Accessibility and inclusion

Central Coast Council is continuing to improve accessibility to its services and facilities for people with a disability so that all residents and visitors can enjoy the local environment and activities. 

Central Coast Council's PDF icon Disability Inclusion Action Plan details the strategies and actions Council is implementing to enable people with disabilities to better access mainstream services, facilities and open spaces. The plan is reviewed, monitored and reported on annually.

There is also an PDF icon Easy English version of the Disability Inclusion Action Plan.

View the 2017-2021 Disability Inclusion Action Plan progress reports:

Accessing Council public toilets

You can find a list of Council’s accessible and non-accessible public toilets by searching the National Public Toilet Map or calling 1800 990 646.

The National Public Toilet Map is also available as a free app for iPhone and for Android phones and tablets.

Council-managed public toilets, including accessible restrooms, are open for use during daylight hours and locked from sunset to sunrise.

A Master Locksmith Access Key (MLAK) unlocks the accessible public toilets after hours.

The MLAK is a master key that fits into specially designed locks allowing 24-hour access to public amenities for people with a disability. Many accessible public toilets, Australia wide, can be opened using the MLAK.

Master Locksmith Access Key signage indicators

To be eligible to purchase a key, you must have a letter of authority about your disability from your doctor or disability organisation, or alternatively a copy of your disability card or parking permit.

Once you have this authority the key can be purchased via Master Locksmiths or from local locksmiths who are members of the Master Locksmiths Association.

To find out more, contact your local locksmith, the Master Locksmith's Association on 1800 810 698 or Spinal Cord Injuries Australia on 1800 819 775.

Accessible nature

Council has developed a guide to help locals and visitors find some accessible bushland destinations, reserves and foreshore areas on the Central Coast.

PDF icon Accessible Nature Central Coast 2022

The Accessible Nature guide provides factual information such as parking, amenities and other features that help people living with a disability or restricted mobility to plan a day out in nature.  Destinations include:
•    Bateau Bay picnic area
•    Carawah Boardwalk, West Gosford
•    Marie Byles Lookout, Killcare
•    Saltwater Creek Boardwalk, Long Jetty
•    Somersby Falls picnic area, Somersby
•    St Johns Lookout, Katandra Reserve, Mount Elliot
•    Warriwarri Walk, Kincumba Mountain, Kincumber
•    Yaruga Picnic Area, Rumbalara Reserve, Springfield

Information on Council’s beach wheelchair and matting is also included. 

The easy to read brochure includes images, pictograms and maps and is available to view online and as a printed brochure - which can be picked up from Council's customer service centres (Wyong and Gosford) or libraries.

The delivery of this guide is an action from Central Coast Council's Disability Inclusion Action Plan to make the Central Coast more accessible, inclusive and liveable.

Central Coast Council is committed to improving accessibility to its services, facilities and spaces for people with a disability so that all residents and visitors can enjoy the local environment and activities. 
 

boardwalk around lake

Accessible and inclusive sport and recreation

Central Coast Council has developed a resource for local sport and active recreation providers. The Accessible and Inclusive Sport and Recreation resource provides education and assistance for community sport and active recreation clubs and associations. The resource contains information, tips and simple easy to follow checklists on how to make their sport and venue more accessible and inclusive to attract membership and participation from people with disabilities. 

Beach accessibility

To provide access to many of the Coast’s beaches for people living with a disability or limited mobility, Council has a suite of serviced beach wheelchairs available for free hire by both the local community and visitors and has beach matting installed at several beaches.

Beach wheelchairs

Beach wheelchairs are available for use across the Central Coast from the south to the north at the following patrolled beaches:

  • Avoca Beach
  • Copacabana Beach
  • Killcare Beach
  • Lakes Beach
  • Macmasters Beach
  • Ocean Beach
  • Shelly Beach
  • Soldiers Beach
  • Terrigal Beach
  • The Entrance
  • Toowoon Bay
  • Umina Beach
  • Wamberal Beach

To accommodate varied needs, we have three models of beach wheelchairs including the Sand Cruiser (available at all above locations), plus the Hippocampe and Water Wheel (at selected suitable locations). 

While beach wheelchair hire can be arranged on site through the lifeguards at individual Surf Life Saving Clubs, online bookings are highly encouraged to ensure the preferred model of beach wheelchair is available. This is also the best way to arrange relocation of beach wheelchairs for individual or group bookings in advance. 

For beach patrol information, go to our beaches webpage. 

beach wheelchairs with beach background

Beach Matting 

The use of beach matting is subject to public safety and beach gradient that is affected by sand erosion and tidal activity. Council has conducted site visits to assess and prioritise which beaches are safe to have beach matting installed. 

Following a successful pilot program in 2019-20, beach matting has since become a permanent fixture at some beaches, giving people with a disability and limited mobility an opportunity to safely access and enjoy the beach using a wheelchair or walking aid.

Throughout the summer patrol season of 2021-2022, beach matting is installed at:

  • Toowoon Bay
  • Umina Beach
  • Ocean Beach, Umina 
  • Terrigal Beach

These beaches have been chosen because erosion is low to moderate and they are relatively flat.

beach matting

Business Resources

Making Access and Inclusion Your Business’  is a resource kit designed to provide information  to assist business to become more accessible and inclusive and extend their goods and services to a community of under-served people.

This resource provides relevant information on disability in Australia and simple strategies that businesses can implement to improve access to their products, services and premises such as:

  • providing disability awareness training for staff in how to appropriately interact with people with disabilities and build a more inclusive workplace and service culture  
  • optimising digital platforms to ensure websites are accessible and other information provision is in an accessible format benefiting both business and customers 
  • using inclusive design principles to ensure the physical environment is accessible to everyone in the community to access a business leading to an improved customer experience for everyone.

The kit also includes a list of resources providing website links to other relevant information focused on how to improve accessibility.

Accessible Events Guide

To provide event planners and community representatives with tips and tools to plan an event that can be enjoyed by everyone, Council has put together a handy Accessible Events Guide below:

PDF icon How To Plan Accessible Events Guide

PDF icon How To Plan Accessible Events Guide (Easy Read Version)

Access and Inclusion Reference Group 2020-21

Council has appointed 13 members to its Access and Inclusion Reference Group (AIRG) for the 2020-2021 financial year.

The Reference Group will provide guidance on the implementation of the final year of the current Disability Inclusion Action Plan and advise Council on the development of a new four-year Disability Inclusion Action Plan for 2021-2025. These plans set out actions that Council will deliver to enable people with disabilities to better access mainstream services, facilities, information and support to be fully included in the community in an equitable way.

The group reflects the many dimensions and diversity of disability and the local sector. Members were selected for their expertise in accessibility, communication, legislation, advocacy and planning. Meet the members.

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Last updated : Wed 17 Aug 2022