Inaccessible tourist venues & accommodation can spoil a holiday
Access For All Alliance Inc is carrying out a pilot project called ONE STOP SHOP FOR ACCESSIBLE TOURISM IN AUSTRALIA, a scheme where tourist operators, especially those offering accommodation, are asked to join a National Accessible Schemeto help people with disabilities plan suitable holidays. Members of this scheme have to meet one or all of the criteria which is divided into five categories. These are:
M1 Suitable for a person with sufficient mobility to climb two or three steps, but would benefit from fixtures and fittings to help balance.
M2 Suitable for a person who may need to use a wheelchair on occasions and/or a person who depends on the use of a wheelchair in a seated position at all times. This person may also require personal/mechanical assistance (eg carer, hoist etc). This category may be attained by providing access for guests with a mobility impairment in accordance with the minimum requirements of the Building Code of Australia.
H1 Suitable for guests with a hearing impairment, from mild hearing loss to profoundly deaf. Attained by meeting the requirements of the National Accessible Standards and the Hotel & Motel Accommodation Association’s voluntary code of practice for the provision of facilities for the deaf and hearing impaired.
V1 Suitable for guests with a vision impairment. Attained by providing for guests with a partial vision impairment or a total loss of useable vision with reference to AS1428.4.
AE Access Exceptional – attained when a facility offers all four criteria
Any facility that can meet any one of these criteria will be given a plaque with a logo (not yet decided) similar to the road service organisations, but showing the accessibility level attained, ie M1 or M2 etc, on it showing which of the above criteria they have met.
Where to start?
All tourist facilities can start by meeting the first level, and gradually, by way of access changes to their facility, be awarded a higher level. They will then be able to put this logo showing the level of accessibility available on all their literature and onto a web site which will only be available to those tourist operators who have passed the National Accessible Scheme criteria.
Let Access For All know
We are calling for people to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org if they know of any accommodation or venue which meet any or all of the above criteria. We will then contact that organisation seeking their interest in the scheme.
All venues will be audited by a professional access consultant before being accepted into the scheme, thus ensuring that what people with disabilities expect to get in the way of accessibility in accommodation or at tourist venues to meet their specific requirements, is in fact what they will get.
A really good idea!