The summer period is a beautiful time of year to get out and enjoy the weather. While it isn’t always easy to find accessible venues, we’ve done the hard work for you! This summer, make sure you are ready to get out and enjoy the sun with our great advice below.
Summer fun inside and out
If you’re looking for some great accessible options this summer, there are places all over the country to enjoy everything Australia has to offer. Below, we have a list that will suit anybody.
- Beaches and Parks – A huge part of the Aussie lifestyle, beaches and parks during the holidays are a huge day out! More locations become suitable every year. You can find great accessible beaches and accessible national parks and trail advice here.
- Playgrounds – Always a fun outing for children, the number of accessible locations is growing quickly. Plus, many are installing wheelchair-friendly ‘Liberty Swings’ and other great fun. You can find a list of them right here.
- Sporting and Cultural Venues – This time of year is always a great chance to get out and see museums, sports, and cultural events. No matter what event you look at, large venues now have great provision and support for patrons with access needs.
- Major sporting codes are making in-roads for full diversity access across major venues and are worth checking out – especially the Big Bash League with constant games. There are heaps of accessible sporting options for those looking to play as well! Check out Disability Sports today!
- There are some fantastic accessibility initiatives hosted by a huge range of museums, aquariums, and activity centers around the country. Options such as Sealife in Sydney or Melbourne, Museums Victoria, and Village Cinemas Sensory Events exist, with more available at Independence Australia.
- Holiday Camps – Councils and groups across the country are providing more holiday camps and social events all the time. MyCareSpace.com.au provides a list of places across the country for sport, social, educational, and welfare activities. Check the list out here on the MyCareSpace website or get further help from your national
Music in the sun
During summer, Australia shows the rest of the world just how great our music scene is with some amazing venues and festivals with the world’s biggest artists. If you’re looking for options, make sure to check out some of these:
- Ability Fest, launched by the Dylan Allcott Foundation, is aiming for another huge music and cultural event in 2023. Keep an eye out at their website and linked social media for upcoming details!
- If you’re looking for something locked-in, check out Laneway Festival for all of the info related to their events across the country this year. With accessibility options and support available across most of their stages and venues, it’s a fantastic chance to see some local music talent on a huge scene. Contact them for more help and advice!
We hope you have a brilliant summer because there is nothing better than being active during these beautiful Aussie summers. We cannot wait to hear about it!
Thankfully, we’ve come a long way in terms of how society perceives disability – but there is still further to go.
We know the importance of focusing on the person first, not just their disability. We understand the negativity that comes with stereotypes, and we work to remove such barriers and assumptions to create a more inclusive society.
Which is why a recent LinkedIn post by Employ For Ability principal neurodiversity consultant Kate Halpin struck a chord. She raised the issue of microaggressions – indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against a marginalised group.
The problem with microaggression
Kate says microaggressions are everyday reminders of common stereotypes, especially relating to mistaken assumptions about people living with a disability. She says often it can be unintended, yet still “devalues and limits the potential” of people with disability – and that many deep-rooted beliefs about disability must change.
She shared a graphic from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society website showing examples of disability-related microaggressions – which prompted us to look at ways we can overcome this.
Turn the table on microaggression
Here are some suggestions for positive attitudes and behaviours to help create a more inclusive society for people living with disability:
- Accept that a person with a disability will likely need some supports, or concessions, to achieve their full potential – they are not just being “difficult”. Ensure they have the right support they need to fully participate as an equal.
- At the same time, understand they are often more capable than they might seem. If someone who relies on a wheelchair for mobility says they don’t need your help, believe them.
- Forget the stereotypes and approach someone with a disability with an open mind – find out who are they as a person, and what are they capable of.
- Speak to them in the same manner as you would any other person. If they decline a handshake or avoid eye contact, don’t make a fuss – simply carry on your conversation.
- Treat them the same as anyone else in the room. Because they are.
- Give them time to speak and make their point when needed.
- Include them in work projects and seek their input. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, so do people living with a disability – often they are more skilled in many ways.
- Accept not everyone is good at speaking in front of a crowd.
- Focus on what they are good at.
- Include them in meetings with senior management or clients if their position, experience or skills warrants them being invited.
- Give people with intellectual impairments enough instruction, guidance and time to learn new tasks – people with intellectual disability are capable of being learners.
- Understand that not joining in the office birthday celebration may mean that your colleague doesn’t like crowds or noise – not that they don’t like you.
- Choose a disability-friendly venue for a gathering – such as a wheelchair-accessible restaurant – to ensure they are not just included in your invitation but able to attend. If they were vegan, you would choose a restaurant with appropriate menu options.
- Make sure any equipment that is designed to assist a person with a disability is always available to them – and that includes not using disability access parking spaces or bathrooms even if “no one needed it at the time”.
We are advocates for enabling people with any form of disability to live life to the best of their ability – and having the right environments in which to thrive. Contact one of our friendly experts to find out more.