10 ways we’re making Melbourne more accessible

12 April 2022

Plan your next adventures in Melbourne with support from our accessibility resources. 

Almost one in five people experience some form of disability, so many members of our community face challenges as they move through the city. 

These include wayfinding, locating accessible parking, navigating footpaths and the ability to be flexible and spontaneous in their experiences. 

We’re committed to helping all people access and enjoy everything our city offers. 

So, whether you want to shop, dine, watch live sports, attend an art exhibition, or anything in between, here are some of the City of Melbourne’s key accessibility services and initiatives. 

1. Chart your course

Locate accessible parking, public transport, toilets, recharging points, public seating, drinking fountains and more through this interactive access map or this printable central city mobility map (PDF 2.12 MB). For more information, visit Access and mobility maps.

2. Dine, shop and play

Browse welcoming, wheelchair-friendly restaurants with easy entries, open spaces and accessible toilets. Plan your foodie tour of Melbourne with handy dietary guides. And download sensory maps of some of Melbourne’s top attractions.

All this and more can be found in What’s on Melbourne’s evolving guide to Accessible and inclusive Melbourne, which includes articles researched and written by an access consultant with lived experience of disability.

3. Say it with a sunflower

Pick up a free Hidden Disability sunflower product, like a lanyard or wristband, to discreetly signify that you may need extra assistance or considerations as you spend time in the city. The products are available at our tourism hubs, and the Traveller’s Aid centres at Flinders Street and Southern Cross stations.  

What is a hidden disability?

Globally, 1 billion people live with disabilities that are not immediately obvious. These disabilities are extremely varied, but include autism, dementia, hearing loss, and chronic illness. 

Staff who wear a sunflower symbol at City of Melbourne events have undergone specific training about hidden disability and can offer assistance, support and understanding to help everyone enjoy the city.

To find out more, visit Supporting people with hidden disabilities. 

4. Catch a ride

Check out our tips for accessible public transport, parking, taxi and rideshare services, and getting around Melbourne.

5. Tune in to beacon technology

Download the BlindSquare app (available in more than 25 languages) to receive audio messages about intersections, transport, obstacles and disruptions to your phone. Beacon technology complements other mobility aids such as a cane or guide dog to help people with low vision or blindness navigate the city.

6. Recharge your scooter or wheelchair

Drop by Melbourne Town Hall at 120 Swanston Street to power up your electric scooter or wheelchair. Recharge points are also located at City Library, North Melbourne Library and East Melbourne Library, and the Traveller’s Aid centres at Flinders and Southern Cross stations.

7. Entertain the kids

We have more than 40 exciting and challenging playgrounds for children to explore, and many of them have features for children with disability, such as accessible surfaces, swings and opportunities for sensory play. Browse playgrounds in your neighbourhood. 

Fast facts 

  • 18 per cent of Victorians live with a disability. 
  • 96 per cent of disabilities are invisible. 
  • 95 per cent of people with disability live at home or in the community. 

8. Find changing places and accessible toilets

Public toilets with full-sized change tables, ceiling hoists and peninsula toilets are located at various locations in the city, including RMIT, Melbourne Arena, Hamer Hall and Melbourne Cricket Ground. For a full list of locations, and a link to the National Public Toilet Map, visit Getting around Melbourne.

9. Hire accessibility equipment

Rent equipment like scooters and walking sticks to help you move around the city from the Travellers Aid centres at Flinders Street or Southern Cross stations. You can book online or call 03 9068 8187.

10. Watch the city evolve

Keep an eye out as our city becomes more and more accessible, with tactile surfaces, ramps, and upgraded surfaces and lighting being standard inclusions in footpath upgrades and other capital works. We’re also building more accessible adult change facilities.

How to be part of the change

To help shape a more accessible city, have your say on issues important to you through Participate Melbourne, apply for a community grant and get to know our Disability Advisory Committee.

For more information, visit Getting involved with Council activities. 

For more information, visit Accessing Melbourne or check out our check out our Disability Access and Inclusion Plan.

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