Understanding the notion of accessible spaces and places: Sydney CBD Visitor Accessibility Web portal www.sydneyforall.com

Parks and Leisure Australia
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australasian Parks and Leisure Journal, 2008, 2008 (Spring), pp. 28 - 34
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The paper presents an approach to understanding the accessibility of spaces and places for people with disabilities and seniors. For these groups, the challenges associated with recreational access are compounded by the cultural context, fragmented approaches to wayfinding and a lack of collaboration by providers to promote accessible experiences. The paper presents the outcome of the research project that sought to collaboratively promote accessible experiences within the Sydney CBD and Sydney Harbour environs. The Sydney for All web portal was developed in conjunction with three industry partners: Tourism NSW; Tourism and Transport Forum; and NSW Dept of Environment and Climate Change. The research engaged in participatory action research with the major stakeholders, attractions and the destination experience providers. The Web portal complies with the highest W3C web accessibility standards as evidenced through the compliance testing by Vision Australia. The paper outlines the research approach, underlying philosophy and the major accessibility features of the portal through a case study of the North Head Lookout. As will be demonstrated, the portal is a starting point to understanding accessible experiences through focusing on universal design, destination experience and management frameworks rather than using constraints based approaches that dominate mainstream access auditing.
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