Accessible Transport and Travel
Helping you navigate your community and the world
Helping you to plan ahead
Have the freedom to go on an adventure
Getting out and about with a spinal cord injury can require much planning. Knowing your options is key, but knowing what assistance you can access is also crucial.
Whether it’s travelling into town to see a show or going on a holiday there is a lot to organise and when you have a spinal cord injury and navigate the world in a wheelchair there are a few extra things to consider and decide. Things such as where to go and how you are going to travel, booking accommodation that is accessible, ensuring you have enough medications and supplies, organising equipment such as hoists/commode chairs, or researching your destination for activities that are accessible.
To help you plan we have provided some information and resources to inspire you and get you started.
Help with organising your holiday
Having a stress free enjoyable time
To help you plan your holiday there is an abundance of travel websites, information about accessible attractions & restaurants and other places, blogs, travel stories to read, general travel advice and people to talk to who have been there done that. Here are some resources to get you started and don’t forget you can contact us at SCIA for advice and information at any time.
offers a range of accessible holiday options from tailored multi-day guided tours, tailored self drive holidays, scheduled group tours, and easy access shore excursions.
Need to organise travel insurance?
Helping you to find accessible accommodation
If you use wheels to get around, unless your wheelchair can climb stairs, at a bare minimum you are going to need level access into the accommodation, your room and the shower! Good advice though before you go ahead and make your booking, is to contact the venue and speak to someone about the features of the room so that you can be sure your needs will be met. The definition of “accessible” can be widely interpreted and many a person has arrived at their room to discover a small step into the shower which the venue hadn’t considered would be a problem. If possible ask for photos of the room so that you know for sure there won’t be any obstacles. To help you find a suitable place, there are a number of sites and resources that you can search to find accessible accommodation which we have listed here.
SCIA’s database of more than 1,800 properties around Australia. You can search by location or browse the map. SCIA has checked that the properties have at least one room that is wheelchair accessible meaning that there are no steps to get to and into the room and that its bathroom has a stepless shower stall.
Flying and airline assistance
Tips and tricks to make flying an enjoyable experience
Flying involves much planning, research, more planning and preparation. There will be lots to organise and think about such as:
Don’t be daunted though – if you start early you can have everything organised in plenty of time and then you will be able to relax and look forward to your flight.
To help you in your preparations, the airlines have produced guides which tell you everything you need to know about flying with them, Dan Holt has some very useful advice and the SCIA Resource Library has collected some helpful advice and tips.
On holiday or just need an accessible vehicle for a short period?
Where to hire an accessible vehicle
If you need to hire a wheelchair accessible vehicle all of the companies listed here provide wheelchair accessible or hand control fitted vehicles:
Parking in Australia and overseas
Using your disability parking pass
Did you know that your Australian disability parking registration is valid in a number of countries outside Australia? That’s right, you can use your parking pass in countries including England, New Zealand and others.
If you are travelling overseas to other countries and are planning to use a motor vehicle we advise you to investigate requirements and eligibility for each country that you will be visiting. If you are having trouble finding this information, our Customer Connect team will be very happy to assist you with your plans.
You can also use your pass across states when travelling within Australia. Similarly if you are travelling to Australia, check with the relevant authorities to find out if your parking pass is valid in Australia. Links to state and territory disability parking schemes in Australia are available here.
Community transport and driving services
Don’t drive or use public transport? Here are some alternatives
There are alternatives available to you if you don’t drive or use public transport. Some services are free and others require payment. Community transport provides transport for people with disabilities to assist them with shopping, appointments and social activities. They are generally operated by community service groups such as Rotary, Apex, Returned Soldiers Leagues Clubs and other charitable organisations. If you are living in NSW and need to travel a long distance for treatment you may be eligible for the Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme. Some care agencies also provide transport services and some services such as Carers that Drive specifically provide driving and transport services.
To find providers of these services visit:
South Australia and Northern Territory,
Australian Capital Territory,
Helping you to get around
Train stations, buses and ferries are gradually becoming accessible and sometime in the not too distant future all public transport will be 100% accessible. But until this happens we advise you do some research before you leave the house just to make sure that the public transport option you choose is accessible. To find timetables and information about accessibility on all modes of transport visit Transport for New South Wales.
For other states visit the relevant state transport website for accessible public transport information.
Assistance with transport costs
Some options to help finance your transport choice
In Australia there are a number of benefits and concessions you can claim to help with your transport costs such as the taxi transport subsidy scheme, public transport concessions, the mobility allowance and transport funding under the NDIS. If you need help to take advantage of these benefits, or you want to find out what is available or if you have had funding taken away from you for any reason, we can help you so give us a call on 1800 819 775 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information
For further information about a wide range of topics, visit the SCIA Resource Library