two images side by side. On the left there are 4 people in front of the train, and one guide dog. On the right there is a braille menu.

2023 International Day of People with Disability

In recent months, The Q Train has been working on making it’s experience as accessible to as many people as possible. The CEO of this family business, Marie-Claire Trotter, says “In 2023 my personal goal was to make The Q Train accessible to as many people as possible, in as sustainable way as possible. I adhere to the Social Model of Disability, which, put simply, suggests that people are disabled by the barriers in society rather than ‘impairments’ or differences. As Professor Michael Oliver put it: ’The problem isn’t that I can’t get into a lecture theatre, the problem is that the lecture theatre isn’t accessible to me…’

With that in mind, The Q Train is proud to announce, just in time for the United Nations International Day of People with Disability, the following measures which are now in place.

  • Audio Guides – we’ve worked with Vacayit to produce two audio guides. This is specifically designed for people with low vision, so that they can participate in the scenery that The Q Train passes. We’ve also found that this is popular for people with anxiety disorders who like to know what they can expect from the experience before attending. It is also just really interesting – it’s a wonderful way to experience The Q Train. Here is a link to the guides, which can also be accessed via an app. https://www.vacayit.com/the-q-train
  • Braille Menus – Geelong Regional Libraries offers a Braille printer, at which we print our seasonal menus.
  • Large Print, High Contrast Menus – we have our menu book available in large print upon request, as well as our take home menus
  • Wheelchair Access – this is an area where we are still working, but we have made significant steps in 2023. The age of our repurposed carriages means the doorways aren’t wide enough for current wheelchairs. However, we have recently had a ramp made specially for our small doorways and can provide a slim, attendant propelled wheelchair to provide access to the Q Class Bar & Dining Carriage
  • Communication Boards – through working with Latrobe Community Health Service, we now have communication boards in each bar, which can be accessed by all Front of House service staff. These have been developed for persons who may live with autism spectrum disorder, a Language Disorder, Social Communication Difficulties and/or a Cognitive Delay/Disability.
  • Social Story – again working with the Latrobe Community Health Service, we have developed a Social Story to help guests understand what to expect from The Q Train experience. This may help determine the suitability of the experience and may help to alleviate anxiety. This can be found here.
  • Sensory Processing Sensitivity – we know that The Q Train can be a high sensory experience, so we’ve given as much information as possible so people can know when to come to, for example, avoid the crowds, or how to have a quiet experience. This is all on our accessibility page.
  • Access Map – we are working with the Latrobe Community Health Service at the moment to create an access map, which is a birds eye view of Drysdale Station, which provides information about distance from the carpark, what the ground is like under foot, places for Assistance Animals to relieve themselves etc. This is still in development, but we expect it to be online by the end of the year.

We are constantly working on accessibility, with our website and accessible toilets being high on the priority list for 2024. We welcome feedback, especially in regards to accessibility, and know that investment in this area is crucial for business success.

The Q Train’s accessibility statement can be found at www.theqtrain.com.au/accessibility