Transport for People with Disability
Access to public transport is critical for people with disability in order for them to participate fully in community life and the economy. The National Disability Strategy (NDS) seeks to guide public policy across governments to ensure that people with disability have the same opportunities as other Australians.
Supporting the NDS, the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (the DDA) prohibits both direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds of disability, both to the person with a disability as well as family members, carers and friends.
The DDA also allows disability standards to be formulated in a range of areas, including public transport. These standards spell out in detail rights and obligations under the DDA, providing greater certainty about the Act's requirements. For more information on the DDA refer to the Attorney-General's Department.
Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002, as amended
The Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (Transport Standards) as amended, are formulated by the Attorney-General under subsection 31 (1) of the DDA.The Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development has responsibility for providing public transport policy advice on the Transport Standards.
Part 34 of the Transport Standards requires the Minister, in consultation with the Attorney-General, to review the efficiency and effectiveness of these Standards within 5 years after they take effect; and carry out a subsequent review every 5 years after the initial review.
The Review must consider whether discrimination has been removed as far as possible, according to the requirements for compliance set out in Schedule 1; and any necessary amendments to these Standards.
Following the release of the Transport Standards second review report and Australian Government response , the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development has been progressing the implementation of review recommendations in collaboration with States and Territories.
Of these, the major focus has been on
- Modernisation of the Disability Standards (Recommendation 1 of the second review), and
- Development of: The Whole Journey: A guide for thinking beyond compliance to create accessible public transport journeys (Recommendation 4 of the second review).
The Whole Journey Guide
The Consultation Draft of The Whole Journey: A guide for thinking beyond compliance to create accessible public transport journeys has been released for comment by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development.
Further details can be found here.
Submissions on the Guide Consultation Draft should be lodged by 31 May 2017.
For further information on the Transport Standards, please contact the Department via the Secretariat mailbox at: DisabilitiesTransportAccessSecretariat@infrastructure.gov.au