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Celebrating accessible communities with Fun Day

Aged and disability care provider Villa Maria Catholic Homes (VMCH) is celebrating social inclusion and accessible communities at its Out & About Fun Day on 29 November.
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The Villa Maria Catholic Homes Out & About Fun Day celebrates social inclusion and accessible communities for young and old.

The organisation has teamed up with Melbourne tollway operator CityLink for the event on on 29 November at Albert Park, which aims to enable people with disabilities and mobility limitations, including the elderly, to experience life as it should be – 100 per cent accessible.

One of the highlights of this years Fun Day is a sensory pop-up garden, designed by teachers and students from Swinburne University of Technology which will enable people of all abilities and ages to experience the garden in an interactive way.

“In our design last year we used emotional triggers to bring memories back for the visitors of the garden. This year, the focus is on allowing people to interact with the garden space, see the garden as part of everyday normal life,” says Swinburne University Team Leader for Horticulture and Environment, Stewart Detez.

He says some of the elements include an outdoor dining setting where salad is ‘grown in front of you’, bench seating with scented plants, and a cube of succulents with a variety of colours and textures.

“People will come in and enjoy the quirky ideas of the garden, which will hopefully give them a sense of joy and a little bit of humour.

“We see this as an opportunity to educate the public about how important the garden is, and how easy it is to include plants into our living spaces and our lifestyles,” according to Mr Detez.

The Out & About event aims to challenge community perceptions of social inclusion with a huge line up of all abilities and all ages activities.

Activities include a Come and Try clinic held by Cricket Victoria, wheelchair tennis, the pop- up sensory garden designed by Swinburne University, live music, animal farm, face painting and a sausage sizzle.

The day also promotes VMCH’s Australian-first accessibility app, Out & About – Accessing your community, which lists accessible venues and events across Melbourne. The app highlights accessibility features such as wheelchair access, accessible toilets, disabled parking, walking paths and hearing loops. The app as available on Android and iPhone.

The Out & About Fun Day is on at Albert Park, Aughtie Drive, on Sunday, November 29 from 12-4pm. For more details, visit: www.outandaboutday.com.au

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