A survey of 600 Australians with a disability and their carers has found half don't feel included in their community.
The inaccessibility of public places and poor community attitudes continue to prevent people with disability from living the life they want to.
LaTrobe Community Health Service, Ballarat's NDIS partner, published a discussion paper focusing on physical access, community attitudes, information and sensory-friendly experiences as barriers to inclusion.
The paper outlines practical steps all organisations can take to improve the experience for people with disability.
We are trying to build a community hub where everyone can come.David Winters, Avalon Nursery
LaTrobe Community Health Ballarat community development coordinator Frances Riggs said people in the community should read the report to hear the experiences of people with disability.
"It can help equip people to build their awareness and take some actions," she said.
"We all benefit from an inclusive society."
Mark Thompson lives with an acquired brain injury and experiences challenges with physical access, lack of information on inclusive facilities and communication in his day to day life.
He told The Courier about his positive experiences at Avalon Nursery where owner Dave Winters has listened to his concerns and made changes to ensure the nursery was accessible for all people.
The discussions began when Mr Winters helped Mr Thompson up stairs and through the cafe's tight doorway in his wheelchair.
Mr Winters has since installed a ramp with railing, a wider doorway, made wide garden paths and replaced bumpy bluestone with smooth compacted crusher dust.
Mr Winters said he understood how it could feel when you could not do what you wanted to or used to do, as he has experienced his own health struggles.
"We are trying to build a community hub where everyone can come," he said.
"I have learnt a few things from doing the cafe. The toilet needs to be bigger. If we can get government funding we will make it a full disability toilet and adult change room."
The LaTrobe Community Health survey revealed 47 per cent of respondents dined out at cafes and restaurants, but less than half had a good experience while eating out.
Negative factors include lack of aides to assist access, lack of staff training, limited disability car parking, no ramps or lifts and not enough space for a wheelchair.
Mr Thompson said businesses that made investments to improve accessibility would see increased patronage, as people with a disability would spread the word and bring family and friends.
Ms Riggs said changes did not have to cost a lot of time and money and there were ample free resources that could provide guidance.
Other inclusive measures for businesses to consider are providing information on accessibility on their websites to allow people with a disability to plan and considering sensory needs, for example supermarkets introducing 'quiet times'.
Visit lchs.com.au/news-and-media/australians-with-disability-dont-feel-included-in-their-community/ to read the report or contact the health service for advice.