Spotlight on Invisible Disabilities
Millions of Australians are living with what have become known as invisible disabilities. This can be any disability that is not immediately obvious and may or may not come with physical impairment. Invisible disabilities include conditions such as MS, Autism, ADHD, mental illnesses, diabetes, chronic pain to name a few.
In addition to the challenges faced by living with the disability itself, many people with invisible disabilities face additional prejudice from others for “not looking disabled”. Despite 90% of all disabilities being invisible, those living with invisible disabilities often experience judgment when trying to use accessible facilities. This in turn makes them feel less comfortable in using the facilities they need as they try to participate in their community and avoid social exclusion.
Travellers Aid services are available to anyone with mobility challenges and we encourage anyone who needs assistance or support to reach out and use our services.
Our companion service is a free service available to anyone travelling to, from or within Melbourne, Seymour and the surrounding areas.
If you are travelling to an appointment our trained volunteers provide assistance along the way. Companions meet travellers at a Travellers Aid site and accompany clients to and from their appointment.
Travellers Aid lounges at Southern Cross and Flinders Street are also available to anyone who may need somewhere to rest, get away from the noise and the hustle and bustle of the station or use our accessible toilets.
Above all else Travellers Aid aims to empower people of all abilities to connect, engage and participate in their community without the fear of discrimination.
Welcome from our CEO
Welcome to the Spotlight on Invisible Disabilities newsletter
Travellers Aid is privileged to be able to support anyone with mobility challenges whether they are permanent or temporary, life-long or acquired, visible or invisible.
Access to Travellers Aid services is available to anyone who may need them but, while we are extremely proud to be able offer this level of service, it is not without its funding challenges.
We rely on the generosity of people like you to continue to be able to provide these essential services to those who need them the most. Every donation to Travellers Aid over $2 is tax deductable and tax receipts are provided.
In this edition of the newsletter we are also pleased to be able to announce some of our fantastic new community partnerships. Travellers Aid was named a 2019 Yarra Trams Community Partner sharing in $1 million of free advertising value across the world’s largest tram network. Look out for the Travellers Aid Community Partner trams currently criss-crossing Melbourne advertising our services and promote our legendary volunteers.
You will also read about the Fare Change Initiative, developed by Travellers Aid with Committee for Melbourne. This project aims to provide donated public transport tickets to those experiencing homelessness. We are also about to commence a partnership with VicRoads to develop an older Driver Transition Program. Watch this space!
Finally I would like to thank you, and all of our service users, supporters, friends, who through your generosity make it possible for Travellers Aid to continue to do the work we do.
Chief Executive Officer
Fare Change Program
Travellers Aid is pleased by part of a brand new ‘Fare Change’ initiative developed in conjunction with the Committee for Melbourne. The program enables Travellers Aid and Launch Housing to collect donations and purchase travel passes for people experiencing homelessness on the streets of Melbourne.
For many people experiencing homelessness, public transport is their only means to secure a safe place to sleep at night, to access essential services and to reach out to friends, family and employment opportunities. Without this assistance and due to their often chaotic lives including financial, mental health and other difficulties, people experiencing homelessness are likely to receive multiple ticket infringements for fare evasion on public transport. Debts mount that they cannot repay and they are over-represented in our legal system.
The Fare Change initiative is a simple concept where donors tap their credit card on the Fare Change Tap Machines. A preset donation of $2.10 will go directly to Travellers Aid or Launch Housing and be deposited into a special fund for transport support for those experiencing homelessness.
From early June, special Fare Change Tap Machines can be found at locations in:
- Monash University
- Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre
- The Rialto
- Southern Cross Station
Travellers Aid Transport Alternatives Program for older road users
Travellers Aid, in partnership with VicRoads and the TAC, will be conducting a 12-month pilot in Moonee Valley to assist older drivers transition from using only their car to get around to exploring other transport alternatives that may be better or safer.
Commencing on the 1st of July the program will be asking older drivers who wish to drive less or are anticipating doing so in the future, what they need to make this a smooth transition. It will seek input from participants on any challenges they think they may face, what practical supports and information would make it easier and what type of services they will need.
The program is being supported by VicRoads, State Trustees and TAC and will run from 1st of July 2019 to the 30th June 2020.
If you would like to take part in the program and live in or around the municipality of Moonee Valley, please contact us on (03) 9654 2600 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Travellers Aid Australia recently launched it Legends Campaign to celebrate the amazing people who we meet every day as they travel to work; journey to their appointments; meet up with their family and friends and undertake studies at university.
The campaign highlights the 100 plus Travellers Aid volunteers from all walks of life who provide support, advice and assistance to anyone who travels on the public transport network and needs a little help along the way. This includes those with unique life challenges or those experiencing travel emergencies.
The Legends Campaign recently kicked off with tram face ads on 50 trams across the network.
Travellers Aid is pleased to, once again, be part of the People’s Choice Community Lottery. Tickets start at only $2 with 100% of proceeds from ticket sales coming directly back to us, providing valuable funds to assist with the on-going delivery of Travellers Aid services.
By purchasing tickets you’re not only supporting Travellers Aid you will also go into the draw to win one of 115 prizes available, including a 2019 Toyota RAV4 GXL and 2019 Toyota Corolla Ascent Sport.
Purchase your tickets at our Southern Cross and Flinders Street sites or online at www.communitylottery.peopleschoicecu.com.au/public/community-groups/travellers-aid-australia.
The Travellers Aid Newsletter is changing
From September this year the All Aboard Newsletter will become the Travellers Aid Magazine.
It will become a much more robust publication that aims to provide you with in-depth information on the issues that matter to you.
Its frequency will change from quarterly to twice-yearly and it will be available to pick up from any of our service sites at Seymour, Southern Cross and Flinders Street. If you would like to receive yours by mail simply call us on (03) 9654 2600 or email us at email@example.com