Universal access

Well designed and connected communities benefit everyone. An accessible environment is particularly relevant for people with disability but also benefits a broader range of people.

  About universal access

More people are encouraged to walk more often, resulting in a more sustainable, healthier, safer community with independent travel possible for others such as the elderly, children, families and people with disability.

Currently one in five people in Australia have a disability. Two out of three people over 75 have a disability and the prevalence of disability will increase further with the ageing of the Australian population. It is estimated that the total number of people who identify themselves as having a disability in Western Australia will increase by about 38 per cent to around 632,600 by 2023.

The City of Perth is a very accessible city for everyone including those with disability.  The City has continuous accessible paths of travel linking public transport, parking, retail, business and entertainment areas.

A number of Department of Transport resources are available to improve universal access related to pedestrian environments to meet the needs of seniors and people with disabilities.

For more information visit the Walking accessibility page.

ABOUT_Universal_Access_Green.pdf icon Universal access Kb
Opens in a new window City of Perth: Community Services and Facilities

  Hazard reporting (for people with disability, pedestrians or cyclists)

Timely reporting of hazards from the community is vital to maintaining infrastructure. Visit the Reporting a hazard or crash page to find out what hazards to report and how to do so.

  ACROD parking program

The not-for-profit organisation National Disability Services manages the ACROD Parking Program (APP) and is responsible for the issuing of ACROD and Australian Disability Parking permits in WA. For more information on the APP and how to apply, please to refer to their website.

ACROD parking bays within the City of Perth are available on-street and off-street, download the maps below.

For more information on exact numbers, locations and costs of ACROD Parking Bays please contact the various car park operators such as City of Perth, Wilson, Secure Parking, Harbour Town Shopping Centre and City West Centre (all in the CBD) directly or visit the Local councils page on the ACROD website, link below.

DOT_M_ACRODonst.pdf icon Perth CBD disability parking bays [ACROD] (on street) Kb
DOT_M_ACRODoffst.pdf icon Perth CBD public parking and disability parking bays [ACROD] (off street) Kb
Opens in a new window ACROD parking program

  Blind and vision impaired

Providing good infrastructure to ensure a continuous accessible path of travel enables more people to travel independently. Other road and path users are reminded to be considerate of vision impaired people and keep paths clear of obstacles.

The photo gallery below shows a journey taken by a group of vision impaired people who travelled independently from the Perth CBD, via a CAT bus to Barrack Square and on the shared path along the Swan River.

For more information regarding vision impairment and walking accessibility download the Department's fact sheet on vision impairment below.

ABOUT_P_Vision_Impairment.pdf icon Vision impairment: background accessibility information Kb

  Cycling for transport, recreation or sport

Cycling WA supports cycling for all abilities and provides opportunities for people with disabilities to cycle. Contact Cycling WA on 9328 3422 for details including 'come and try days', bike education, tandem cycling, hand cycling, paracycling, bicycle suppliers and modifiers plus riding groups for people with disability.

  Local area access maps

Community members may be able to join an access reference group and assist their local council develop a local access maps like the City of Perth. Visit the Acrod parking program website for local council access maps and information.

Opens in a new window ACROD parking program
Opens in a new window City of Perth

  National, state and local government policies

There are a number of policies relating to disability access including:


  • The Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport 2002 (the Transport Standards) were made under section 31, and took effect on 23 October 2002. Information on the Transport Standards is available on the Australian Government Attorney-General's Department website below.
  • Part 34 of the Transport Standards requires the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, in consultation with the Attorney-General, to review the efficiency and effectiveness of the Transport Standards. A review is required within five years of the Transport Standards coming into effect and every five years thereafter.
  • Review of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport. The Allen Report and the Government Response were released in conjunction on 3 June 2011 and are available to download, website link below. The Review makes recommendations for any necessary amendments.


  • The Disability Services Commission provides information for planning for better access for people with disabilities, universal design, access information and publications. The Commission also recognise the outstanding efforts of individuals, government, business and educational and training organisations on projects or initiatives which create more welcoming communities for people of all abilities via the annual Count Me In Awards. Visit the website for more information.


  • Disability Access and Inclusion Plans (DAIP) are required by all Local Government authorities to improve access within the community. The plans need to be reviewed at least every five years to ensure strategies identified to remove barriers are being achieved.
  • The Department of Transport has developed an information brochure to assist local government authorities to develop the transport component of their DAIP implementation plan.
  • Local government authorities all have different requirements to be included in the DAIP. The cities of Perth, Stirling and Bayswater all include strong transport related strategies.
ABOUT_Transport_Items_DSC_green.pdf icon Transport items for local government authorities (DAIP) Kb
Opens in a new window Attorney General's Department: Disability standards for accessible public transport
Opens in a new window City of Bayswater
Opens in a new window City of Perth
Opens in a new window City of Stirling
Opens in a new window Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities: Review of the disability standards for accessible public transport
Opens in a new window Department of Communities: Disability Services
Opens in a new window AccessWA: You're welcome

  Public transport

Accessibility bulletins are sent to individuals who sign up for the new Accessibility Group via TravelEasy, Transperth's free email notification system. The Bulletins are designed for staff in disability related organisations to gather and disseminate information that they deem relevant to their clients and members.

People with disability may also be eligible for free or concessional travel. See Transperth Concession Passes on the Transperth website below for more details.

Opens in a new window Transperth: Public transport

  Special assistance at stations

Accessible Services information is available on the Transperth website, such as how to obtain special assistance at stations from customer service staff, location of accessible toilets at bus and train stations and other issues that meet the needs of community members including people with disabilities, seniors and parents with prams and young children.

Opens in a new window Transperth: Public transport

  Taxi User Subsidy Scheme (TUSS)

The taxi user subsidy scheme (TUSS) provides taxi travel at a reduced rate for people who have a severe permanent disability that will always prevent them from using a conventional public transport bus service.

For applications for the TUSS please go to Travel subsidies.

  Transporting a guide dog

Guide Dogs can go anywhere
Guide Dogs can go anywhere

Under Regulation 14 of the Taxi Regulations 1995, taxi drivers must transport a guide dog accompanying a passenger who is vision-impaired.

Failure to do so constitutes an offence and may result in an infringement of $300 being issued to the driver.

It is unlawful for anyone to attempt to deny these rights to a person with disability, or treat that person less favourably, solely because he or she is accompanied by a guide dog. This also applies to people training guide dogs and guide dog puppies.

What to expect

A guide dog can be recognised by a white harness or guide dog in training jacket, a guide dog medallion and also the guide dog user and/or handler (guide dog in training) will carry a guide dog WA Public Access Card.

A person with disability can choose where to sit in the taxi with their guide dog, however the dog will usually sit in the floor area in front of the front passenger seat. This is the safest area for the dog and the car occupants in the event of a motor vehicle accident.

Most guide dogs are able to:

  • Avoid overhead obstacles;
  • Avoid obstacles on footpaths; and
  • Find doors, steps and kerbs.

To help prevent accidents guide dog users are advised to always take their time when entering a taxi. Drivers should offer to open and close the car door however the guide dog User may prefer to control the process to reduce the chance of the dog getting its tail jammed in a closing car door. Drivers can assist by helping the guide dog user to locate the door handle and answering questions about the airbags in the car which may affect where the dog sits.

The guide dog user may or may not remove the harness from the dog.

Before leaving the taxi, the guide dog user may ask the driver to confirm that it is safe to do so. Drivers should ensure that they have chosen and safe and convenient location as close as possible to the guide dog users destination and should help be describing the location to the guide dog user.

Guide Dogs WA

"By law, guide dogs are granted access rights to everywhere their user goes. This means that guide dogs can access cafes, restaurants, taxis, retail shops, public transport, sporting and cultural venues and public service providers. It's important to remember that if a guide dog is refused entry, in effect, so is their user".

Quote and image used with permission.

Opens in a new window Guide Dogs WA: Guide Dog Access Rights

  Vehicles for people with disability

There are many ways to make transportation easier for people with disability including modifying the vehicle or utilising a mobility scooter. Further information is also available via the Vehicle for people with disabilities (booklet). Visit the Department's Special needs modifications page for full details and to download the booklet.

  Wheelchair-accessible taxis

Wheelchair-accessible or multi-purpose taxis (MPTs) are specially equipped taxis that provide essential transport for people with disabilities or mobility difficulties.

Information including, how to book a multi-purpose taxi and passenger responsibilities, can be found on the Wheelchair-accessible taxis page.


Page last updated: Tue Dec 18 2018 11:31:44 AM