Accessibility Resources


Catering for visitors of all abilities


Inclusion in your business


We cannot stress how important it is for businesses to consider their customer’s access needs.  In Australia, 1 in 5 people are living with disability. You may associate this with visible disability, but there are other access issues to consider:

  • mobility or motor disabilities
  • blind or low vision
  • deaf or low hearing
  • cognitive disabilities
  • neurodiversity
  • environmental sensitivities
  • communication disabilities


In many cases a disability is not visible, and sometimes deliberately hidden. You most likely have many existing customers with access needs that you don’t know about and don’t need to know about.  You should also consider our ageing population, and limited or reduced mobility of elderly travellers, parents with strollers or prams, and those with injury or temporary disability.

Making it clear that you can provide special assistance is essential.


Visitor Servicing and information

In the tourism business, we’re here to create lasting memories, and enhance the visitor experience.  Get to know what IS accessible near you.  Is there a great trail or attraction that caters for wheelchair users, is there beach wheelchair hire nearby, where are the nearest Changing Places facilities?  Some events are particularly great at catering for people with disability.  The Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach has a sensory map with the support of Surf Coast Shire . Take a look at your council website and view their Access and Inclusion Plan and information on public spaces, trails and special facilities, and drop into your nearest Visitor Information Centre to speak to local staff to find out what they recommend to visitors.

Research recommendations and see how other operators promote their accessibility.  Some of our favourite all abilities attractions in the region include the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie, Wildlife Wonders, Suffoir Winery Brewery Distillery and 12 Apostles Helicopters.

Free attractions include the Lorne Pier which has accessible fishing platforms, the new Saddle Lookout at the 12 Apostles Visitor precinct gives people on wheels the premium views, and the revamped Stevensons Falls in the Otways has been developed specifically for visitors with disabilities.

Some of our beaches are accessible and beach wheelchairs are available from a variety of organisations in the region.  Check you are aware of hire facilities near you – either your local surf lifesaving club, council, Great Ocean Health or Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority.

For kids, accessible playgrounds and facilities are available at Portland Foreshore Playground,  Port Campbell Place Space and Colac Botanic Gardens.  Many caravan parks have an accessible cabin – notably Pisces BIG4 in Apollo Bay (complemented with many accessible facilities) and RACV Torquay Resort offers a luxury accommodation experiences for people of all abilities.

Help for your business


Site Visits

Businesses in the Great Ocean Road region are welcome and encouraged to contact Latrobe Community Health Services to organise a time to discuss how you can improve accessibility and inclusion at your business. They offer onsite visits to outline current accessibility features as well as provide resources and recommendations to improve accessibility and inclusion for people with a disability visiting your space. The service offered is free. If you have any further questions, queries or would like to book in a time to do a site assessment contact Kellie or Tanika:

For Southwest contact Kellie on Mobile Phone: 0436 012 059, Email: [email protected]

(Warrnambool, Moyne, Glenelg and Corangamite Shires)


For Barwon contact Tanika on Mobile Phone:  0438523445, Email: [email protected]

(Surf Coast and Colac Otway Shires)


Other resources:


ATEC’s Accessible and Inclusive Host program – MORE INFO


ATIC (Quality Tourism Framework) Accessible Tourism AccreditationMORE INFO


The Accessible Group facilitate the Accessible Qualified Program and provide consulting services  – MORE INFO



Apollo Bay Surf and Kayak – Surf Lesson with Distinctive Options Travel. Photos courtesy of Catherine Woodger, DO Travel

Marketing your accessibility


Making your space as inclusive as possible for everybody and promoting what you are doing to provide for those with access needs is very important.


Information on your venue/product

People planning travel who are currently experiencing disability need to know specific things to ensure they or the person they are caring for will be able to enjoy their experience, so making it easy for people to find information about your accessible feature is essential.

If you do have features that are not accessible, it’s a good idea to make this very clear to avoid disappointment for your customers or guests. Being clear is being considerate.

There are no doubt things in your business that can’t easily be changed or made completely accessible for all people, however that’s no reason to ever say that your business is not suitable for those with access needs. Your website should invite people to contact you for more information for those with access needs or on special assistance available.


Clarity of your signage and website messaging

Consider the readability of your website, logos, in business messaging for those with vision impairment.  If the text is tiny, or the contrast between background and text is low, consider how difficult this makes it for some customers to see your brand or message.


Review how you’re promoted elsewhere

Check on other booking platforms and referral websites your business is listed on to make sure the language you’ve used is inclusive and that you have the correct boxes ticked to promote how accessible you are: for instance has a series of questions on accessibility that you should complete, and your ATDW listing or website listing with GORRT displays accessibility information based on what you’ve included in your profile set up.


Additional marketing resources:

  • To provide information that is useful for those with disability, GO ACCESS Travel have prepared detailed questionnaires for tourism businesses to help describe the features that will assist travel planning. MORE INFO HERE


  • If your accommodation, venue or experience is particularly suited for those with disability, you may want to consider promoting it on an established platform dedicated specifically to supporting travel planning for people with disability.  With low commissions (lower than most Online Travel Agents), and high visitation, you may want to consider advertising on either Accessible Accommodation or Accessible Experiences.



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