Does your service transport children with additional needs? You need MACA
Australian organisations, including those that operate in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, now have access to a ‘one stop’ national website of resources for the safe transportation of children with disabilities and medical conditions.
Mobility and Accessibility for Children in Australia Ltd (MACA) has created macahub.org to address a “concerning lack” of access to information that leaves many vulnerable children and their families travelling unsafely on the country’s roads.
The Australian-first initiative will allow allied health professionals, organisations and parents access to trustworthy, independent and evidence-based information to ensure families, health professionals and organisations have the “right information at the right time” for good decision making, said MACA Chief Executive Helen Lindner.
A recent survey of parents, health professionals and organisations undertaken with Curtin University revealed “stark challenges” relating to the transport of children with disabilities and medical conditions in motor vehicles. This includes more than half of caregivers reporting that a child had gotten out of their child restraint or their seatbelt while they were driving, and more than two-thirds of caregivers reported never receiving information on safely transporting their child.
“No family should have to worry about their family’s safety and well-being on any mode of transport,” Ms Lindner said.
“Our new website of national resources is the result of almost two years of research, advocacy, policy development and, importantly, the lived experience of families and the clinical perspective of allied health professionals.
MACA is a registered charity dedicated to advancing the rights of children with disabilities and medical conditions to safe and accessible transport. Its new website and research activities have been funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.
Until the establishment of MACA around two years ago, there was no national expert body advocating for the rights of children with disabilities and medical conditions to safe and accessible transport. MACA aims to address the gap in Australia between policy, research, and practice impacting the transport of children with disabilities and medical conditions.
For more information please visit the MACA website, here.