A Pearl Beach couple have been praised for establishing a website which provides accessibility information about shops, restaurants and other public locations.
The WheelEasy website rates the accessibility of specific locations in Sydney and on the Central Coast with either a green, yellow, or red light based on how easy it is for people with decreased mobility to get around and use the services.
WheelEasy was the brainchild of locals Max and Justine Burt of Pearl Beach.
As a wheelchair user himself, Max developed WheelEasy to allow people with – and without – disabilities to go online and give feedback about accessibility in their local community. Member for Gosford Ms Liesl Tesch said: “I’d like to congratulate Max and Justine for the launch of the WheelEasy website – driving accessibility and inclusion in the built environment from the everyday user up.” She said she believed the site was a major step forward for improving accessibility on the Central Coast.
The website is not just for people with disability, but for everyone, whether they are wheelchair users, parents with prams, older people, or anyone else without full mobility. Ms Tesch said: “The Disability Discrimination Act was introduced in 1992, making it unlawful to discriminate against a person based on a disability, but in many areas of public life, including accessing employment, and public spaces, we still have a long way to go.
“There are over five million people in Australia living with a disability equating to one in five Australians,” she said. Ms Tesch said she encouraged the community to get behind WheelEasy and submit their reviews. “We visit. We do our own access audits, and fi ll in the blanks about cafes, shops and restaurants. “Mums and dads with prams, older Australians, wheelchair users, our friends, our families and carers can quickly plan a great, fully inclusive day out using the information provided on the WheelEasy website.”
SOURCE: Media release, 4 Oct 2018 Richard Mehrtens, Office of Liesl Tesch MP
Readers can access the WheelEasy website here.
This article first appeared in the print edition of Peninsula News Issue 455