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Tourism Council WA and Spinal Life Australia join forces to enhance accessibility for tourism

On-site assesments to help better cater to guests with accessibility needs

Tourism Council WA has partnered with Spinal Life Australia to boost accessible tourism in Western Australia by providing complimentary on-site assessments for tourism businesses.

The first round of assessments will allow 50 tourism businesses to be evaluated by Spinal Life Australia community access and advocacy officer Karen Harvey, whose lived experience will provide relevant and actionable feedback. 

Spinal Life Australia was established 63 years ago and specialises in supporting people with disability to live equitable accessible and empowered lives.

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Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said it was essential for WA tourism operators to publish information about their product’s accessibility to ensure guests with accessibility requirements could make informed decisions.

“A recent Tourism Council WA survey found one in three Western Australians have an accessibility requirement to be met when they travel around the State,” he said.

Mr Hall said assessed businesses would provide an accessibility guide for guests and would be promoted on the State’s tourism website.

“Ms Harvey has been working with individual tourism operators, regional tourism organisations and the State Government to raise awareness of and improve accessible tourism,” Mr Hall said.

“For tourism operators and destinations, the assessments provide steps to meet the needs of people with low vision, low hearing, limited mobility, wheelchairs and scooters, autism or cognitive requirements, or allergies and intolerances.”

Following the review, Spinal Life Australia will hold one-on-one consultations with the businesses to discuss the results and suggest ways to enhance their inclusion and accessibility 

Tourism Council WA is committed to increasing accessible tourism offerings in WA and held its inaugural Accessible Tourism Forum in June, which aimed to improve the local tourism industry’s understanding of the market seeking accessible tourism product and how accessible experiences and itineraries can be developed by businesses and destinations. 

Tourism Council WA has created several tools to improve the accessibility of tourism businesses, which can be found HERE.

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