Making travel easier for people living with disability
Local and city councils are increasingly responding to the demand for information specifically to help people living with disability make plans and get around while travelling.
Maps and information include access, transport, facilities and amenities, tracks and paths (including colour-coding for difficulty). This will help people get there (public transport stops), show the accessibility of locations and buildings, the location of disabled toilets, lifts, ramps, change rooms, accommodation and so on.
Whether you walk or roll, the mapping is to highlight the degree of difficulty of paths taking into account people with walking sticks/frames, wheelchairs, people pushing prams, and senior citizens generally. Here is the Sunshine Coast Accessible Travel page and map as an example.
Long-standing HSP community member Jason from NSW, a surveyor, has been working in the field for the company that is developing such resources for local authorities. With his surveying background, his focus on fitness, and having HSP, all came together to make him a natural fit for the job. The company develops mobile-based navigation and fitness applications, recognising that the physical environment that people with disability are in needs to be conducive to movement and travel.
The initial project was mapping Sydney for New Year’s Eve celebrations for people to be able to get to various venues. Jason has since undertaken mapping of walking tracks, footpaths and other infrastructure in Melbourne, Sydney (again), Wollongong, Central Coast NSW, Sunshine Coast, Townsville and is soon heading off to Kalgoorlie. The technology used is akin to GPS tracking and considers decline/incline of a path, speed undertaken and colour coding of degree of difficulty.
So, you might see Jason out an about in his wheelchair, either manually pushing or motorised, wearing his hi vis shirt for safety and, in some cases, a crash helmet, as some narrow paths can be difficult to negotiate. He has covered thousands of kilometres to date and regularly shares his HSP story.