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Accessibility News Round-Up: March 2023

There is so much exciting news at the moment – new programs and research, improved accessibility at hot holiday spots, 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!

Accessibility News Round-Up March 2023 - text overlaid on image of Julie and Braeden in front of a large tree with brown leaves

Good Trip Adventures Launches Accessible National Park Trips Led by People with Disabilities

If you’ve ever dreamed of adventures in Yosemite, Yellowstone, or Moab, listen up! Adventure travel company Good Trip Adventures is launching a new National Park trips program where adventures will be led by guides with disabilities. It’s a brand-new opportunity for people with disabilities to experience the beauty and wonder of National Parks in a way that’s accessible and suitable to their needs.

Each trip is tailored to the specific needs of the group, and local experts ensure the trip is authentic and immersive. We love their focus on sustainability and responsible tourism, too!

A person with a prosthetic leg hiking across a green and rocky mountain

What sets these adventures apart from other accessible travel options is that the trips will be planned and led by people with disabilities. This ensures that travelers with disabilities are accompanied by someone who understands their unique needs and can provide the necessary support and guidance throughout the trip. The trip leaders are experienced travelers and experts in accessible travel, making them the perfect guides for these adventures.

Find out more on the Good Trip Adventures website.

Award-winning maps promote accessible tourism

We love this initiative in Queensland (one of the many benefits we’re seeing from the Year Of Accessible Tourism up there): mobility maps for the Sunshine Coast that provide information about accessibility for people who live with a disability, especially those who use mobility aids and wheelchairs.

The maps help people with disabilities plan their routes, identifying where they can go with ease – and saving a whole lot of Googling!

The maps include information about accessible toilets, parking bays, bus stops, kerb ramps, wayfinding signs, street crossings, surface types, and more. They’re a brilliant resource for tourists and locals alike.

A collage of images of people using wheelchairs and mobility aids on a variety of surfaces

Check them out on the Sunshine Coast government website.

Deaf by design: Australia’s first purpose-built office space

Expression Australia – the nation’s leading Deaf and hard-of-hearing community organisation – has a new Head Office, and it’s really something special. It’s a purposefully co-designed workplace for people who are d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing, with every element specially designed to support their physical and emotional well-being at work.

Internal amphitheatre-style meeting space optimised for d/Deaf and hard-of-hearing attendees

Key elements include:

Wide hallways to allow two people to walk side by side and communicate using Auslan.
Clear lines of sight throughout the building.
Curved walls.
Natural and artificial light that is friendly to vision
Horseshoe reception area with seating visually pointing toward entrances.
Light switches on outside of rooms to allow for ‘Deaf knocking’.
Open plan design to facilitate visual communication.
Break out areas designed with circular features to allow group discussions in Auslan.

How cool is that? We hope this is an example of the kind of inclusive and forward-thinking design we’ll see more of in the future – at work, at home, and at play.

New research review shows employers reap clear benefits by hiring people with disability

Speaking of work: new research has shown what we’ve always known – employers benefit from hiring people with a disability.

Image of a young man wearing high-vis clothing working in a factory surrounded by machinery.

JobAccess released a research review that shows for every dollar invested in workplace accommodations to support staff with a disability reaps $40 in savings for the employer long-term.

And there’s more: inclusive businesses grow faster, people with disabilities stay in their job longer, and people with disabilities have fewer workplace accidents.

The research paper is called “The compelling case for disability employment in Australia”, and we’re bookmarking it so we have it to hand to share with potential employers who might need a reminder.

Queensland Symphony Orchestra announces an epic outdoor FREE concert

The Queensland Symphony Orchestra is hosting a major free outdoor concert at the Roma Street Parklands on Saturday 25 March. The hour-long concert will feature the full symphony orchestra on stage led by renowned conductor Richard Davis, performing well known and loved classical repertoire.

“Queensland Symphony Orchestra is a wonderful cultural asset of this state, and importantly it is accessible. We belong to all Queenslanders, and we are thrilled to be able to share the gift of music through this live, free outdoor event. This is the beginning of what will be an annual outdoor orchestral concert, and we invite you, your family and your friends to enjoy!” said QSO Chief Executive Yarmila Alfonzetti.

This outdoor event is open to all ages and offers a chance to witness the Queensland Symphony Orchestra play in a relaxed and picturesque setting. Bring your picnic basket or grab some food on site. Whether you are a devoted fan of the orchestra or a first-time attendee, this concert is not to be missed.

There are three accessible bathrooms at the Roma Street Parklands, multiple disabled car parks around the site, and low-incline pathways all around the lower Parkland (though some of the Upper Parkland pathways have a greater incline or stairs, due to topography of the area). Get more accessibility information on the Visit Brisbane website.

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2 thoughts on “Accessibility News Round-Up: March 2023”

  1. Hi Champion,..
    I’m going to Thailand next week I will be taking photos of hotel and venue and pass you the info.


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