Companion Card is a not-for-profit program, funded by the NSW Government and managed by National Disability Services.
The card itself is the size of a credit card, with the name and a photo of the holder — who is the person with disability. When the holder buys a ticket for themselves at selected venues and facilities around NSW, their companion will get free entry.
WHAT IS A COMPANION?
A companion can be a partner, family member, friend, volunteer or paid carer.
WHY DID THE COMPANION CARD SCHEME START?
It is unfair and discriminatory for people with significant disability, who cannot manage on their own away from home, to have to pay twice whenever they go somewhere — once for themselves, and once for their companion (their partner, friend, carer or family member).
A person with disability has the same right to participate in the community as a person with no disability. This right is protected under section 4a of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 and section 8 of the Commonwealth's Disability Discrimination Act 1992.
That's why the NSW Government started the Companion Card scheme in 2009.
WHO IS THE COMPANION CARD FOR?
The Companion Card is for you, if:
- you have a significant and permanent disability,
- you are always going to need a companion to help you get to community-based activities or venues, and
- once you get there, you need your companion to help you get around or take part in the event or activity.
WHERE CAN I USE THE COMPANION CARD?
Businesses, venues and facilities that accept the Companion Card are called affiliates. There are many affiliates across NSW and around Australia — all types of places and attractions, from zoos to theme parks, sports stadiums to buses, trains and ferries. You can find the full list of NSW affiliates on the internet at www.nswcompanioncard.org.au
Or check the national website, www.companioncard.gov.au, for interstate affiliates.
HOW DO I USE THE COMPANION CARD?
You or your companion show your Companion Card when you're booking or buying tickets from an affiliate. If you're booking on the phone, be sure to tell the operator you have a Companion Card before you pay. You will then be given a second ticket for your carer or companion at no charge. (If you've booked on the phone, you'll need to show your card once you get to the venue.)