INDEPENDENCE DAY: Nicole Damarra with her guide dog Hughie and Shayne Fraser with his dog William on a Sunbus.
INDEPENDENCE DAY: Nicole Damarra with her guide dog Hughie and Shayne Fraser with his dog William on a Sunbus. Brett Wortman

Vision-impaired get the ticket to freedom on Coast buses

FOR a vision-impaired person, taking their Guide Dog by the leash and hopping on a bus is akin to picking up the keys and jumping in the car.

To celebrate Disability Action Week, Sunbus and Guide Dogs Queensland came together to promote the presence of Guide Dogs on buses.

Sunbus's fleet of 94 buses on the Coast all meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act.

The buses must have a low floor or ramp access on to the bus, rails, and allocated space for Guide Dogs, walking aids and mobility scooters.

Sippy Downs resident Shayne Fraser discovered the benefits of having access to DDA-compliant buses when catching the bus to and from work as the chaplain at Maroochydore State High School.

Guide Dogs Queensland community relations manager for the Sunshine Coast Olwyn Kerr said making the buses compliant enabled vision-impaired residents to get out of isolation and travel with ease.

"It's vital because otherwise they become dependent on family and friends to give them a lift and with that becomes a sense of indebtedness, or having to go at a time suitable for the driver and not to yourself," Ms Kerr said.

"To pick up your dog like your own car keys and going where you want is vital.

"We very much appreciate Sunbus's efforts. It's very reassuring our clients can get on and off Sunbus knowing they will have that seating available.''


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