What do laws about accessible places say?

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) is a law which protects the rights of people with disabilities. It protects your right to access public places that people without disabilities can access (for example shops and parks).

The law says public places must be accessible. This means:

People with disabilities should be able to get in and out, and move around inside. For example, there might need to be ramps or lifts, or Braille on signs.

People with disabilities should be able to use things that are there (like toilets, changerooms and lockers). For example, there might need to be accessible toilets, and lockers that are low enough to reach.

Information must be accessible. For example, there might need to be a menu available in Braille or spoken form, or spoken train station announcements.

These places are also not allowed to:

  • Stop you from using them because you have a disability
  • Not treat you as well as people without a disability
  • Make you pay more than somebody without a disability
  • Only let you use the worst parts of a place or service because you have a disability (like the worst seats or rooms)

If a public place is not accessible because of your disability, you can speak up. You can also speak up if people who work there treat you badly. That place might be discriminating against you. They might even be breaking the law.

You can start by complaining to the person, group or company who is in charge of that place (for example, a council). They might change something to fix the problem.

If this doesn’t work, you can complain to the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission or the Australian Human Rights Commission. They can help you use the law to get things changed.

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