We are slowly recovering from the Covid-19 isolation and it’s now time for us as a community to find as many ways as possible to kick start the businesses and allow for us to become supporters of the community. We need to encourage a way in which to boost our economy and stop our community from failing. While it seems like the world has gone to sleep, there has been many businesses and members of Bribie Island and the Pumestone Community hard at work to find ways to survive and to grow. Many businesses are finding new and beneficial ways to boost the economy and keep staff employed. We are starting to see the visitors return as day-trippers and now with the school holidays, a slow trickle to the accommodation.

As a community, we must encourage advertising to our local press so that every visitor and Islander can take advantage of the great businesses and services available on the Island. In the past few months, the initiative of Spinal Life Australia, a non-for-profit organisation established in 1960, which has a strong community-based peer support group on Bribie Island, have been working across a new App to provide support for people with a disability in the community.

We support people with spinal cord damage to living an accessible, equitable and empowered life as a memberbased organisation that advocates with and for our members to remove barriers in the community for people with disability.

The exciting news is that in the next few weeks will introduce Accessible Australia smartphone app. The app is to help those with a physical impairment identify accessible features of communities across Australia.

There are many barriers to community participation that affect people with mobility impairment. Poor accessibility in a community has an impact on those with a mobility impairment as it affects their ability to connect with others, including mainstream services, but also socially. Other users the app will benefit will be the ageing population, people with temporary injuries and parents with children in prams. The app will identify businesses, parking, recreational, social, tourist and every activity on Bribie Island and for all Australia, which will encourage community participation and tourism. One day we hope every business in Australia will be able to place a disability logo on all advertising for accessibility and inclusivity.

We live on Bribie with so many already accessible businesses and activities yet very few or one knows about it.

Accessible Australia is a responsive web app. Basically, this allows for the same application to look different when displayed on a smartphone, a tablet, or a laptop or desktop computer. The app uses nothing but a web-browser to run, making a single application compatible with all smart devices. There is no need to download or install an app from the app store or google play store. Our members around Australia and in particular Bribie Island say they love to travel, go to bars, parks, and attractions like ablebodied people do. Many times travel is difficult and it’s hard to trust information as often the information is not current. There are physical barriers just leaving home.

Where are the accessible toilets? What restaurants have an accessible toilet? How accessible is the accommodation? Most agree that an app like this could be life-changing, enabling people with a physical impairment in the community to go to points of interest with more confidence.

This is a way forward for the growth of business and a boost to the economy.