Helen's cover image
Helen

Helen Smith

Year of Award: 2016 Award State: New South Wales Environment > Tourism
Sport And Recreation > Accessibility
To assist more people access, explore and enjoy natural places in Australia - Canada, UK, Finland, Germany, Switzerland
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Conclusions:

My Churchill Fellowship was an incredible personal journey for me and a privilege to meet and work with such great people around the globe.

During my fellowship I:

  • demonstrated that across the globe people with disability want to spend time outdoors.
  • connected with land managers, users, disability advocates and guides to learn more about challenges and solution pathways.
  • confirmed that NPA's 'Naturally Accessible' framework and philosophy works well across different continents and cultures.
  • formalised best-practice in nature access that benefits people with disability and listed recommendations tailored for land managers, users and others working in this space.
  • created a 2020 vision for access in Australia. 

Critical areas that Australia must continue to work on are information provision, inclusion, community development and education.

Australia can be incredibly proud of its progress to date. We've begun the journey of thinking about improving access and made incredible strides over a short period. We must keep this momentum up to build a network of inclusive outdoor experiences for people with disability and continue to promote their innovative and adventurous pursuits through photos and media.

Recommendations

  1. Provide more information to visitors and promote short, long day and overnight walks inclusive walks
  2. Make adaptive equipment easily and readily available to visitors
  3. Encourage innovative and safe assistive techniques
  4. Create a bushwalking community that is inclusive and welcoming
  5. Improve public education on disability and inclusion

Keywords: Accessibility, Disability, Bushwalking

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