As a member of the public accessing the community, it is useful to know how to report problems, provide feedback and advocate for change.
Advocacy means speaking up for yourself or for others. This may involve speaking or writing to someone to seek change or improve access to maintain your independence and safety.
It is helpful to be able to describe your need for assistance as a statement. This statement needs to specify the needs you have around your vision.
When reporting issues it is important to be clear about what the problem is and what you want done.
Several of the organisations who can assist with advocacy around travel and transport are:
- Blind Citizens Australia (BCA) is a national organisation with over 2,500 members. Regional and special interest branches act as lobby groups and provide opportunities for social interaction and self-help support for members. BCA's advocacy services help people who are blind or vision impaired to overcome and resolve problems of discrimination and to improve services for the community.
- Vision Australia's Policy and Advocacy team are actively involved in the development and promotion of public policy regarding blindness and low vision matters, broad issue and individual advice and support to break down barriers.
- Public Transport Operators in each state oversee the operation of specific modes of public transport including safety and accessibility for all travellers.
- Road Traffic Authorities in each state oversee the building of major roads, promotion of road safety, management of traffic, regulation of vehicles and drivers.
- Local Governments in each state are involved in management of public works, some infrastructure (some are managed by relevant State Government Departments), community assets and services.
- Travellers Aid Services (available in some states) offer travel and support services to travellers at the main city train stations to ensure that travellers reach their destinations safely.
- Medical Companion Project (available in some states). Volunteer companions accompany people from the main city stations and bus terminals to health care appointments in central Melbourne.
- Community Police provide informative safety tips and measures that you can take to ensure your safety.
- Ombudsmen exist in all states. They can deal with complaints about public transport that members of the community have been unable to resolve directly with the public transport operators. Ombudsmen provide a free and fair service, independent of both public transport operators and the government.
If you require further information or advice, you can request specialist assistance from an Orientation and Mobility Specialist from Vision Australia.