should squeeze in a trip to Wonderwater at the Australian National Maritime Museum (Sydney) before it wraps up for the season (last day 4 Feb).

Wonderwater logo overlaid on image of two children's faces looking excited in front of a lighthouse surrounded by an octopus tentacle

The Wonderwater See It All ticket includes:

  • Play, hunt, and hide in the incredible interactive world of Octopus Garden
  • Create stunning sea creatures with LEGO bricks in the Great Southern LEGO Reef
  • Channel cephalopod superpowers into craft creations in Kids On Deck
  • Meet a mermaid every Monday

There are also amazing exhibitions, including jaw-dropping images at the Ocean Photographer of the Year display, and exceptional performances from roving performers.

If you’re planning your visit and wish to discuss your specific access requirements, give the Museum a call on (02) 9298 3777. There is ramp access into the main building and lift or ramp access to all exhibition spaces. Courtesy wheelchairs are available (bookings essential), and accessible bathrooms located on the lower level (accessible by lift and walkway) and entry foyer. There are a range of other accessibility services available too, including hearing loops, Sunflower Program support (take your lanyard or badge!), and Companion Card access. Find out more on the Museum’s website.

2 thoughts on “Accessibility News Round-Up: January 2024”

  1. I do have a question. Have you heard how the airplanes are coming with their testing of the wheelchair seats? You mentioned that it was being worked on where a wheelchair user could stay in their chair and a regular seat could be adjusted for them. If there was no wheelchair the seat could stay as is and a non wheelchair user could sit there.

    Reply
    • Carol, there is a team of people pushing for it and working towards it but in all honesty I see this as being a long term goal as aircraft are replaced and built.

      Reply

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