The ACROD programme is a government-funded scheme that allows people experiencing mobility issues, blindness, and other issues that affect their ability to walk to gain access to the West Australian community.
ACROD does this by issuing a parking permit that allows the holder to park in any of the disabled parking lots free of charge.
Here’s everything you need to know about this scheme and more on how to ensure access to all your valued customers and workers.
First, What is ACROD?
ACROD is a government agency under the National Disability Services (NDS) which takes care of disability needs in the community. Officially it stands for Australian Council for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled and since 1963 has served as an inclusive forum for disability issues to be tackled.
The ACROD parking permit is available to eligible holders and allows them to park in disabled parking bays wherever they may be.
Who is eligible for the ACROD permit?
ACROD parking permits are given to those eligible in the community. According to the National Disability Service ACROD application form, individuals must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- You are unable to walk and always require the use of a wheelchair; or
- Your ability to walk is severely restricted by a permanent medical condition or disability; or
- Your ability to walk is severely restricted by a temporary medical condition or disability.
- You are legally blind.
Anyone who is experiencing sensory, cognitive, intellectual, or psychiatric disabilities is not included in the criteria. Only in certain circumstances will short-term walking issues (e.g. broken leg) be considered.
What about organisations and individuals supporting individuals with mobility issues?
If you are representing an organisation or business that provides transport services to people with disabilities (like a taxi driver) you can also apply for the ACROD parking permit.
Do I need authorisation by a doctor or physician to apply?
Yes. Part 2 of the ACROD application form provides a section to be filled out by a registered doctor or occupational therapist who can endorse and sign off on your claim. The doctor cannot be part of your immediate family and must have read through the ACROD eligibility criteria.
How much does the ACROD permit cost?
For successful applicants – the ACROD parking permit is free of charge. The permit is fully funded by the Government of Western Australia.
How to apply for ACROD parking permit step by step:
- Download the application form on this link: https://acrod.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/acrod-application-form-v21.pdf and fill it out. You can also access a word document version here: https://acrod.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/acrod-application-form-accessible-v21.docx.
- Find a qualified doctor who can fill out and sign the second section of the form.
- Submit your signed application form by mail or in person. The postal address is ACROD Parking Program, PO Box 184, Northbridge WA 6865. Alternatively, you can also send your application forms to [email protected]
- Assessment of the application can take up to 20 days on which the applicant will receive their permit via post – or a letter of denial and information on how to appeal.
How to apply for ACROD if you’re blind
Persons who are legally blind can also apply for the ACROD parking permit. According to the National Disability Service, legally blind must be confirmed by either:
- visual acuity (1.1.V.50) on the Snellen Scale after correction by suitable lenses of less than 6/60 in both eyes;
- constriction to within 10 degrees of fixation in the better eye irrespective of corrected visual acuity;
- a combination of visual defects resulting in the same degree of vision impairment as that occurring in the above points.
Anyone who is applying on the basis of being legally blind must fill out this application form: https://acrod.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/acrod-application-form-for-legally-blind.pdf, and attach proof of legal blindness. A list of documents that can be used as proof is listed here: https://applicationswa.nds.org.au/applications/apply-acrod-ind-vis/.
If you do not have a document confirming your legal blindness, this form: https://acrod.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/acrod-low-vision-certificate.pdf can be used instead to apply for the ACROD parking permit.
Send your completed application form with your legal proof to the same address as above.
What about applying as an organisation or service provider/caregiver?
Organisations must apply through a separate online portal which can be accessed here: https://applicationswa.nds.org.au/applications/apply-acrod-org/. The application made must be signed off by the CEO or business owner. The approval process will take roughly 20 days to be completed.
Do ACROD permits expire? How can they be renewed?
Permit holders with certain circumstances can keep renewing their permit every 2 years. Other permits like those issued to organisations will expire at the end of every year and can be renewed online. The NDS sends out reminders to all permit holders who are given 6 months to make a renewal before the permit is void.
How to ensure access to disability parking for permit holders
If you run a business or organisation with parking bollards or disabled parking bays, you’ll know that these can be used and abused by non-permit holders. It should be a priority to keep these bays free and available for those who really need them. Installing a disabled parking bollard can help prevent unauthorised use of a parking bay allocated for people experiencing ability issues.
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