Alpine Resorts Victoria is delivering greater access to alpine resorts for people with disability following the opening of an Australian-first dedicated hub at Falls Creek for Disabled Wintersport Australia.
Situated in Slalom Plaza, the hub provides a convenient meeting point for DWA members and volunteers and significantly enhances DWA’s visibility within the resort.
“We have had a great response to the facility that helps get participants with disability on the snow in the easiest way possible,” DWA Resort services coordinator Lincoln Budge, pictured, told F2L. “Many visitors were unaware that DWA existed.”
The hub contains ski equipment, jackets and whatever is necessary for using in the program, lounge and office facilities and a disability bathroom. It is open until the last weekend in September, reopening at the beginning of the 2024 ski season in June.
“DWA sports covers all disabilities, physical, vison-impairment, intellectual disability, those with special needs and learning issues and some participants like me, who are in wheelchairs,” he said.
“We also hope to develop a program that can be utilised in the summer.”
Future plans at Falls Creek include a Changing Places bathroom at the Rocky Valley foreshore within the new lakeside development site that will enhance year-round accessibility opportunities for people with specific mobility needs. Also under development at Mt Hotham is an Alpine Gateway building, a public facility that will provide undercover disabled parking with safe access to dedicated storage and change rooms, giving direct access to the snow.
Mt Baw Baw resort has two international instructors trained in adaptive lessons with a dual ski for visitor use and disabled parking with transport options from the car park to the ski field for people with disabilities.
Photo: Top L-R: Amber Gardner (ARV CEO), Jeremy Limpens (DWA resort services coordinator), Lincoln Budge (DWA resort services coordinator), Min Middleton (DWA camp manager), Stuart Smythe (Falls Creek COO); Bottom L-R: Ross Passalaqua (DWA board member) and Jenni Cole (former DWA CEO)