Dis­abled Win­ter­sports mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar in­vest­ment New cen­tre breaks down the bar­ri­ers

Mt Hotham Falls Creek - - FRONT PAGE -

A $4 mil­lion in­vest­ment in state-of-the-art ac­com­mo­da­tion will open a whole new world to peo­ple with a dis­abil­ity this win­ter.

Dis­abled Win­ter­sports Aus­tralia, in part­ner­ship with the YMCA is com­plet­ing a pur­pose built uni­ver­sally de­signed fa­cil­ity at How­man’s Gap, just a few kilo­me­tres from Falls Creek.

This cen­tre, sched­uled to open at the be­gin­ning of Au­gust, has 36 beds, so that par­tic­i­pants of all abil­i­ties can get out and chal­lenge them­selves on Vic­to­ria’s ski fields.

Dis­abled Win­ter Sports chief ex­ec­u­tive Dr Neil Fisher said the new ac­com­mo­da­tion would mean greater ac­cess and af­ford­abil­ity to their more than 1000 mem­bers.

“One of the sig­nif­i­cant lim­i­ta­tions DWA iden­ti­fied for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties and car­ers wish­ing to visit the alpine re­gions is the lack of suit­able ac­com­mo­da­tion and ‘on snow’ fa­cil­i­ties,” he said.

“In the past we have run the Vic­to­rian win­ter pro­grams from Fri­day to Sun­day dur­ing the snow sea­son util­is­ing the YMCA man­aged ac­com­mo­da­tion at How­man’s Gap.

“It was the most cost ef­fec­tive, ac­ces­si­ble ac­com­mo­da­tion com­plex in the Vic­to­rian alps but is not com­pa­ra­ble to the rates at our own ac­com­mo­da­tion in NSW.

“For the pro­gram to ex­pand in Vic­to­ria, and sup­port more peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties, we needed to in­crease the cost ef­fec­tive­ness and in­crease the op­por­tu­ni­ties for pro­gram par­tic­i­pa­tion be­yond the week­end pro­grams.

“This de­vel­op­ment at How­man’s Gap achieves that.”

Dr Fisher said the project was on track to be com­pleted by July 31.

“The fi­nal cost will be well over $4 mil­lion,” he said.

“This fa­cil­ity will en­able peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties a higher level of ac­cess to the alpine ar­eas than has pre­vi­ously been pos­si­ble.

“This is a sig­nif­i­cant step in achiev­ing equal ac­cess for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties to the Aus­tralian alpine ar­eas.”

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