The Australian Open (AO) tennis tournament, which has been running for 117 years, will host the first-ever All Abilities Day on Tuesday 24 January 2023. The day aims to celebrate and provide opportunities for everyone to experience and enjoy this popular international event.
The All Abilities day will focus on recognising the many inclusive formats of tennis, and invite people who have vision, hearing, physical, sensory and or intellectual disabilities to enjoy all that the Australian Open has to offer in a safe and inclusive environment.
“It’s bloody awesome, the first Grand Slam to do this … disability is often the category that is left out, so to have an All-Abilities Day is pretty special,” said Grand Slam champion Dylan Alcott.
“Twenty percent of the Australian population have some form of disability, physical or non-physical, and they love tennis, and they deserve the opportunity to come, watch and play,” he explained.
Coinciding with the start of the AO wheelchair tennis competition, All Abilities Day will include on-court opportunities for kids and adults from Tennis Australia’s disability pathways. These include intellectual disability, Down syndrome, neurodiverse, deaf or hard of hearing, blind or low vision, and people with physical disabilities.
Australian Open 2023 will also host the first-ever international persons with intellectual disability and deaf and hard of hearing tournaments – to be played from 27-29 January at Melbourne Park.
“Tennis is an incredibly inclusive sport and making it accessible to people of all abilities is a vital part of the work we do year-round,” AO Tournament Director Craig Tiley said.
Some of the awesome accessibility initiatives at Australian Open 2023 include:
- BindiMaps providing wayfinding beacons highlighting key locations around the Melbourne Park precinct for people who are blind or vision impaired
- Action Audio 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.
- 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
- Dedicated customer experience workforce specially trained to support the inclusion of all patrons
- Sensory and calm spaces
- Guide dog relief areas
- Accessibility page and maps on AusOpen.com
- First international persons with intellectual disability tournament
- First international deaf and hard of hearing tournament
- Expanded wheelchair tennis draws
We love our tennis here at Carer Solutions, and we think that Tennis Australia has totally aced this year’s event, ensuring that the Australian Open is well and truly #Open4All.