Our Try Before You Ride days were held in South Australia on 24 and 25 October 2023. People with disability and their supporters who may not have felt confident using the train system were able to experience how to catch a train and get to where they want to go.
Attendees were taken through various features of the public transport system in Adelaide and covered details such as:
- how easy it is and what signs to look out for
- how to buy a metro ticket or pass
- where to find help or directions so they could get to where they are going on time and safely
- how to board and alight from a train safely
They also learned about the accessible features such as where mobility aids could be safely stowed and the use of communication boards and picture stories.
Feedback from attendees about what they enjoyed
Learning from the train driver about what they do in the cabin. Learning about safety features and it makes you feel “I’m not on my own”, whereas before I felt I’ll take my car but now feel I can be supported.
Honking the horn! Also, learning about the role of the PSA, their communication card.
Learning about the sunflower program and communication cards are excellent.
For those living with a Hidden Disability, such as Autism, getting access to services, the community, and the additional support they may need can be complex.
A Hidden Disability is one that is not immediately visible to others which can create a barrier to much-needed support – that’s why the sunflower lanyard was created.
According to Autism Spectrum Australia, a person with a Hidden Disability that is wearing a sunflower lanyard discreetly indicates to staff and others that they may need additional time, support or understanding”.
It’s an international movement that is gaining momentum here in Australia. So, if you see someone wearing a sunflower lanyard, be prepared to offer some extra time, support or understanding if it’s needed.