Master Locksmiths Access Key (MLAK)
24/7 access to accessible public facilities for people with a disability
The Master Locksmiths Access Key (MLAK) system is an MLAA initiative that allows people with disability access to dedicated public facilities, including facilities in National Parks and many Council municipalities, elevators at railway stations, the new Changing Places facilities throughout Australia, disabled toilets that are locked, and even the Liberty Swing. It was launched back in 1994 as a joint venture between Pittwater Council, ACROD and the MLAA, before being implemented Nationally.
People with a disability are able to purchase an MLAK key that will open all toilets, playground equipment and other facilities fitted with a lock that uses the special MLAK cylinder.
Eligibility is restricted to people who have a disability or have written authority from one of the following:
- a doctor
- a disability organisation
- community health centre
- the owner or management of a building with an accessible toilet on site
How to get an MLAK?
MLAK keys are available for purchase from Business Members of the Master Locksmiths Association or from the MLAA’s National Support Office. From a Business Member: To obtain an MLAK from a Business Member of the MLAA, please make use of our Locksmith Search facility to look for a Business Member who displays the “MLAK” symbol (see below). Business Members who sell the MLAK key may also display the MLAK sign in their window. From the National Support Office: To obtain an MLAK key from the National Support Office, please download the MLAK order form, complete it, and return it via email or post.
Where to find an MLAK enabled facility?
Many local councils throughout Australia have implemented the MLAK system and can tell you where you can find an MLAK-enabled facility in your area.
The National Toilet Map is a Federally funded initiative developed and maintained by Health Department as part of the National Continence Program. The National Public Toilet Map provides information on over 19,000 public available toilets across Australia, including accessibility, opening hours and facilities, such as showers and baby change. The National Public Toilet Map is also available as a free app for iPhone and for Android phones and tablets.
The Liberty Swing is a world-first Australian innovation – a swing that allows children in wheelchairs the opportunity to experience the joy of having a swing in the park. The Liberty Swing can only be utilised with the use of the Master Locksmiths Access Key (MLAK).
Changing Places are larger than standard accessible toilets and have extra features and more space to meet the needs of people with complex disabilities and their carer’s. Each facility has a height adjustable adult change table, a tracking hoist system, and room for two people either side of a peninsula toilet, in a safe and clean environment. To find out more about Changing Places go to www.changingplaces.org.auAll Changing Places facilities throughout Australia are fitted with an MLAK-enabled locking device, allowing them to be opened with a Master Locksmiths Access Key (MLAK).
The decision to implement the MLAK system is a Council decision. The system is designed to improve access, and not to restrict use, for people with disability. MLAK-enabled facilities (excluding Changing Places facilities) should remain unlocked during daylight hours, or when co-located with unlocked general public toilets.
The MLAK system should alleviate the difficulty faced by people with a disability in finding an accessible toilet that is open after hours.
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