03 Jul 2014
The Hawthorn-based Association for Children with a Disability has won a Transport Accident Commission grant to support its push for more disabled toilets.
The TAC awarded the association $25,000 for its Changing Places – Transforming Lives project, aiming to increase public access to fully-equipped toilets, complete with adjustable change facilities and hoists.
The money will be used to create a website and other materials promoting the need for such facilities among organisations including local governments, shopping centres and sports and entertainment venues. The website will also contain design and costing information to help the organisations develop the facilities.
Association for Children with a Disability chief executive Elizabeth McGarry said the development of an advocacy kit, assisting individuals and organisations to campaign for Changing Places toilets, would also be supported by the grant.
"Unfortunately many people with a disability find their lives are severely restricted because of the lack of suitable toilet facilities in shopping centres, cinemas, sporting facilities and parks," Ms McGarry said.
"We're thrilled that the TAC has recognised the significance of this project which has the potential to enrich the lives of many Victorians who have been impacted by road trauma."
Ms McGarry said she hoped the funding would result in many more dots being added to the online map showing the locations of Changing Places toilets in coming years.
"Installing these facilities is not only a moral and community-minded thing to do, it makes sound economic sense for organisations like big shopping centres," she said.
TAC Chief Executive Officer Janet Dore described the project as a fantastic community initiative.
"Any activity that will improve the quality of life for someone who has been catastrophically injured in a transport accident should be applauded and the Changing Places project is a shining example of this," Ms Dore said.
"This project is a thoroughly deserving beneficiary of the TAC's Small Grants program, which is all about giving clients what they need to live fulfilling lives."
Other projects to be funded under the grants program include:
- Trials for new robotic arm technology aiming to help people with limited mobility perform tasks they presently find too difficult ($25,000 – 2Mar Robotics, Richmond)
- An initiative helping Frankston residents with disabilities achieve independence through participation in an fully-accessibly community garden ($5000 – Joy of the Earth Community Garden)
- A train the trainer program to promote connections within families who have a loved one with an acquired brain injury ($8335 - Barwon Health, Geelong)