Disabilities Officers Report – Week 2, Sem 2, 2018

Robin Eames, Mollie Galvin and Ren Rennie

In 1979, Joan Hume led a protest of wheelchair users and supportive allies at the opening of the inaccessible Eastern Suburbs Railway, the first of its kind in Australia. The premier who presided over the opening later said that the protest inspired him to introduce the first wheelchair accessible taxi service in Australia.

In the 1990s, Bronwyn Moye led a protest of Sydney wheelchair users who blocked off Broadway to protest bus inaccessibility.

In 2015, after years of campaigning and a petition with 10,000 signatures, ONE lift was installed at Redfern station. The other 10 platforms are still inaccessible.
Our buses and trains are only (partially) accessible because of the work of our activist forebears. The work isn’t done yet! 45% of Sydney’s train network is still inaccessible to wheelchair users. Much of our public transport infrastructure is designed in a way that is dangerous for people who are blind or have low vision, due to things like lack of audible announcements and haphazard placement of tactile paving.

We’re hoping to organise this semester around public transport inaccessibility in general and Redfern station inaccessibility in particular. If you’d like to get involved, keep an eye on our Facebook page (USyd SRC Disabilities Collective & Caregivers Network) and the Lift Redfern Station Campaign – Make Redfern Station Accessible Facebook page.

In brighter news, we’re delighted to announce that for the first time ever the Disabilities Collective will be producing an autonomous issue of Honi Soit. The issue will be released during Disability Inclusion Week (3-7 September). If you’d like to be involved in the editorial team, or you would like to write or create art for the issue, chuck us an email at disabilities.officers@src.usyd.edu.au. We’ll be posting a Facebook event soon with a call for editors & contributors.

Love & solidarity,
The 2018 Disabilities Collective Officebearers
Robin Eames, Mollie Galvin, and Ren Rennie