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Accessible Melbourne

How easy is it to navigate Melbourne's restaurants, bars and arts scene with a disability?

Margaret Shanahan and her guide dog in the CBD
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Melbourne is a city that loves to go out. We love our bars, restaurants, galleries, theatres and live music. In fact, in 2019 Time Out City Index, Melbourne was ranked as the second best city in the world, largely due to our nightlife options. 

But how easy is it to access all these wonderful things if you have difficulty with stairs, or if you can't see or hear? What is it like navigating the city with a guide dog? How can you enjoy going to live music gigs if you are deaf? We've spoken to people in policy, as well as those with disabilities, to discover what Melbourne does well – and where we need to do better to accommodate people of all abilities and make sure our cultural scene is available to everyone. 

Living in Melbourne with a disability

How can Melbourne be made more accessible?
News

How can Melbourne be made more accessible?

How does Melbourne rate compared to other cities, and whose responsibility is it to bring it up to scratch when it comes to making it livable for everyone? 

Things you only know if you're an Auslan interpreter
News

Things you only know if you're an Auslan interpreter

Julie Judd, Auslan interpreter for 34 years, explains that there's no such thing as a typical day.

How do you navigate Melbourne if you can't see?
Things to do

How do you navigate Melbourne if you can't see?

Margaret Shanahan explains the auditory and physical clues to navigating the city.

Accessible dining and travel

Where to eat in Melbourne with a food allergy
Restaurants

Where to eat in Melbourne with a food allergy

Where to eat when your immune system is overactive.

The best wheelchair-accessible restaurants in Melbourne
Restaurants

The best wheelchair-accessible restaurants in Melbourne

These are the ten best wheelchair-accessible restaurants in Melbourne.

Wheelchair accessible bars in Melbourne
Bars

Wheelchair accessible bars in Melbourne

Here's where to go for a drink if you use mobility aids.

Accessible day trips from Melbourne
Travel

Accessible day trips from Melbourne

People of all abilities can enjoy the great outdoors.

Accessible arts

How accessible is Melbourne's arts scene?
Art

How accessible is Melbourne's arts scene?

Just having a wheelchair entrance is not enough.

Videos, seating and lots of lighting – here's what it's like to go to gigs if you're deaf
News

Videos, seating and lots of lighting – here's what it's like to go to gigs if you're deaf

Visual elements – things like music videos, graphics and montages all make a show more accessible.

This new theatre show is specifically made for kids with disabilities
News

This new theatre show is specifically made for kids with disabilities

“Sometimes, with the best of intentions, mainstream theatre experiences might just be a little bit too fast and furious for our audiences."