Accessible Tourism

Off The Beaten Track WA prides itself in creating amazing and memorable hiking and adventure experiences that are inclusive and accessible. We are always looking at ways to improve the experience for our guests.

The purpose of the Accessibility Guide is to outline ways in which accessibility has been considered to assist guests with planning their experience.

We encourage guests to contact us direct should they require further information about a specific need or have a specific request. Although we cannot guarantee we can accommodate all needs, we do our best and it never hurts to ask.

What is Accessible Tourism

Accessible Tourism is the ongoing endeavour to ensure tourist destinations, products and services are accessible to all people, regardless of their physical limitations, disabilities or age.

In the dynamic landscape of tourism, Off The Beaten Track WA (OTBT) stands as a testament to the transformative power of small changes. Rooted in a commitment to accessibility, OTBT has emerged as a trailblazer, reshaping the tourism narrative in Western Australia.

OTBT believes in the transformative power of nature for individuals with disabilities. Our hiking experiences offer a unique opportunity for people living with disabilities to enjoy the many benefits that nature has to offer.

OTBTs Quest to be Accessible

Founded on the premise of making a meaningful difference, OTBT took a bold step in February 2022 with the launch of the Hike-Ability program. This initiative wasn’t just about exploring uncharted terrains; it was a conscious effort to extend the joy of hiking to West Australians living with disabilities. The Hike-Ability program became a beacon of inclusivity, breaking down barriers and opening up the world of outdoor adventures to all.

The journey didn’t stop there. In June 2023, OTBT achieved a groundbreaking milestone by becoming the first business to secure Tourism Accessible Accreditation. This wasn’t merely a certification; it was a tangible demonstration of OTBT’s unwavering dedication to providing accessible tourism experiences. The accreditation positioned OTBT as a leader, setting the standard for businesses aiming to create an inclusive environment for all visitors.

Recognition followed suit when OTBT was honoured with the inaugural Excellence in Accessible Tourism Award at the Perth Airport Tourism Awards. This prestigious accolade wasn’t just a pat on the back; it was a celebration of OTBT’s commitment to going beyond the ordinary, ensuring that the tourism industry becomes a welcoming space for everyone, regardless of abilities.

As we’re in an ever-evolving landscape, we wont rest on our laurels. OTBT strives to continually improve our own operations to become even more accessible. We also endeavour to be advocates for Accessible Tourism, and helping to make the world a more accessible and inclusive place.

Development of Hike-Ability

After organically engaging with guests that had a disability, Tracy saw an opportunity to further engage with the community by creating a program for people who wouldn’t ordinarily participate in experiences with the public, as well as those that may be disadvantaged by physical, emotional, or mental disabilities.

With a huge gap in the market for nature-based activities that cater for people with a disability, and nothing at all similar to the proposed offering combining hiking and nature therapy, research begun! In February 2021, we begun investigating to understand the needs of people living with a disability and the NDIS system. Tracy undertook numerous meetings with support agencies to gain an insight as well as taking on a casual role as a Support Worker to gain hands-on experience.

In February 2022 Hike-Ability was launched. Within two days of launch, we had six consults and secured four weekly/fortnightly programs. 80% of our 2022 participants signed up again for new and ongoing programs in 2023. The mental and physical health benefits also allowed for personal growth and increased confidence which has resulted in some incredible social integration of participants on our public tours (including multi-day experiences).

An important aspect of the programs’ success is the training provided to the guides. As well as completing the NDIS Orientation module, OTBT has developed a training module for Guides specifically working with people with a disability that includes safety, risk management, reading behavioural cues, writing progress notes plus more.

This amazing program is provided on top of an already very active portfolio of experiences and hikes catering for all ages, fitness levels and abilities. Tracy says, “It is so powerful to see the transformation our participants experience through their time with us out on the trails.”

Hike-Ability

Improving the lives of Western Australians living with a disability… one step at a time!

OTBT provides participants with a fully bespoke service tailored to their unique abilities and support needs. We offer a wide range of options, from short and easy terrain hikes to full-day adventures and multi-day treks. Our programs are designed to support rehabilitation and enrich lives.

Research has consistently shown that spending time in nature can have a positive impact on physical and mental health. By connecting with nature and engaging in physical activity, our guests have the opportunity to improve their fitness and overall well-being.

At OTBT, we understand that everyone is different, which is why we offer both individual and group programs. Our recreational program can be customised to meet specific needs, focusing on personal goals and preferences. Alternatively, participants can join one of our Hiking Tours to enhance social skills and enjoy the company of like-minded individuals.

Our tailored programs extend beyond the hiking experience. We take into consideration dietary and sensory needs, fitness levels, and personal goals. We can even provide participants with hiking equipment or arrange transportation to ensure a seamless and enhanced experience. The OTBT team is committed to creating a safe, inclusive, supported, and enriching program that works hand in hand with you to achieve your goals.

For participants with more complex needs or behavioural considerations, we offer the option to have a support worker accompany them.

At OTBT, our Hiking Guides are not only experienced hikers but also passionate about the outdoors and people. We strive to provide a safe, relaxed, yet professional atmosphere, allowing guests to fully immerse yourself in the wonders of nature.

“Over a year ago, I was starting to get lost and needed to find something to do outdoors and in nature. I decided to try hiking with OTBT hiking, it has helped me mentally and physically and has made me challenge myself in many ways. Like doing overnight hike, or a weekend trip and meeting new people.

Hiking is something I’ll keep on doing for a very long time with awesome people. I look forward to new adventures and new challenges.”

– Anne-Marie, Hike-Ability Participant with Intellectual Disability.

Our Accessible Experience

OTBT is proud to be accredited by the Australian Quality Tourism Standards in Accessible Tourism. We have met the standards in the areas of low hearing and cognitive/autism, ensuring that our services are accessible and inclusive to individuals with diverse needs. Some of our tours are also suitable for people with low mobility and low vision, and we are more than happy to create a bespoke experience for you and suited to your needs.

Additionally, inclusion is our middle name! OTBT is committed to cultural diversity and inclusivity in all areas of what we do. Everyone deserves the right to connect with nature, no matter your culture, gender, disability or sexuality.

We also cater for allergies and intolerances, just be sure to provide us with as much information as possible so we can take good care of you and ensure you get the best off the beaten track experience!

OTBT was also the Gold Award recipient of the inaugural Accessible Tourism Award at the 2023 Perth Airport Tourism Awards and a Finalist representing WA at the 2023 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards.

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