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We are committed to making sure the City of Merri-bek is accessible for everyone. 1 in 4 people in Merri-bek have a disability, and we want them to able to easily get around and enjoy everything the community has to offer.

Good access is good business

It is important that businesses in Merri-bek are accessible for all people. Accessibility benefits everyone, but especially people who:

  • have difficulty moving, and may use a wheelchair, scooter, walking frame or crutches
  • are blind or deaf or have trouble seeing or hearing
  • have difficulties seeing or hearing things
  • find it hard to speak, understand, or need to rest often due to illness or injury, or
  • have young children, prams or strollers, heavy bags or shopping jeeps.

An accessible business is one where every person is able to shop and socialise. Making a business accessible will also mean that it’s safer, which will help you meet your workplace safety responsibilities.

As a business owner, you have a legal responsibility to make sure customers with disability can access your goods or services. If you do not do this, you may get a complaint made against you for discrimination under the Victorian Anti-Discrimination Act or Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act.

How can you make your business more accessible?

If you are an owner or an employee of a business, you can:

  • train your staff to be respectful of difference in ability
  • be mindful of background noise, like music or radio
  • make the entrance or door to the business easy to see
  • use language like “accessible toilet” (not disabled toilet) and “accessible parking” (not disabled parking)
  • keep the footpath in front of your business clear of any obstacles
  • remove dangerous fittings that may injure a blind person, and
  • put in accessible toilets and ramps.

Each business has different layouts, settings and needs. However, to be accessible all businesses should have:

  • an accessible website
  • enough space between tables
  • a chair available for people waiting
  • a delivery service or service at home
  • have clear and wide aisles
  • safety markings on glass walls and doors
  • slip-resistant floors
  • signs with contrasting colours and large writing, and
  • an EFTPOS payment system.

Improving access does not have to be expensive. The Good Access is Good Business guide below can provide you with practical tips.

You can contact us to post a copy of the guide to you.

Wheelchair/scooter recharge points

In Merri-bek, we have several places where people can recharge the batteries of their wheelchairs or scooters. This way, people who use wheelchairs or scooters can travel longer distances without worrying that the batteries will run out.

In Merri-bek, we have recharge points at:

The recharge scheme

The recharge scheme encourages local businesses and organisations to provide a power point so people can recharge the battery on their wheelchair or scooter.

You will be able to spot a business with one of these powerpoints because the business will put a sticker in its window. Stickers will also be placed near the actual powerpoint so you will be able to find it quickly.

It costs very little for a person to charge their wheelchair or scooter, so we encourage all physically accessible businesses to think about becoming a recharge point.

Visit the Recharge Scheme website for further details on the program.

Wheelchair or scooter break downs

If your wheelchair or scooter breaks down, phone the RACV Emergency Wheelchair and Scooter Care on 137 228.

Braille labels for household bins

Braille labels for household bins are now available. The labels are adhesive and can be placed anywhere on your bin that is suitable. We have braille labels for all 4 bins.

If you or someone you know needs braille bin labels, you can collect them from our Customer Service Centre at 90 Bell Street, Coburg. If you can't visit us, call 9240 1111 or email to request labels.

Recreation Access Program (RAP)

The Recreation Access Program (RAP) provides opportunities for young adults over 16 years with intellectual disabilities to take part in sport, recreation and leisure activities.

The program takes place on weekends, from the Coburg Leisure Centre. RAP participants can take part in a range of fun activities, including going to:

  • festivals and markets
  • museums and other Melbourne landmarks
  • sporting events, like A-League and AFL matches

Some of these activities are free, while some of them have a small cost.

To take part in the RAP program, participants must be:

  • a Merri-bek resident
  • aged 16 years and over
  • have a mild to moderate intellectual disability, and
  • be living at home with non-professional carer/s.

All staff leaders at RAP are experienced leaders, with up-to-date first aid and anaphylaxis training, and a Working with Children Check.

How to apply for Recreation Access Program

To apply to participate in the program, please visit the Recreation Access Program page on the Active Merri-bek website.

Access for All Abilities Play

The Access for All Abilities program provides sporting opportunities for people with disability, through Access for All Abilities Play (AAA Play).

Support provided by AAA Play

AAA Play is a free information and referral service which helps people of all ages with a disability get involved in sport and active recreation.

With personal assistance from AAA Play, you can discover a new sporting challenge.

Visit the AAA Play website or call to discover sports and recreation activities close to your home.

Contact AAA Play Today

If you already know which sport you are interested in, feel free to contact the AAA coordinators at the relevant State Sports Association.

Accessible Parking Permits

In Victoria, we have the Accessible Parking Permit Scheme. There is no fee for this permit. You can find more information about the Scheme on our Accessible Parking Permit page.