Thursday, 02 April 2015

MCG’s new facilities kick goals for accessibility

The Commission welcomes the opening of a cutting-edge accessible bathroom facility installed at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The new Changing Places facility has been completed in time for the 2015 football season, benefiting fans who previously may not been able to watch their team play at the ‘G’.

Changing Places facilities are larger-than-standard accessible toilets, with extra features and more space to meet the needs of people with a disability and their carers.

Providing accessible facilities not only improves the social wellbeing and quality of life of people with disability, it also boosts local businesses and the economy.

Around 18 per cent of Victorians have a disability. While not all people with disability may experience barriers to accessibility, potentially around 140,000 daily visitors and 4,000 city residents could benefit from a fully accessible environment.

Customers who could be accessing goods and services, may not do so if faced with accessibility barriers, whether they are physical, communicational or attitudinal.

In 2013, the Commission met with local businesses in the Melbourne CBD to hear about their experiences providing services to customers with disabilities.

We found varying levels of understanding among businesses and staff about accessibility, customers’ communication needs and how they can improve customer service for people with disabilities, older people, parents or carers.

In 2014 we launched Come in, we’re accessible, an online resource providing information to businesses - owners, landlords, managers and staff - on how they can improve accessibility to meet their obligations under the Equal Opportunity Act.

The resource includes a self-assessment so businesses can gauge how accessible they currently are, and a suite of fact sheets including one for customers with disabilities.

How does your business stack up? Find out at www.accessiblebusiness.com.au.