Expanded eligibility criteria for ACROD parking to include West Australians who are legally blind
The Hon. Don Punch MLA, Minister for Disability Services today announced West Australians who are legally blind, including people with guide dogs, will be eligible for an ACROD parking permit from 1 July under an expansion of the eligibility criteria.
"An estimated 411,500 Western Australians live with disability, including more than 90,000 who hold ACROD parking permits, and in recent years there has been concern that the ACROD eligibility criteria left out a number of people needing assistance navigating car parks," Minister Punch said.
Blind Citizens WA advocacy officer Erika Webb, who is legally blind, said being an ACROD permit holder would alleviate many of the hazards she faced when navigating car parks.
"People who are blind or have a guide dog often struggle to navigate car parks safely for a number of reasons. It can be very dangerous. We can't see vehicles as they reverse in and out of bays, we can’t see obstacles or hazards like potholes, signs, rubbish bins, tow balls and bike racks, and drivers in big vehicles like four-wheel drives or trucks often can’t see us."
"Being an ACROD permit holder will mean I will be able to safely get out of the car in a designated car bay near the entrance to buildings."
The NDS ACROD Parking Program has supported West Australians with significant mobility restrictions to access the community via designated parking bays for more than 40 years.
NDS in WA State Manager Julie Waylen said "We welcome the expansion of the eligibility criteria to ensure people who are legally blind can safely access the community with an ACROD parking permit."
As a result of NDS's advocacy, the State Government has increased on-the-spot fines for illegally parking in an ACROD bay from $300 to $500. Court imposed penalties have increased from $2,000 to $5,000.
This Bay is Someone's Day, a community awareness campaign recently implemented by NDS uses the medium of art to highlight the real-life impact that ACROD bay misuse has on people who genuinely need them. You can follow This Bay is Someone's Day is on Instagram and Facebook.
For more information see the WA Government Media Release.