The Hon. Don Punch MLA, Minister for Disability Services, made the announcement at a National Disability Services (NDS) media event at Parliament House yesterday. It follows a 2020 review by the Department of Communities and NDS, which administers the ACROD program.
The new criteria will increase the safety and ease of access for people with low or no vision when visiting locations including shopping centres, sports complexes, universities and other institutions.
“VisAbility and Guide Dogs WA welcome the changes to ACROD eligibility announcement by the McGowan Government yesterday,” says VisAbility and Guide Dogs WA Acting Chief Executive Officer Tim Platts.
“Navigating a car park when using a white cane or with a Guide Dog is extremely challenging. The expansion of this program will enable people who are blind or vision impaired to access a range of venues with more independence and confidence.”
The government-led review included consultation with people with disability including peak advocacy body Blind Citizens Western Australia.
It also consulted with 530 community organisations and stakeholders including VisAbility and Guide Dogs WA (link opens in new window).
The changes come into effect on the 1 July 2021. From that date onwards people can apply online for a permit through ACROD directly.
VisAbility’s access consultancy service works with a range of stakeholders to provide strategies to eliminate physical barriers for people with vision impairment. The next phase of the ACROD Parking Program review will look at options to increase the number of available ACROD parking bays in WA.