Kymberly Martin
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Gold Coast pilot program for disability access

Carers Queensland is helping people with disabilities safely navigate all the Gold Coast has to offer. The initiative, part of Disability Action Week starting on September 18, is a free and accessible tour of the regions key services.

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Former wheelchair athlete, Adam Sheppard, who has been advocating for the inclusion of people with disabilities on the coast for over 10 years, said the tours provide invaluable, area specific access information for people with mobility issues.

“Accessibility on the Gold Coast has made some small milestones over the years but we still have a long way to go before we can say the piece of paradise we call home, is completely inclusive and accessible. While we do accessibility and inclusion reasonably well, the problem we face is getting the information about what is and what isn’t accessible to the community of people with a disability on the Gold Coast,” he said.

Carers Queensland’s LAC PITC program area manager, Julie Marsh, said it was a great opportunity for people with disability to connect with their local area. “The aim is inviting people that are new to the Gold Coast who are living with a disability or mobility challenge to join the tour and show them some of the incredible resources and services we have available to us here on the Gold Coast. We are working towards the Gold Coast being the most inclusive city to live in and visit,” she said.

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The pilot tour travels through the Southport district, visiting essential services and points of interest such as the hospital, library, police station, local restaurants and the Southport Broadwater Parklands. The day included a talk from Gold Coast City Council about accessibility in the city as well as a tour of the libraries’ facilities and programs.

The initiative is running in collaboration with Gold Coast City Council, Gold Coast University Hospital, Volunteering Gold Coast and the Queensland Police Cultural Liaison Unit.

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