The Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC), with assistance from Curtin University intern Shannon Galvin, conducted a research project to investigate issues concerning the use of electric mobility devices (mobility scooters/gophers and electric wheelchairs) in Western Australia in the areas of public life covered by the Equal Opportunity Act 1984. Shannon was undertaking professional practice for his Bachelor Urban and Regional Planning.The objective of the project was to consider a range of issues for the users of mobility scooters which arise from a planning and policy setting, and to identify best practice solutions for users of electric mobility devices.
This report was formed using the knowledge and data derived from three key components of the project.
The first component of the project was a literature review regarding electric mobility devices including information about the devices themselves, the policy context and any issues of access, inclusion and discrimination that may arise. It draws from grey literature and peer reviewed articles. The second is the WA Equal Opportunity Commission Mobility Device Survey, created to gather data from mobility device users to better understand issues of access, inclusion, and discrimination from their perspective. The third component is a series of interviews conducted with government officials to better understand issues of significance and examples of best practice. The Local Government Areas interviewed included the City of Rockingham, the City of Mandurah and the Shire of Mundaring.
The report is divided in to three main sections. Firstly, the Context section defines mobility scooters and explains how they are classified, used and why. It draws on the literature review to inform the reader and build a foundation for the rest of the report and is reinforced by the results from the electric mobility device survey. Secondly, the Statutes, Regulations and Policy section looks at the policy pertaining to mobility scooters, as well as a brief overview of the 2018 Commonwealth senate inquiry into the need for regulation of mobility scooters. It draws on grey literature and peer reviewed articles from the literature review. The Issues section explores the physical and social barriers to access and inclusion experienced by mobility users. It draws on peer reviewed literature from the literature review, results from the electric mobility device survey and findings from the interviews with government officials. Lastly, the Solutions section contains the findings from a series of interviews with government officials, primarily access and inclusion officers from local governments.
The officials from these LGAs provided examples of issues mobility scooter users had reported to them and the solutions the local government used to resolve these issues.
I would like to thank Commission staff, and particularly Shannon, who worked on the project.
Dr John Byrne
Western Australian Commissioner for Equal Opportunity