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Wilsons Prom more accessible than ever for people with a disability
Monday 6 August, 2012
One of Victoria’s most loved national parks is now equipped with all-terrain wheelchairs and modified cabins to make it easier for people with a disability to enjoy its spectacular natural beauty.
Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith said new equipment and upgraded facilities were part of Parks Victoria’s statewide program to make Victoria’s amazing parks and attractions more accessible.
Two cabins at the Prom have been equipped with electric high-low beds; in addition a personal hoist and specialised bathroom equipment such as a shower commode chair, is available to visitors free of charge.
These specially-modified cabins will make it much easier for people with a disability and their families and carers to enjoy their stay.
Visitors with a disability will also be able to use specifically designed wheelchairs to access the beach or some of the many wonderful walking trails.
Dr David Stratton, who has MS and first brought the idea of the all-terrain wheelchair ‘the TrailRider’ to Parks Victoria at the Grampians last year, said the new chairs at the Prom were sensational additions to the park.
“Our family took great delight in climbing Mount Bishop in the TrailRider and walking on the beach in the beach-access wheelchair. It was the most amazing feeling to experience the heights, views and beauty of the Prom. I haven’t been on a beach for ten years. I encourage anyone, families or carers of a person with a disability to contact Parks Victoria about these great new facilities and equipment.”
Peter Van Benthem and his family also recently put the new facilities through their paces, and gave them the tick of approval.
“The accessible cabin was first class. It was open and had a good layout and met my high quadriplegia needs without any challenges at all. We really had a great time and have taken some great memories with us. I was especially pleased to be able to watch my son catching waves on his boogie board at the beach, with the help of the all-terrain beach wheelchair.”
There is improved accessibility information on Parks Victoria’s website, online collaboration with disability groups and the Australia-first Walk in the Park Program, which aims to reduce the barriers to visitors to parks who are blind or vision impaired.
This is a Healthy Parks Healthy People initiative.
Parks Victoria won a National Disability Award for its accessibility strategies and partnerships in 2011. Find out how Victoria’s parks are more accessible than ever.
See instructional videos for the accessibility equipment in parks.
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