On Saturday the 26th of November the new accessible beach matting was laid out at the Mt Martha lifesaving club and the beach officially opened. Mt Martha is situated on Melbourne's Mornington Peninsula, which is the summer aquatic playground for the city. This is the first beach on the Mornington Peninsula and only the third in the City, to offer accessible beach facilities for people with a disability including full accessible change facilities and now beach matting to the waters edge.
In addition to the matting and change room there are three types of beach wheelchair available from the lifesaving club, including a self propelled chair and a a fully floating one.
Mt Martha is a relatively sheltered beach and safe for people with a disability to get back into the water including young children. In front of the club house is a large concrete hard stand with shade.
The matting will be rolled out from now until April 26 next year.
Hours: Saturday 9am to 5pm, Sunday 11am to 5pm.
The matting has been made possible by the Mornington Peninsula Shire, Mt Martha Lifesaving Club and the Mornington Peninsula Disabled Surfers Association.
Mt Martha is an hour from the CBD of Melbourne so get down there and take advantage of this new facility. Th more support it gets, the more likely it will be that other beaches on the Peninsula will be made available.
The other two accessible beaches in Melbourne are located at Williamstown and Altona.
Cutting the ribbon
Matting to the water's edge
A cake fit for the occasion
Testing the matting
At the water's edge
Enjoying the day
Councilor Antonella Celi cutting the cake
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Continuing the successful Trailrider program, Parks Victoria has introduced its newest power-assist model at Grant's Picnic Ground in the Dandenong Ranges National Park. All visitors to Dandenong Ranges National Park will now be able to enjoy trails in the park.
A modified version of a Canadian invention, the motorised TrailRider, was created by Parks Victoria and is the first of its kind in the world.
TrailRider all terrain wheelchairs are a cross between a rickshaw and a wheelchair and can handle more rugged bush trails where conventional wheelchairs cannot go.
The motor on the chair makes it easier to manoeuvre the chair over rough trail surfaces and makes it easier for visitors with mobility limitations to access steeper and longer trails than ever the before. The new model can be easily handled with two helpers to drive and balance the chair making it ideal for families or small groups of friends.
“Everyone has the right to enjoy the benefits of being in nature and we want to help everyone to be active in our parks. This is just one way we are making this possible,” said John Kenwright, Community Inclusion Coordinator, Parks Victoria. “The TrailRider really opens up park areas that people with limited mobility may never have been able to see or experience.”
“Everyone has the right to enjoy the benefits of being in nature and we want to help everyone to be active in our parks. This is just one way we are making this possible,” said John Kenwright, Community Inclusion Coordinator, Parks Victoria.
“The TrailRider really opens up park areas that people with limited mobility may never have been able to see or experience.”
The TrailRider has recently been trialled by a YMCA Recreation camp in the Dandenong Ranges for children with disabilities. Having a TrailRider based in the Dandenong Ranges will make it much easier for the YMCA , other organisations and individuals to regularly access a TrailRider chair to explore parks.
The TrailRider is located at Grants on Sherbrooke café at Grants Picnic Area in Mount Dandenong National Park. It can be booked by calling 03 9755 2888.
CHICAGO, October 20, 2015 - The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) announces the opening of an indoor service animal/pet relief room at O'Hare International Airport.
Located past security checkpoints in the Rotunda area of Terminal 3, the room is specially designed to accommodate passengers traveling with service animals or pets. It is particularly convenient for those with layovers/connecting flights at O'Hare. It will enhance the traveling experience for individuals with disabilities because they no longer need to pass back through security to relieve their service animal.
The recently-opened indoor service animal/pet relief room at O'Hare is located just north of the Rotunda in Terminal 3.
The room has two, 2-foot by 4-foot pet relief areas complete with artificial grass covering, miniature fire hydrants and pop-up sprinkler systems to wash away liquid waste into a drain. In addition, a mounted hose bib and reel is available for manual spraying and plastic bags are provided for clean-up. The room is enclosed, has a door with a glass pane that opens and closes automatically, and is designed for wheelchair access. The room also includes two sinks for passenger use.
"We are pleased to offer this new amenity for passengers, especially those who depend on the assistance of service animals when they travel through our airport," said CDA Commissioner Ginger S. Evans. "This is another way we are making O'Hare International Airport more accessible to the traveling public and creating a more welcoming environment for visitors to Chicago."
The room features two pet relief areas with hydrants, and plastic bags, sinks and a hose for clean up.
The CDA coordinated with the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) to ensure the room is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.
"The new indoor animal relief area located in the secured terminal of O'Hare International Airport will enhance the traveling experience for individuals with service animals, particularly those with connecting flights," said MOPD Commissioner Karen Tamley. "This feature is another step towards our goal of making Chicago a world class accessible city for people with disabilities."
In addition to the new airside animal relief room, there are three outdoor service animal/ pet relief areas located near the lower level curb front of Terminals 1, 2 and 5. The Terminal 1 and 5 outdoor locations were opened in 2009 and the Terminal 2 location was added in 2014. Midway International Airport also has an outdoor service animal and pet relief area located near the lower level curb front at the north end of the terminal that opened in 2009.
Real grass, gravel or wood chips are used inside the fenced-in areas and plastic bags and garbage cans are provided. CDA and custodial staff monitor the areas throughout the day to ensure cleanliness.
VisitEngland, the national tourist board, is today launching a new Access for All campaign, aimed to raise awareness of accessible destinations and businesses in England, informing disabled people of accommodation and visitor attractions when planning a day trip or holiday.
Following a successful pilot project in 2013/14 with four destinations; VisitEngland accessed funding from the European Commission to expand the Access for All initiative, with a grant of €125,000. For the past year VisitEngland has been working with seven local destination partners across the country to create a series of access guides covering coastal, countryside and city destinations. These are:
56 businesses are involved in the project including a mix of accommodation and attractions such as Lincoln Cathedral, Brighton & Hove Buses, Chatsworth House, Turner Contemporary, Hotel La Tour, Vindolanda Roman Fort and Nottingham Belfry amongst many others. The businesses involved have worked hard to make changes – focusing on positive action – to improve perceptions of Accessible England.
VisitEngland research highlights that the overnight accessible tourism market is now worth £3billion to the English economy, with day visits bringing the figure up to £12.1 billion. Over the past few years overnight trips by disabled travellers and their companions have increased by 19 per cent with spend up by 33 per cent.
The Purple Pound presents tourism businesses and destinations with a huge opportunity for economic growth. New figures from VisitEngland confirm an approximate value of overnight accessible tourism to the destinations involved:
Some of the great initiatives include those introduced by Brighton & Hove Buses (part of the Go-Ahead group) which provides wheelchair access to 100 per cent of their fleet. They are trialling the use of hearing loop systems on a bus; have a Helping Hand yellow card scheme; offer a wheelchair taxi guarantee if someone cannot get onto the bus and have many innovations to help disabled visitors use their buses.
VisitEngland Chief Executive, James Berresford, said:
"The accessible tourism market is worth a sizable £12.1 billion to the English economy and many tourism businesses are realising that catering for disabled customers is not only a necessity but a wise investment that brings a host of business benefits. Many of the changes businesses make may be small, but combined contribute significantly to the visitor experience."
The Access for All project has consisted of two phases: product development, where businesses receive direct support to improve their accessibility with the help of access advisors, and a national consumer marketing campaign launching today. The tourism businesses are being directly supported as part of the project to improve their accessibility. Accommodation and attractions have been audited by a professional access advisor and many have received a mystery visit from guests with accessibility requirements. A training course was held in each destination for accessibility champions and customer-facing staff have completed online disability awareness training. Businesses also received personal feedback on their Access Statement, improving information detailing their accessibility.
Deaf and hearing impaired Australians can now enjoy Australia’s first onsite access to Auslan and caption services at the National Sports Museum in Melbourne. The “Smart Auslan” technology was developed by not‐for‐profit organisation, Australian Communication Exchange (ACE), over an 18‐month partnership with the museum.While hundreds of museums across Australia offer audio tours, only the National Sports Museum now offers the equivalent service for Deaf and hearing impaired Australians to gain easy access to the same information through a smartphone device.Up until now, Deaf Australians have had to either pay for their own Auslan interpreter, or wait for a scheduled Auslan tour to fully appreciate the cultural experiences on offer at museums. With Smart Auslan on their device, they can now freely decide when and how they would like to visit museums adopting the technology.
“The Smart Auslan project with the National Sports Museum is a breakthrough in exhibition accessibility for Deaf and hearing impaired Australians,” said Sandy Gilliland, ACE Chief Executive Officer. “This partnership is part our ongoing commitment to deliver quality‐of‐life services today that will provide equal access to Deaf Australians. We see this as the first of many museums and galleries that will look to further cultural access for all Australians, by opening their doors wider for the Deaf and hearing impaired communities.”Each year, approximately 150,000 people visit the National Sports Museum and listen to audio descriptions of iconic exhibitions. Smart Auslan provides Deaf and hearing impaired Australians with the same access to the museum display descriptions in Auslan sign language videos that can be accessed by scanning Quick Response (QR) codes with Android‐powered smartphones.The museum will have six Android devices located for visitors to use or alternatively the application can be downloaded onto an Android smartphone from the ACE website.Margaret Birtley, General Manager for the National Sports Museum: “This is such an exciting initiative and we are thrilled to be part of the launch of Smart Auslan in Australia. We are sure this new technology will provide our deaf and hearing impaired visitors with a more engaging experience at the National Sports Museum.”ACE is a not‐for‐profit organisation which, for 16 years, has been at the forefront of communication solutions for Deaf, hearing impaired and speech impaired Australians. The organisation is constantly looking for new ways to meet the changing communication needs of its communities. Today’s technology and high speed internet makes it possible to design these new access tools that will overcome significant barriers for signing Deaf Australians. ACE is experienced in designing, delivering and promoting new communication solutions for this group. Our vision is Access to Communication for Everyone and we will continue to provide resources and expertise in this sector so our vision can be achieved.
About Australian Communication Exchange (ACE)Australian Communication Exchange (ACE) is a national not‐for‐profit community organisation. ACE was established to facilitate equity of access to the telecommunications network for people who are Deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment.For further information about the Smart Auslan project with the National Sports Museum please visit www.smartauslan.com.au or email email@example.com or phone 1300 133 968.
Background information when reporting about Deaf and hearing impaired AustraliansThere is a difference between capital “D” Deaf Australians and deaf or hearing impaired. Australians who use Auslan sign language as their first and preferred language identify with themselves as belonging to the Deaf community. Usually, this group have been deaf since birth or early childhood and were taught to sign at an early age. Auslan is recognised as a community language other than English, so for Deaf Australians learning English is akin to learning a second language.Hearing impaired or hard of hearing people have either lost their hearing later in life or as children but followed an auditory‐oral approach. The children develop English speaking and listening skills with their residual hearing and do not usually use Auslan.Smart Auslan is accessible to both these groups because the museum information has been translated into both Auslan sign language and English captions.
Address: 2180 Ballarto Rd, Cardinia, AustraliaRetail Office: 17 Wells St, FrankstonToll Free: 1300 722 683Travel Agency: 03 9 781 3733Mobile: +61 4 1769 0533Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
by Harold Hartfield
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