People with Disability

Information and support about coronavirus for people with disability and their carers

The decreasing number of COVID-19 cases in Melbourne and the further easing of restrictions has been welcome news to all of us. Council services and facilities are reopening. Visit Council services updates to check what has reopened in your area. We are looking forward to being able to take part in events, sport and support more of our local businesses as they reopen. However, we must continue to be careful and safe. It is also still a very difficult time for many who are struggling as a result of the impacts of COVID-19. If you need help, support is available. For more details visit this Darebin website page.

For the latest information about easing of restrictions in Victoria check the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services Coronavirus Announcements

Darebin Council continues to follow health advice from the Australian Federal Government Department of Health and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services to help prevent the spread of coronavirus within the community. 

For information about COVID-19 and support for people with disabilities and their carers visit the Australian Federal Government's Disability and Carers page or call the Disability Information Helpline on 1800 643 787.

The Disability Information Helpline is free of charge and can be accessed from Monday to Friday 8.00am to 8.00pm, and Saturday and Sunday 9.00am to 7.00pm.

If you are deaf or have speech or hearing impairment call the National Relay Service on 133 677.

You can also stay up-to-date with the latest information about COVID-19 by:

For information about changes to Darebin Council services and support for residents during this time, see the COVID-19 page on our website. Please also contact Council's Access and Inclusion Team on 8470 8327 or email the Access and Inclusion Team

Other useful information:

General COVID-19 information:


For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities:

Good hygiene and health:

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS):

Supermarkets and food:
Coles and Woolworths open their stores exclusively to people in priority groups from 7am to 8am. For more information about their services, priority access and other food assistance visit:


Mental Health:

Information for Children:


Social Support:
You can join one of the social support groups setting up in our neighbourhood:

Family Violence:

Community Services Directory:

  • Ask Izzy an on-line Services Directory (website).

Looking for a Changing Places facility in Darebin?

Changing Places facilities are larger than standard accessible toilets. They have extra features including:

  • an adult-sized height-adjustable changing table
  • ceiling hoist system
  • privacy screen
  • shower and
  • enough space for two people either side of a peninsula toilet.

All Changing Places facilities have to be accredited and display the internationally recognised Changing Places symbol. 

Changing Places facilities can be only accessed with a Master Locksmith Access Key (MLAK). MLAK can be ordered from the Master Locksmith Association website.

The Changing Places Transforming Lives Campaign provides further information about Changing Places, including their location across Australia. These can be found using the Changing Places Map.

If you are looking for other publicly available toilet facilities across Australia use the National Public Toilet Map. This map is also available as a free app for iPhone and for Android phones and tablets

Edwardes Lake Park

 Changing Places Facility, Edwardes Lake Park

This is the newly opened Changing Places Facility in the Edwardes Lake Park. The facility is located opposite the large playground at Griffiths Street in Reservoir and includes:

  • Changing Places unisex facility with hoist and shower
  • DDA compliant unisex bathroom with a baby change table
  • two 'standard' male and female toilets
  • one ambulant unisex toilet.

Preston Central

Changing Places Facility, Kelvin Grove Preston

This is the first Changing Places facility to open in the City of Darebin. It is located at 18 Kelvin Grove, Preston. This facility has:

  • an adult-sized height-adjustable changing table
  • ceiling hoist system
  • privacy screen and
  • enough space for two people either side of a peninsula toilet.



The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability updates.

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability was established in April 2019.

In November 2020, Royal Commission Chair Ronald Sackville AO QC has requested a 17-month extension to present the Royal Commission’s final report to 29 September 2023. The Commission has recently released its Interim Report.

To find out more about the work of the Royal Commission visit the Commission’s website or subscribe to Connect, the Royal Commission’s newsletter. 

The Royal Commission developed range of issue papers. These papers enable the Commission to engage with the wider community. To date the issue papers covered the following topics:

Community members are encouraged to continue sharing their experiences of violence, neglect, abuse or exploitation with the Royal Commission by participating in the Share your story initiative. This can be done:

  • in writing, over the phone, in a video or audio recording by making a submission
  • in a private session with a Commissioner
  • in preferred language, including Indigenous languages and Auslan, all interpreters will be provided.

The Royal Commission can be contacted over the phone 1800 517 199 (9am to 5pm Monday to Friday AEDT) and via email.

Community members concerned about sharing their story with the Royal Commission can contact the Your Story Disability Legal Support. This is a free, independent legal advice service that can be contacted over the phone on 1800 771 800 (9:15am-5:15pm AEDT Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays) or via the Contact Us page on the Your Story Disability Legal Support website.

Further Information: 
Access and Inclusion Team
Ph: 8470 8327

The City of Darebin was one of the first Local Government Areas as part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) national roll-out beginning on 1 July, 2016.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is funded by the Commonwealth Government.
The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) is the Commonwealth Government Agency that oversees the NDIS.

If you are an NDIS service provider wanting to connect with Council, please refer to our Access and Inclusion in City of Darebin: Information for NDIS Service Providers. 

Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) and the NDIS roll-out in North East Melbourne Area 
Since July 2016, the BSL has been delivering Local Area Coordination (LAC) supports across Darebin, Yarra, Nillumbik, Whittlesea and Banyule. If you live with disability, they will support you to identify and pursue your lifestyle goals by developing a plan and linking you to mainstream or community services.
NDIS participants who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander can ask to talk to a member of the BSL NDIS Aboriginal Participation Team

BSL are also providing Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) supports. ECEI services support children 0-6 years with a disability or developmental delay and their parent/carers to get information and access to supports.

How to contact the BSL NDIS Team:
Phone: 1300 BSL NDIS (1300 275 634) / 1300 BSL ECEI (1300 275 323)
Email: /
Or drop into one of their offices during business hours:
- Banyule and Nillumbik - 65 Main Street, Greensborough
- Darebin -  293 High Street, Preston
- Whittlesea - 1/1 Latitude Drive, Thomastown  
- Yarra - 95 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

NDIS information sessions, forums and events: if you are aware of an NDIS event please contact us to have the details listed below: 

NDIS Webinars
The NDIS regularly run online webinars where people can watch a panel discussion online and contribute questions via email, text message and social media.
To find out when the next webinar is on and how to participate in a live webinar click here or to access old webinars click here.

NDIS pre-planning supports

The following Disability Services Organisations (DSO) can provide support to people with disabilities and their carers to prepare for transition to the NDIS by building up skills and feeling more confident:

Unhappy about an NDIS related decision?
NDIS review and appeals flow chart
NDIS: Who to make a complaint to
Review of NDIS decisions
NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission is now operating in all Australian state and territories except Western Australia. The Commission is a new independent agency established to improve the quality and safety of NDIS supports and service.

NDIS Reviews and Appeal Support
A number of Victorian providers offer advocacy and support assistance to NDIS participants who are seeking review of NDIA decisions through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). The services of a support person are provided by the National Disability Advocacy Program (NDAP). Access to a skilled support worker to act as an advocate is available, as well as, in the case of complex and novel legal issues, access to legal assistance. You can look up providers on the National Disability Advocacy Finder
All services provided under NDIS Appeals are free of charge. An NDIS Appeals pamphlet (also available in easy English) has been developed that briefly explains the process. There is also an NDIS Appeals Fact Sheet available with more information.

Victorian NDIS Appeals Providers are:
Action on Disability within Ethnic Communities (ADEC)
Action for More Independence & Dignity in Accommodation Inc.
AED Legal
Disability Justice Advocacy
Leadership Plus
Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council Inc. (VMIAC)
Further information: on NDIS Appeals can be found on the Department of Social Services website

More information about the NDIS
Resources in other languages, Plain and easy English
Support communicating with the NDIA (video)
NDIS Easy English fact sheets for participants
NDIS information in languages other than English - Arabic, Hindi, Vietnamese, simple and traditional Chinese, Filipino, French, Greek, Italian, Macedonian and Samoan
What are reasonable and necessary supports? (easy English)
What if I'm not happy with the NDIS (plain English)

General NDIS information
Auslan: NDIS explained (video)
NDIS Victoria
Disability Loop
Every Australian Counts
Interface with mainstream services fact sheets 
Changes to the Home and Community Care (HACC) Program

Resources for participants (people with a disability) - What is the NDIS?
Accessing the NDIS (video)
My NDIS Pathway - A Guide to being an NDIS Participant
NDIS Tip Sheet for Deaf community
What are Reasonable and Necessary Supports? (video)
The NDIS for Women with Disabilities

Writing Your Plan

Developing your NDIS Plan (video)
Developing Your Plan
Getting Ready for your Planning Conversation
Developing you child's participant statement
Understanding your plan and supports
'Picture My Future' planning toolkit 

Starting Your First Plan
Understanding Your NDIS Plan
Starting Your Plan (video)
Starting Your Plan
Starting Your Plan with a Support Coordinator
Starting Your Plan with a Local Area Coordinator (LAC)
Starting Your Plan as an NDIS Self Managed participant

Choice and Control over your NDIS Plan
Choice and Control - Fact sheet on managing your funding
Consumers with disability - The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) have developed resources to assist consumers with disability to navigate the market and know their rights. 
'It's My Choice' Toolkit
Finding and Engaging Providers
'Choosing a Service Provider'
Clickability - An Australian Disability Service Directory featuring ratings and reviews from the people who actually use the services. 
Care Navigator - A directory for people to search, review and find NDIS providers.

Resources for parents/families of young children (0 - 12 years old)
Accessing Supports for my Child
Early Childhood Early Intervention (video)
How the NDIS can help your child guide
NDIS4Kids online resource for families of children with a disability aged 0-6 years of age
Early Childhood Intervention Services transition to NDIS
Raising Children Network NDIS resources for parents of children aged 0 - 6 years
Choosing an NDIS Service Provider for a child aged 0 - 6 years old 

Resources for carers - carers cannot join the NDIS, however there are rules which outline how carers should be involved in the assessment and planning of the person they care for. There are also supports available through the NDIS which can help carers in their caring role, either directly or indirectly.
Carer Gateway
Carers and Families in the NDIS
Peer Conversation Partners
NDIS Guide and Checklist for Mental Health Carers

Resources for service providers
National Disability Services (NDS)
NDS NDIS Helpdesk - An online state-wide Q&A forum with the single focus of helping providers successfully transition to the NDIS
NDIS service provider readiness toolkit
Working with the NDIS - Information for service providers
Disability Services Consulting

Darebin Council has prepared the Darebin Access and Inclusion Plan 2015-2019 to reduce the barriers experienced by people with a disability, and to help make Darebin a more accessible, liveable and inclusive city.

Darebin Access and Inclusion Plan 2015-2019 – Towards an Inclusive City

The goals of the Plan are:

  • Goal 1 – Liveable housing and safe public places
  • Goal 2 – Accessible transport and freedom of movement
  • Goal 3 – The right to education, employment and pathways to well being
  • Goal 4 – An amplified voice in public affairs and decision-making
  • Goal 5 – The right to a creative and dynamic city with quality services
  • Goal 6 – Freedom from discrimination into the future

Darebin Access and Inclusion Plan 2015 - 2019 MASTER DOCUMENT
Darebin Access and Inclusion Plan 2015 - 2019 ACTION PLAN
Darebin Access and Inclusion Plan 2015 - 2019 MASTER DOCUMENT Large Print
Darebin Access and Inclusion Plan 2015 - 2019 ACTION PLAN Large Print

Further Information:
Senior Team Leader Access & Inclusion
Ph: 8470 8315

Victoria also has its own state disability plan 2017 - 2020. The Victorian Government  are committed to a range of actions for achieving greater inclusion, in partnership with the community. The plan tackles the negative attitudes and barriers that more than one million Victorians with a disability deal with on a daily basis. It is available in a number of accessible formats:
Victoria’s state disability plan 2017–2020 PDF
Summary of Victoria’s state disability plan 2017–2020 PDF
Audio summary of Absolutely everyone
Easy English of Absolutely everyone
Auslan translation of Absolutely everyone

We are committed to assisting people with disability in Darebin, and increasing their representation and participation in the community.

Darebin Disability Advisory Committee

The Darebin Disability Advisory Committee provides advice to Council on issues relating to access and inclusion for people with disabilities and carers living, working, studying or visiting Darebin. More information available on the Community Advisory Committees webpage.  

Autism friendly symbol

The autism friendly symbol is displayed by participating businesses and services that are considered suitable for people with autism.

Autism friendly symbol

Locations that display the autism friendly symbol have undergone an environmental assessment conducted by Amaze – the peak advocacy body for people with autism in Victoria.

An environmental assessment looks at the physical environment to ensure that it is suitable for the autism community. It identifies the social, structural and sensory experiences that autistic people may find challenging. An assessor from Amaze and an autistic consultant attend each service or business to understand what a typical experience would be like for an autistic individual.

Each business or service is given practical recommendations to make their location more accessible. When at least 50% of the recommendations are adopted the business or service can display the autism friendly symbol.

Where to find StreetAbility services and businesses:

  • Brotherhood of St Laurence located at 1/293 High Street, Preston
  • The Bridge located at 218 High Street, Preston
  • Team Carlo Taekwondo located at 506 High Street, Preston
  • Wise Employment located at 10 Cramer Street, Preston
  • Salvation Army located at 263 Gower Street, Preston
  • DIVRS located at 285-287 High Street, Preston
  • Preston Library located at 266 Gower Street, Preston
  • Darebin Intercultural Centre located at 59A Roseberry Ave, Preston
  • Darebin Council Customer Services located at 274 Gower Street, Preston

For more information on how to make your environment autism-friendly contact AMAZE on 03 9657 1621 or via e-mail:

Bandmates Victoria

Bandmates is a program that matches volunteers with people over 18 with disability or mental health issues, to go out to live music.

- Are you a young person over 18 with a disability or mental health issue that wants to see live music?
- Want to meet a person who has the same musical interest as you?
- Bandmates will meet and talk with you and match you with a volunteer of your choice
To get involved: contact the Bandmates Victoria Officer at Maribyrnong Council on 0437 161 061, email or website.

The StreetAbility project

StreetAbility is an initiative that aims to improve social inclusion for autistic people within Preston Central. The initiative encourages local services and businesses – with the support of Darebin City Council and Amaze – to adapt their environment to make it autism friendly. Each location is assessed and provided with recommendations on how to make their location accessible. When the recommendations are adopted the business or service can display the autism friendly symbol.

Currently 10 businesses and services in Preston Central, have undertaken the assessment and made minor adaptions to become autism friendly.

The project intends to expand to include more businesses and services making Preston Central and Darebin City Council one of the first autism friendly communities in metropolitan Melbourne.

Our partners

The StreetAbility project was developed and supported by members of a project team undertaking the Future Focus Groups, Committee for Melbourne's business and civic leadership program.

The major partners supporting the program are Darebin City Council and Amaze. Darebin City Council supports the StreetAbility project to make Preston Central a safe, welcoming space for people with autism. Amaze is the peak body for people on the autism spectrum and their supporters in Victoria. They provide independent, credible information and resources to individuals, families, professionals, government and the wider community.  

Further Information:

Senior Team Leader Access & Inclusion

Katie Kiley

Ph: 03 8470 8315


We support sport and recreation activities that are inclusive for all, if you have a disability and need help finding local activities you can get in touch with us for advice.

Access for All Abilities
RecLink Australia is funded by the Access for All Abilities program to act as the first point of call for people with disabilities looking for sporting opportunities, through the provision of Access for All Abilities Play.

AAA Play is a free information and referral service. Visit the AAA Play website or call today to discover the range of sports and active recreation activities close to your home for people of all abilities.

AAA Play
Ph: 1800 222 842

Promoting Inclusion in Sport

The Access for All Guide provides advice, ideas, contacts and practical ways that your club or community group can become more inclusive of people with a disability.

You can contact us a number of ways (TTY, Speak and Listen, Internet Relay), ask us if you require accessible formats of documents, Auslan sign language interpreters can be organised to enable you to communicate with us.

Deaf, Speech or Hearing Impaired Support
If you are deaf, or have a hearing impairment or speech impairment, contact us through the National Relay Service.

  • TTY (Hearing Impaired): Phone 133 677 and ask for 03 8470 8888
  • Speak and Listen: Phone 1300 555 727 and ask for 03 8470 8888
  • Internet Relay: Connect to Internet Relay and enter 03 8470 8888

Accessible Documents
All Council documents and publications are available in alternative formats upon request. Formats available include large print, electronic (CD or email), audio and hard copy.
To request a publication/document in an alternative format contact:
Customer Service
Ph: 8470 8888

Hearing Augmentation
Council Chambers located on High Street, Preston features an audio loop that allows people with hearing aids to hear better. Preston Shire Hall and Preston City Hall are fitted with portable hearing loops. 

Auslan Sign Language Interpreters
Sign Language interpreters are available for Deaf residents to allow them to participate in Council meetings, forums, community consultation and general Council events.

To organise an Auslan Interpreter contact:
Customer Service
Ph: 8470 8888

The Darebin City Council Website has been designed to ensure content is available to all users including those with visual, motor or cognitive disabilities. We are continually assessing the accessibility standards and making changes as required to ensure the website maintains a minimum level AA compliance.

Visit the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) website for more information on accessible websites.

Below is a list of some frequently asked questions.

If you have not found what you are looking for, have a suggestion or would like to get in touch with us send us an e-mail to or call Customer Service:

on (03) 8470 8888 
between 8:30am - 5:00pm, Monday to Friday and 
ask to speak to a member of the Access and Inclusion Team. 

 How do I apply for a new Accessible Parking Permit (formerly disability parking permit)?

From 22 March 2021, Victoria has been transitioning to the new Accessible Parking Permit (APP) Scheme. APP streamlines the application process, standardises permits and ensures all permits are recognised across Australia. Residents and organisations who require a new permit, need to renew or replace an existing permit, will use the APP online application process.

What will change?

  • The name of the scheme in Victoria has been changed to Accessible Parking Permit.
  • General practitioners and occupational therapists will be responsible for assessing applicants.
  • Permit holders assessed as having a condition or disability that permanently affects their mobility will no longer have to visit a medical practitioner to renew their permit.
  • Introduction of a new permanent disability classification will remove the need for reassessments for some people’s future renewals.
  • The blue permit has been renamed Australian Disability Parking Permit. It will allow people who have been assessed as needing additional space to park in an accessible parking bay.
  • Introduction of temporary permits for 6, 12, 24 months.
  • Increase in duration of the permits for individuals from 3 to 5 years.

What will stay the same?

  • Council will continue to send permits out to applicants.
  • The Victorian Double Time Accessible Parking Permit (the green permit) that allows people with limited mobility to park for double time in regular parking bays, will remain in place.
  • All existing permits will remain valid until their expiry date.

To find out more check the VicRoads Accessible Parking Permits page.

To apply for or renew a permit go to the Accessible Parking Permit website or check the Disabled Parking Permits information on the Council’s Parking Permits page.

What disability services are provided by Council?

Since the 2016 roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Council stopped the provision of direct disability services. For information and support in this area, contact Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL). BSL is the local Area Coordinating Agency for Darebin. BSL provides support to all community members with disability, both eligible and not eligible for NDIS.

 For more information about NDIS check the NDIS section of this website.

What's Happening in Darebin?
At any given time there are numerous events, activities and programs running all over Darebin. Information about many of these can be found:

  • On the Annual events program on our website. There is a range of events that are hosted or supported by Darebin Council. Visit the program to help planning your own events calendar as well as to find the contact details for each event.
  • In the Disability Access Update e-newsletter. Sign up here for our e-newsletter.
  • By visiting our Community Portal. Get to know what businesses, activities and facilities are available in Darebin by visiting our s You can also add your details to this directory, by completing the online registration form.

How can I complain if treated unfairly by Darebin Council because of my disability?

If you are unhappy with a service provided by Council, you can make a complaint. You can talk to us:

If you are unsure which area you need to speak to and need advice and further assistance, contact Senior Team Leader Access and Inclusion.

Further Information:
Senior Team Leader Access & Inclusion
Katie Kiley
Ph: 03 8470 8315

You can also report discrimination directly to the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission using this Community Reporting Tool.