Blazing Swan’s Accessibility Team works with people with disabilities and mobility issues to ensure that everybody at our Event has the opportunity to make it their best possible experience.
According to the Australian Institute of Health one in six people in Western Australia has a disability and, with their families and carers, they form a significant part of the community.
The chance of having a disability increases with age. Less than 5 per cent of people under five years have a disability while this rises to 50 per cent for people aged over 60 years.
Blazing Swan has always been an open and radically inclusive place. But for those people with a disability it has not always been possible to attend for a variety of accessibilty concerns or issues.
Each year we work towards a city that is more and more inclusive of everyone.
Mobility device? Yes you can! While the ground is very hard (the Playa is a paddock beside a salt lake) we have had attendees using a variety of mobility devices, from a single stick, to double, large wheel walking frames, (zimmers are not so good on the many graveled areas) power chairs from smallest to largest, shop rider type gophers and larger four wheel drive gophers (larger are better), and disabled folk who decide to go big and use (and decorate!) a small golf cart as a mobility device, for the most amount of suspension available on the often rocky patches of ground! It is hardest in a manual wheelchair, and you would want back up pushers, but it is do-able, if very slow.
Note that any powered transport larger than a power wheelchair MUST be pre-approved before being brought onto and used at the event site. Approval is not automatic.
All people bringing a Personal Mobility Device more powerful than a powerchair are required to clearly sticker them uptop, front and back, with a minimum palm size, stiff plastic ACROD sticker (Bunnings has them) AND pre contacting Accessibility Lead for authorisation. This helps makes sure everyone knows they are a PMD belonging to a person needing them for mobility, and also stops Rangers etc from mistaking them for hoon mobiles on site!
The absolute Speed Limit at Blazing Swan is 8kph which is generally 8 clicks towards the rabbit, out of 10, on a standard gopher or shoprider. (Australian Gophers and Shoprider type PMD’s are normally capped at 10kph, the Australian pavement speed limit for them.)
If you have an uncapped device (ie/dual Carer/disabled person, 2 man golfcart, micro golfcart) you will need to be especially careful not to speed on site, as one of these machines at speed could cause an accident. You may be pulled over and your settings checked if seen going too fast in a PMD! Using folded duct tape beside the knob, placed at an angle, will physically stop you turning it past a certain point, if you doubt you will remember the speed limit and are likely to”dial up” automatically!
Strung night running lights are also required for safety if your gopher or golf cart doesn’t have working lights front and back; we recommend using cheap fairy lights. However even if the PMD lights are working, more lights are always better!
Keeping the 11 Principles in mind, you will need to bring spares of EVERYTHING! Multiple wheel changes, puncture kit, or have your wheels filled with puncture proof foam by a bike shop. The grounds do have GG’s which are long sharp prickles, some years more than others, and they slice up shoes, bikes and chair tyres alike.
Always bring a back up device even if it’s an old manual chair or set of sticks. REMEMBER: Backup your backups, if you use wheels!