What exactly is a Companion Card and what can I use it for?

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People with a disability who require attendant care support to participate at community venues and activities have a right to equal participation in the community. This fundamental right is protected under two pieces of legislation.

Under  section 42 of the Equal Opportunity Act 1995 (Victoria) and section 8 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Commonwealth) , it is unlawful to discriminate against a person with a disability who requires the assistance of a companion.

In the past, a person with a disability who required a companion for attendant care type support to participate at venues/activities has sometimes 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.

How does a companion card work?

The Companion Card is not a new responsibility; nor is it a benefit or a discount scheme. It simply ensures that people who are unable to attend venues and events without a companion to provide attendant care support, are not charged two admission fees. Responsible use of your card will ensure that organisations continue to participate in the program.

You must only use it if you are unable to participate at a particular venue or event without attendant care support; not only for reassurance or social support. If you have previously attended an activity independently, this arrangement should continue.

Present your Companion Card when you are booking or purchasing your ticket. Organisations that accept this will require you to pay only for your own ticket. A second ticket will be issued for your companion at no charge.

If you are not sure if a venue or activity accepts the Companion Card, check with them in advance. If they have not heard of the program, show them the back of your card. It lists a telephone number and web site that can provide further information.

If you book your ticket over the telephone, you must tell the operator that you require a Companion Ticket. You may need to provide your name, your Companion Card number and the expiry date.

Where can I use my companion card?

The Companion Card is accepted by over 4200 businesses and organisations across Australia. The organisations listed below operate throughout Australia and accept the  Companion Card at all their venues and events unless otherwise stated. To see where Companion Card is accepted head to the companion card website. https://companioncard.gov.au and follow the link information for cardholders for categories on where a companion card can be used.

How do I apply ?

There is no separate National Companion Card, the applications are assessed by the State or Territory you reside in. To apply, go to the website of your State or Territory from the list below and download the application form.

If you wish to receive more information on the application process, please use the contact details provided on your State or Territory’s website.

Companion cards are a great resource for those living with a disability. They give both you and your social support professional access to a great variety of events and activities. If you have a companion card or are in the process of getting one, tappON has a pool of workers who can assist you.

You can view available Social Support Professionals in your area https://tappon.co/?q=social and book one today.

If you’d like to know more about Social Supports or want some assistance in getting a companion card, contact a tappON support member on 02 9158 6163 or support@tappon.co.

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