New online tool helps Kiwis with disability find the perfect accessible outing

As New Zealand’s post-COVID tourism industry cautiously revives, it’s more important than ever for venues to cater to all in a safe and accessible way. New Zealand’s disability information website Firstport has launched a new tool that will make it easier for Kiwis with disabilities to plan and enjoy post-COVID outings and get active again.

Firstport’s Great Accessible Day Out library provides listings of venues and activities around New Zealand, with a focus on their accessibility features. Users can search the library by:

  • Type of accessible features (physical & sensory)
  • Type of venue (e.g. museum, park, paid attraction)
  • Location within New Zealand
  • Keyword search

All the reviews in the library are from people with access needs, so they provide an unbiased perspective from people who understand the world of disability.

Businesses or venues can add their own listings to the library with details of their accessibility features, which can then be reviewed by the community.

Helping people know where to go 

Susan Evans, a below-knee amputee from Feilding, says having a library of accessible venues helps people find places that suit their needs. 

“As a recent disabled person, it was quite hard to know where to start. 

“Like when you’re wanting to go out and meet a friend at a café and you’ve not been out in a wheelchair before, or maybe you’re visiting at a new town, to know where might work sets it up to be a positive experience,” she says. 

Susan nominated the Makino Aquatic Centre in Feilding for the library because the venue made it easy for her to get back into swimming.

 

“For me as an amputee, the key one for swimming is if I want to have a shower afterwards. If there’s not disabled change rooms and a way for me to get from the pool to them, that makes a huge difference. 

“And the other thing that made a huge difference here as well was the staff, because they were more than willing to help out with anything and make sure it wasn’t a stressful exercise.” 

Build and share the Accessible Day Out library 

Communities can help the library grow by sharing and encouraging people to review the accessible venues and activities they love. The review process is simple—just answer a few questions about the experience and what accessible features were valuable, along with some photos. 

These reviews will help other people plan their ideal day out and promote venues that are working hard to make their spaces accessible.

You can check out reviews of places on the Accessible Day Out here: https://firstport.co.nz/resources-tools/find-accessible-places/ (external website)