Australian Open 2022 is serving up a suite of initiatives to make the tournament more accessible and inclusive, with programs to support and celebrate all members of our diverse community.
AO 2022 accessibility initiatives include:
- BindiMaps, providing wayfinding beacons highlighting key locations around the Melbourne Park precinct for people who are blind or vision impaired
- Action Audio, in collaboration with AKQA and led by Dr Chatai Goncu, gives millions of vision impaired people the opportunity to experience matches in real time though AO Radio, using Tennis Australia’s real-time ball position data to make the speed, trajectory and placement of tennis balls audible. The program is supported by Vision Australia.
- Yarra Trams, in partnership with Traveller’s Aid Australia, supports passengers with a disability to travel to the AO by tram, providing trained staff to assist with transiting onto Yarra Tram services to and from Melbourne Park.
“Action Audio, Bindi Maps and Travellers Aid are great examples of our commitment to expanding on innovation, to provide access to the game, making the AO experience as welcoming, safe and inclusive as possible for everyone,” Tennis Australia Head of Innovation Machar Reid said.
Indigenous culture will be celebrated on the very first AO First Nations Day tomorrow (Wednesday 19 January), the inaugural Pride Day will take place on Monday 24 January, and the fifth staging of LGBTQ+ tournament, the AO Glam Slam, presented by Ralph Lauren will conclude on Sunday 30 January. A series of diversity and inclusion ‘come and try’ and ‘kids on court’ sessions will be staged during the two weeks, and prayer rooms have been implemented for our diverse multicultural community.
World No.1 Dylan Alcott (AUS) will bid for a record eighth-consecutive AO Quad Wheelchair title in the final tournament of his career (23-27 January). A further two two inclusive tournaments – an AO PWII tournament for top players with intellectual impairments and the inaugural national AO Deaf and Hard of Hearing event – will also take place during the AO.
“Every year we strive to make our event more accessible for everyone and these initiatives are another example of how the AO is diversifying our partnerships, programs and opportunities to benefit all members of our community,” Tennis Australia Chief Diversity and People Officer, Anna Livingston said.
“Tennis is truly a diverse sport, with people of all backgrounds and abilities playing and enjoying our great game on a regular basis. We need to ensure that our event is as welcoming and accessible as possible for everyone, and that includes providing playing and participation opportunities at one of the world’s most visible sporting events.”
- AusOpen.com/Accessibility – Accessibility Map available here
In addition, the AO is more accessible for global fans than ever before, with a brand new virtual experience available on Decentraland, giving people the chance to experience and interact at the AO remotely.
AO Diversity Key Dates
- Monday 17 January: Official Welcome Ceremony with Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Joy Murphy
- Wednesday 19 January: First Nations Day, including RLA night performance by Baker Boy and wide range of activities
- Monday 24 January: Pride Day
- Wednesday 26 - Friday 28 January: AO PWII Finals
- Thursday 26 – Friday 28 January: AO DHOH Finals
- Sunday 30 January: Glam Slam presented by Ralph Lauren