Commission launches Pathways to inclusion report

News story
To recognise International Day of People with Disability, the Equal Opportunity Commission has launched Pathways to inclusion - a research report into access and inclusion barriers for users of electric mobility devices.
Launch shot Shannon and Dr Byrne

The research report documents the experiences of mobility device users and the barriers they face in the community. 

Curtin University intern Shannon Galvin, who conducted the research including a community survey, found mobility device users faced both physical and social barriers such as difficulties manoeuvring their devices on public transport and being ignored by service providers in shops and restaurants.

One survey participant said, "people believe since you're in a chair you have a mental illness and are not capable of communicating, they look down on you,"

Another said, "equal access when it comes to public transport is non existent. Let's start with the basics of manoeuvring a gopher in a train, there is a pole right in the centre of the doorway."

The report made recommendations such as research be conducted into the possibility of making buses more accessible by mobility devices and that businesses consider qual opportunity training to optimise customer service to mobility device users.

WA Commissioner for Equal Opportunity, Dr John Byrne said with an aging population he expected more people to use mobility devices which made the research and recommendations more relevant to local governments and transport authorities.

"In future there will be more mobility device users so I fully expect to see an increase in complaints from this cohort in years to come," he said.

Page reviewed 7 December 2021