Australia's first 24/7 Beach Access
Two beaches at the top of Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay have become the first in Australia to enable 24-hour access to the water for people with a disability.
Altona and Williamstown beaches, part of the Hobson Bay Council, have installed new mats on the foreshore which allows those with wheelchairs, prams and mobility aids to move readily across the soft beach sand to the waters edge.
The permanent installation follows a trial last summer. Hobsons Bay Council have show outstanding leadership in providing an inclusive beach experience for everyone.
Matting is being trialed on the Mornington Peninsula at Mt Martha this summer on Saturdays and Sundays until the end of April and another trial is imminent at Mordialloc.
The sea has always been a part of Australian culture and the ability to enjoy a day at the beach is something that should be available to all. Hobsons Bay Council have shown what can be done with the help of local lifesaving clubs and business groups. The challenge is to roll out that same opportunity across Australia. The responsibility to create inclusive experiences does stop with local government. We have said many times that creating inclusive experiences is a large and growing market. Resorts, beachside caravan parks and national park managers need to look at rolling out accessible beach experiences and providing the necessary beach wheelchairs and other infrastructure. This isn't just a rights issue anymore, but rather a point of difference and a competitive advantage.
Beach wheelchairs are also available for community use with no extra cost.
TravAbility was founded in 2007 by Bill Forrester.
Our mission is to be agents of change; to inspire people who have never traveled before to do so, and to inspire others to do more. To encourage all cultures of the world to see disability as an integral part of life, and to provide the motivation and tools to the tourism industry to allow them to create accessible environments that enable inclusion in an economically sustainable way.
We offer a range of services to tourism operators and Destination Marketing Boards to enable them to take advantage of the growing Accessible Tourism market. Our core approach is program oriented focusing on the product and service needs of people with a disability an developing a culture of innovation to attract this highly profitable and rapidly growing market:
- Development of Access Statements
- Product, service and program development
- Development of 'Soft Infrastructure' policies and procedures
- Staff and Management Training
- Marketing Services and Toolkits
- Access information kits
- Industry Presentations and Conference Keynotes and Capacity Building Workshops
- Property Audits and Universal Design planning
- Self Audit Tools
- National/State/Regional Park Guides and Trail Maps
- Diversity and Inclusion Strategy development
- Disability Action Plans
- New Project planning and Development
- Stock Imagery through PhotoAbility
- Accommodation listings through TravAbility Properties
For more information on how you can make your business more attractive to the traveler with a disability contact Bill.