3.9 Leisure and recreation

During the 2012-16 reporting period, disability advocates reported assisting 23 people with leisure and recreation issues in an average three month period.

Disability advocacy Issue Leisure and recreation
Number 23 people on average per quarter
Trend declining
Rights under the CRPD Governments will:

  • recognise the right of persons with disabilities to take part on an equal basis with others in cultural life
  • take all appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities enjoy access to cultural materials and activities in accessible formats and to places for cultural performances or services
  • be entitled, on an equal basis with others, to recognition and support of their specific cultural and linguistic identity, including sign languages and deaf culture
  • enable persons with disabilities to participate on an equal basis with others in recreational, leisure and sporting activities (Article 30)
Commitments in the State Disability Plan The Victorian government will:

  • expand the ways it supports the wellbeing of people with a disability through sport and recreations, including access to parks, state forests, and coastal environments (Action 12)
  • working with and through partners in the sport and recreation sector, build capacity to deliver and sustain better opportunities for participation at the grassroots level (Action 13)
  • focus on increasing participation, employment opportunities and pathways for people with a disability within creative industries (Acton 26)
  • roll out a staged approach to making Victoria the destination of choice for travellers with a disability (Action 27)



While the data series fluctuates due to small numbers, there is an observable decline in cases relating to leisure and recreation in the final year of data. The number of reports for this advocacy area dropped by 65% the 2015-16 financial year, averaging 11 reports each quarter, compared with 27 on average each quarter over the previous three years.


Figure 16: Reports of leisure and recreation issues


Case study: Access to community facilities

Sarah* participates in a walking group who retires to the local community hall for tea and coffee. Sarah has a fully accredited service dog for mental health purposes. The committee of the hall put up signs stating no dogs of any kind were allowed in the kitchen area and decided she could not bring her dog into the kitchen area.

Sarah was referred to an advocate by her case manager. They had previously taken the matter to a community legal centre who had written to the council. The council responded by saying they had not sanctioned the sign and would request its removal. They also said that they would ask the committee to provide alternative tea and coffee arrangements. Sarah was not satisfied with this response as she was still being discriminated against.

The advocate then contacted the Dispute Resolutions Centre. The advocate rang the centre and was advised that this issue came under the abuse and neglect hotline. They advised the advocate that they could become the spokesperson for Sarah, however needed to complete a consent form. On receipt of this, they will write to the council concerned to seek resolution of the matter.

* names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals