Accessibility Weekend: A recap

Independence Australia’s Accessibility Weekend is held over first weekend in September,

it coincides each year with National Spinal Cord Injury Awareness week. SCIAW aims to highlight what it means to have a spinal cord injury, prevention strategies and the common barriers that prevent social inclusion.

The annual event welcomes Victoria’s most celebrated and accessible venues to open their doors for free to wheelchair and mobility aid users and their carers over the entirety of this weekend.

Now in its 15th year, this weekend celebrates the significance of accessible venues and tourist attractions Victoria-wide and highlights the importance of access and inclusion for people living with a physical disability. It also aims to encourage more Victorian tourist venues to take the steps towards becoming accessible.

This year LEGOLAND Discovery Centre added wheelchair-using mini-figures to their MINILAND Melbourne exhibit to represent accessible venues across metro Melbourne. We welcomed last year’s competition winner Roy Davie, his wife Michelle and son Tyler to LEGOLAND to explore the exhibit and create mini-figures of themselves to place within the exhibit ahead of the event.

 

We partnered up with Global Ballooning to provide an accessible balloon ride over the Yarra Valley for one lucky competition winner.

Global Ballooning launched Australia’s first fully accessible ‘Easy Access Basket’ in 2012, allowing people who use a wheelchair to soar to heights that were previously never possible.

This year Laura Black was the winner of our Accessibility Weekend competition.

Laura impressed us with her innovation to revolutionise everyday activities with assistive technology for wheelchair users: “A self-erecting marquee! I run my business via local markets, but setting up a marquee as a chair user is impossible to do solo.”

Accessibility Weekend saw 24 Victorian metro venues and 18 regional venues participate this year.

We had crowd favourites Arthurs Seat Eagle, Sovereign Hill, IMAX, the Penguin Parade and SEALIFE return again to be part of the weekend.

Each and every one of the 42 venues that took part this year helped us create a wider awareness that accessibility is increasingly important within our society. Accessibility Weekend gives us a chance to not only celebrate accessibility but to spread the word and most of all allow people who use a wheelchair or aid to enjoy a weekend of free access to some of Victoria’s best venues over Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week.

For a full list of 2019 Accessibility Weekend venues, visit our website here