The aim of the following document is to provide further information for spectators with accessibility enquiries regarding Commonwealth Games events.
Frequently Asked Questions
Equal First is the Victorian Government’s strategy for making the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games in March 2006 a true celebration of diversity. Equal First outlines the principles and commitments to people with accessibility requirements to ensure they can get to and enjoy the Games events.
What to expect
All Games venues will offer Wheelchair accessible seating space with a seat for a companion and easy-access seating with additional space for a mobility aid, guide dog or the like. All Games venues have accessible pathways from major transport hubs and set down locations to the venue.
Some Games venues will operate differently to normal event operations you may have previously experienced. Therefore some travelling distances will be greater and extra time should be allowed to arrive for your ticketed session. Please refer to individual venue information in Section 4 for specific details.
Unisex Accessible Toilets
All venues and surrounding precincts have standard male and female toilets as well as unisex accessible toilets located nearby.
Some venues will provide hearing assistance such as an FM system or hearing loops. Most venues will also have electronic scoreboards and video to further enhance reception of the sport. Please check with the Games helpline if you require this service at a particular venue.
The following venues have existing hearing augmentation systems;
MCG – FM system.
Rod Laver Arena – Hearing loop.
Multi Purpose Arena – Hearing loop.
Melbourne State Netball and Hockey Centre, Parkville – Permanent hearing loop.
Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre – Permanent hearing loop in accredited seating area - Temporary hearing loop – to be confirmed.
State Lawn Bowls Centre – Permanent hearing loop in accredited seating area– Temporary hearing loop – to be confirmed.
Assistance and Mobility aids
Most venues of the Commonwealth Games provide independent access for people with mobility impairments. There are some exceptions which include the State Mountain Bike Centre, please refer to individual venue details in Section 4 for specific details. It is strongly recommended at these venues that people with mobility impairments have a companion to assist. During the Games a mobility service (wheelchair / scooter hire) will be operating from Federation Square and Southern Cross Train Station. Equipment is limited so pre booking is essential (see key contact information).
The Companion Card (Victoria only) is welcome at all Games venues and sporting sessions. Victorian and interstate visitors without a Companion Card must include a doctor’s letter verifying that they need carer assistance and notify ticketing of their requirements (please refer to key contact information).
Companion Card is a government initiative promoting the rights of people with a disability who require a companion. The Companion Card has been designed to allow carers of people with disabilities to access an event without charge, with a paying patron.
Companion Card applications and eligibility are controlled by Victorian Government Agencies. For more information please visit the Companion Card website: http://www.companioncard.com.au.
Alternatively use the following numbers:
Phone: +61 3 1800 650 611
Modem or text phone (TTY): +61 3 1800 898 888
People who are deaf or have a hearing or speech/communication impairment can also access the Companion Card number by calling the National Relay Service on 1800 555 677 or the Speech to Speech Relay Service on 1800 555 727 and asking to be connected to the Companion Card Information Line.
The March 2005 Ticket Ballot and June 2005 Special Ticket Offer will be run, giving all members of the Australian community the chance to secure tickets for the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. People with disabilities will be able to participate in this ballot equitably.
There are two types of accessible seating available:
- wheelchair accessible seating space with an adjacent seat for a companion
- easy access seating, providing additional space for a mobility aid, guide dog or the like.
Ticket prices for people who require a wheelchair and companion space will be at the lowest price available for that particular session, irrespective of the location in the venue, as accessible seating cannot be provided in all price levels and locations.
An accessible section of the Games Ticket Ballot and Special Ticket Offer applications will allow you to highlight the type of seating required to ensure your requirements are met.
Elite Athletes with Disabilities (EAD) sports
The 2006 Commonwealth Games are one of the few events where Elite Athletes with Disabilities (EAD’s) compete and live in the village side by side with the able bodied athletes and have all medals included on the official medal tally. Melbourne will see EAD’s competing in swimming, athletics, table tennis and power lifting.
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Getting to the Games
There are many ways to get to the Games venues and for people with accessibility needs there are a range of options outlined here. Accessibility requirements are experienced by a wide range of spectators including those with wheelchairs, scooters & mobility aids as well as the elderly and pregnant.
Car parking, including accessible car parking, will not be provided at most venues. Please refer to the Venue information for specific details. Some venues will utilise the limited parking available at the train stations including Lilydale, Fairfield, Hallam and regional centres.
Getting to games venues is easy with Games tickets entitling the holder to free travel on the day of the event on metropolitan Melbourne’s trams, trains and buses that accept Zone 1, 2 and 3 Metcards.
Metropolitan Train Services
All metropolitan train stations provide a ramp to enter the station and platforms. Lift access is available at Southern Cross Station, Flinders St Station, all city loop stations, Box Hill Station, Dandenong Station, Boronia Station and Watergardens station. Please check with Metlink if you have questions regarding accessibility at a specific station (please refer to key contact information).
Train drivers will assist people in wheelchairs to board trains by placing a ramp between the train and platform. To receive this assistance please;
Wait in the designated area, marked with a yellow or white rectangle on the platform, so the driver can see you,
Have your destination recorded on a note you can give to the driver
If you are travelling in a group please call ahead to Connex to inform them of your numbers.
Regional Trains and Coaches
Regional venues will have shuttle buses that are accessible linked to V/Line services. While V/Line trains and most V/Line coaches can accommodate mobility aids there are some restrictions and passengers with accessibility requirements are encouraged to contact V/Line to discuss travel arrangements with at least 24 hours notice (please refer to key contact information).
Trams and Tram Stops
Low floor trams operate on route 109 (Box hill to Port Melbourne and route 96, East Brunswick to St Kilda). These routes have a number of raised platform stops to assist passengers boarding low floor trams. Please contact Metlink for further information.
Route Bus Services
Low floor buses are available on some bus routes. Bus timetables with the wheelchair accessible icon indicate that wheelchair accessible services are available to customers. Please contact Metlink for more information on these services.
Accessible Shuttle Bus
A spectator Accessible Shuttle Service for people with accessibility requirements will operate from the following locations:
Federation Square to the Melbourne Cricket Ground
Federation Square to the Rod Laver Arena/Multi Purpose Venue
Southern Cross Station to Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre via the Melbourne Exhibition Centre
Southern Cross Station to St Kilda via Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre and Melbourne Exhibition Centre. This shuttle only operates on 18 and 21 March for triathlon and time trial events.
Hallam Station to State Mountain Bike Centre
Seating on the Accessible Shuttle buses is limited and is expected to be in high demand. Therefore only one companion will be guaranteed to travel and sit with a person with accessibility requirements. If you are a member of a larger group you can use one of the meeting locations that will be identified at all venues to rejoin your friends.
At other venues a shuttle service will run from nearby stations and some carparks for all spectators. These shuttle services are also available for spectators with accessibility needs and will either be a combined service or a dedicated accessible shuttle.
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National Relay Service
The National Relay service allows people with hearing impairments to contact any hearing person through a 3rd person. It is preferred to have people with hearing impairments communicate directly with organisations to ensure unambiguous interpretation of the conversation
Speech to Speech Relay Service
STS is a form of Relay Services that provides Communications Assistants (CAs) for people with speech disabilities who have difficulty being understood on the phone. STS CAs are trained individuals familiar with many different speech patterns and language recognition skills. The CA makes the call and repeats the words exactly. Individuals using STS include those with cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, a laryngectomy, ALS, stuttering, muscular dystrophy, stroke, and other conditions affecting clarity of speech.
Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games recognises the issues faced by the many and varied users of our Website. We have a commitment, through the Victorian Government, to offer accessible communications and refer to recognised accessibility and Government guidelines and policies in producing and developing web-based communications.
This Website has been designed to meet Level A (Priority 1) of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 of the W3C (World-Wide Web Consortium). Testing against these guidelines is conducted as part of an ongoing process as the Website continues to evolve.
In October 2004, Gian Sampson-Wild from PurpleTop, and a Member of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group, reviewed the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games website against the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. As at October 2004 all pages in the site met the requirements to claim conformance with these Level A guidelines. As our site is updated and enhanced, we will continue to improve accessibility.
If you have any accessibility problems with the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games website or suggestions for improvement, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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1300 00 2006
1800 650 611
City of Melbourne – Accessibility Information
www.melbourne.vic.gov.au. Go to Community Health Services and Access all abilities
Connex Customer Feedback
1800 800 705
1800 800 166
Accessible Shuttle Bus
1300 00 2006
Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Help line
1300 00 2006
Alternative formats The Spectator guide is available in Braille, audio and large print on request.
Please call 03 9208 3050 or
National Relay Service
13 36 77
Speech to Speech Relay Service
1300 555 727
Federation Square - City of Melbourne
Southern Cross Station – Travellers Aid Disability Access Service
03 9658 9658
Or 03 9654 2600
TTY Service 1800 898 888
Personal Care Attendants
Telephone: +61 3 9415 1200
Facsimile: +61 3 9415 1222
Freecall:1800 805 384 (Australia only)
Accessible hire cars and vans
Car rental Norden
Hire a Toyota Commuter van with wheelchair hoist and restraints.
+61 3 9793 1066
Hertz for vehicles with hand controls.
13 30 39
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For information specific to each venue, please visit the Venue Locations and details pages:
Specific Venue Information
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FAQ’S – Frequently Asked Questions
Area: General Accessibility
Question: Is there a TTY number to get tickets?
Answer: The ticket call centre does not have a TTY for people with hearing impairments. Calls from people with a hearing or speech impaired can be directed through the National Relay Service 13 36 77.
Question: What alternative format communications are there?
Answer: Selected publications (including the Spectator Guide) are available in Braille, Large Print and Audio tape, please contact OCGC to discuss the format you require on 03 9208 3050.
Question: Is the website accessible as I use a screen reader?
Answer: The website is W3C and Bobby compliant and should be able to support your technology needs. Should it not support your technology, please contact 1300 00 2006.
Question: Can someone assist me filling out the form to request tickets?
Answer: Yes, selected call centre staff will be able to assist you to fill out the ticket ballot booklet.
Please contact 1300 00 2006.
Area: Mobility aids
Question: I normally use a scooter to get around, is there somewhere close where I can hire one?
Answer: Yes, a Games Mobility service will operate from Flinders and Spencer street train stations and Federation Square. All scooter or wheelchair hire should be pre booked to ensure availability. See Key Contacts in the Spectator Guide for further information.
Question: I am going to come to the event with a friend / family or associate who uses a wheel bed; will they be able to get around?
Answer: Most transport e.g. buses and venues have not been designed for a wheel bed. A number of the venues will be able to accommodate such a mobility aid. For more details please contact 1300 00 2006
Question: Can I park at the venue?
Answer: For members of the general public there will be no parking available at most Games venues and this includes accessible parking spaces. Please refer to the Spectator Guide for specific venue information including accessible drop off locations.
Question: Why can’t I park at the venue?
Answer: The Commonwealth Games are different to any event. The security is far tighter and there are great demands on the space around the venue. Accessible shuttle buses will operate to most venues to ensure walking distances are kept to a minimum.
Question: If I have medical equipment that I need during the day and I must store it in my car. Can I still park at the venue?
Answer: People with medical disabilities will be able to park at the venue in very limited numbers. These requests will be assessed on a case by case basis. Please contact 1300 00 2006 to discuss your needs.
Question: If there is no parking how do I get to the venue from home?
Answer: An accessible transport plan has been established which will include driving to a transport hub and catching a train or bus to the key venues. Accessible drop off points for private cars and taxis will be in place for Games time; please refer to the Spectator Guide for details. Detail of the accessible transport plan will be released closer to the games.
Question: The train stations are quite a distance from the venues, how do I get to them from the station?
Answer: Some venues will provide an accessible shuttle bus that will link venues with key transport hubs. Refer to Spectator guide for details. Detail of the accessible transport plan will be released closer to the games
Question: Will my local bus still be operating while the games are on?
Answer: All bus routes will continue to operate during the Games. As always, please refer to timetables and bus company information to ensure you are kept up to date with the latest transport details. See Key contacts for further information
Area: Wheelchair, stroller and scooters usage
Question: Will the venues have wheelchairs that I can use?
Answer: The venues have wheelchairs that are used to assist medical emergencies, people with fatigue and short term use only. Wheelchairs can be hired from the Mobility centres located at Federation Square, Flinders St Station and Southern Cross/Spencer St Station.
Question: Is there somewhere at the venue to store my wheelchair or scooter?
Answer: Venues are not generally equipped to store mobility aids as there are no secure spaces to ensure their safety. Please ensure that you bring and use only what you can look after personally wherever possible. Wheelchair seating is available at all venues. Please contact 1300 00 2006 to discuss alternate arrangements if required.
Question: Are the ticketing outlets accessible?
Answer: The ticket provider will have a list of accessible ticket outlets that are accessible, however if you have a credit card, you can order them online or via the ticket hotline.
Question: How many friends can I have sit next to me? (wheelchair seating)
Answer: Due to the existing venues we can only offer 1 person to sit directly next to you, however should you have a few people with you that want to sit together, we will try to ensure they are seated in close proximity. Please contact 1300 00 2006 to discuss.
Question: I have a companion, carer, personal assistant, do they get in free of charge?
Answer: Only people who would be unable to attend the event without a companion are able to have a companion attend free of charge. All Commonwealth Games venues are registered and accept the Companion Card. It is strongly recommended that should you require a companion to assist you during a visit to the Commonwealth Games event, please register for the card prior to the event and present it when buying or collecting your tickets.
Question: How many wheelchair seats are there in each venue?
Answer: Each venue has endeavoured to provide 0.5% wheelchair and enhanced amenity seating as a percentage of the total seating capacity. All wheelchair and easy access seating will have a seat next to it for your companion.
Question: Do you have seats that have more room in front or to the sides of it?
Answer: These seats are called Enhanced Amenity or “Easy Access” seating and yes each venue will have a number of these seats available
Question: I have a broken leg, where can I sit?
Answer: Each venue has “Easy Access” seating which may allow you more room and make you more comfortable. You can either exchange your current ticket for an accessible seat or notify staff when you arrive at the venue.
Question: I have a problem with vertigo and am unable to sit up high in a grandstand. Do you have spaces that allow easier access?
Answer: When you purchase your tickets, highlight that you have a unique need and where possible we will try to seat you in a location that is easier to access.
Question: I use an electric scooter and need a recharge point e.g. power point to ensure I can get around, will there be any?
Answer: Some venues will have easily accessible power points where you can recharge while others will not. Please enquire regarding specific venue location requirements to ensure this option will be available. Alternately you may visit a mobility centre and recharge your scooter, see key contacts for further information.
Question: Are the venues accessible?
Answer: All venues are accessible, however considering they are nearly all existing venues (i.e. have not been built from scratch), some are more accessible than others. In general all venues will have permanent and temporary accessible facilities including transport drop offs, pathways to entries & catering, wheelchair accessible toilets and seating. People with hearing impairments shall be able to utilise display boards, video screens (some of which will have subtitles) and hearing augmentation loops.
Question: Are there enough wheelchair toilets?
Answer: All venues will have sufficient unisex accessible toilets as a percentage of the seating. Accessible amenities are also located throughout the Public Domain precincts in all service hubs were facilities are provided.
Question: Will there be staff to push me around the venue?
Answer: Spectator Services Staff will be there to assist you with direction, communication, location of your seating or any other query you might have. Should you need a companion to help you with mobility this should be communicated prior to the event to ensure a free ticket is available for your companion. Please remember you may be required to either display your companion card or bring a doctors certificate to allow you to have a companion “assist you” free of charge.
Question: Have staff been trained in accessibility awareness?
Answer: All Team 2006 staff / volunteers have received general accessibility awareness training. They will receive further venue/precinct specific training closer to Games time.
Question: How can staff assist?
Answer: Team 2006 staff/volunteers are able to assist with direction to key transport facilities, entrances, live sites and other key components of the Games. Team 2006 staff are unable to assist with pushing wheelchairs, assistance with going to the toilet or lifting heavy pieces of mobility or medical equipment.
Question: Where will staff be?
Answer: Team 2006 staff/volunteers will be located at all venues and the surrounding public areas. Some staff simply direct you to entrances, others coordinate accessible bus stops and provide information. There are many roles and all are designed to assist spectators.
Question: Are there staff / Volunteers with disabilities in Team2006?
Answer: The Team 2006 staff/volunteers are inclusive of all people including those with disabilities. Every effort has been made to place the staff /volunteers members with disabilities in positions that have easy access to transport, toilets and shade / shelter.
Question: Are there accessibility specific staff / volunteers?
Answer: All Team 2006 staff will have a general knowledge of accessibility gained through the training program.
Question: Have people with disabilities been included in the planning?
Answer: Yes. Throughout the planning process an expert in Major event accessibility has developed building and operational guidelines, reviewed venue and transport plans. Consultation has also included a number of committees who have received presentations specific to accessibility. All have had input and proposed recommendations.
Area: Special Events
Question: Will the general public be able to see the Opening Ceremony?
Answer: Festival Melbourne 2006 programs will be operating Live sites at a number of locations across the city and regional Victoria that will show the ceremonies live.
Question: Will the Festival Melbourne 2006 cultural program be accessible?
Answer: In all instances accessibility has been considered for the Cultural program. Accessible pathways, viewing areas and displays and availability of accessible toilets, will ensure that ALL people are able to enjoy the events.
Area: Live sites
Question: I am not interested in sport but would like to talk my elderly parents to a concert. Will it be accessible?
Answer: All live sites will provide amenities for people with disabilities or the elderly and include toilets, pathways and transport drop offs/pick ups.
Area: Road Events
Question: Will there be spots for the road events that will allow people with disabilities to see?
Answer: All road events will have designated viewing areas specific to people with disabilities.
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