A new project which aims to make "all shops, venues and accommodation accessible at a glance" has been launched in the Mid-Western Region.
'Access at a Glance' - created by Ability Links and Everywhere Venues - seeks to engage and educate communities and businesses on the value of inclusion for both societal and commercial reasons. The project will be facilitated by volunteer ‘Accessibility Champions’ across the seven towns in the Central West where it's been launched.
It involves; mapping and listing the accessibility features of local businesses via the Everywhere Venues website; providing businesses with a free assessment and on-site accessibility stickers/signage to give potential customers the accessibility information they need and a platform to book accessible venue hire via the Everywhere Venues website; and educating businesses on the resources available to enhance and promote their accessibility features.
Ability Links and Everywhere Venues are now seeking volunteers to help facilitate the project, as well as local businesses who want to successfully cater for customers with accessibility needs. Anyone can put their hand up to volunteer as an Accessibility Champion, including school students, community members, Local Area Coordinators and Disability Service providers.
Several participants of the NDIS School Leaver Employment Support (SLES) program in Orange have put their hand up to volunteer alongside their Support Workers. Ability Links Central West team leader Margaret Garretty said that volunteering is an opportunity for SLES participants to build their confidence and communication skills.
“Being a Champion means calling local businesses to raise awareness of the project, making appointments and going to businesses with their Support Worker to conduct a free accessibility assessment. It’s a really inclusive, community-focused project,’ she said.
“Accessibility is the start to being a truly inclusive society so we look forward to getting as many businesses involved as possible. Not only that, it makes great economic sense for businesses to also cater for the one in five Australians living with a disability, and their families and friends, who are all potential customers.”
Access at a Glance has also been launched in Oberon, Parkes, Orange, Blayney, Bathurst and Cowra.
If you would like a free assessment of your business, stickers or a listing on Everywhere Venues website contact; Ability Links Central West, 0414 132 004, email@example.com; or Zoe Hida, 0438 316 106, firstname.lastname@example.org.