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About Companion Card

Why has it been developed?

The Companion Card has been developed:

  • To promote the existing right of people with a disability to fair ticketing.
  • As a tool to assist industry to comply with existing legislation .
  • As a simple and consistent method of identifying people who legitimately require attendant care support to participate at venues and activities.

The Victorian Network On Recreation and Disability (VICNORD) developed the concept of a Companion Card in 1997 in response to continued concern from people with a disability who found the pricing policies of many entertainment, leisure and recreation venues/events to be unfair, and also found them to contravene existing legislation.

In the past, a person with a disability who required attendant care type support from a companion in order to participate at venues/activities has been required to pay two admission and/or booking fees; one for themselves and one for their companion. This practice is discriminatory because it has the effect of doubling the admission and/or booking price for the person with a disability.

A number of venue/activity operators have attempted to address this inequity and have allowed free admission for companions. Until the Companion Card, however, organisations have not had a consistent service or product to verify who may legitimately require a companion.

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The Companion Card program provides for the first time in Australia, a systemic response to a long standing problem for both people with disabilities and those working in the leisure industry.

It is important to understand that the Companion Card is a tool that facilitates existing rights and legislation; it is not a new responsibility, discount scheme, concession or benefit.