AuSAP is the first global assessment program for vehicle restraint systems used by children with disabilities and medical conditions
The story of AuSAP
The origins of this program started a decade ago when Helen Lindner, MACA’s Chief Executive, initiated a project to assess the special purpose car seats available in Victoria in 2013, when working with VicRoads, the Victorian road agency. At the time, this work informed government funding and prescribing practices for Victorian allied health professionals. It also provided the first example of independent assessment of special purpose car seats - no program globally had independently reviewed these products before.
Helen founded MACA in 2019 in response to the significant gaps in research, policy, practice and products, impacting on the rights of children with disabilities and medical conditions to safe transport.
The establishment of an independent safety assessment program, building on the earlier Victorian project, was seen as critical to advancing MACA's vision.
After 12 months of seeking support for the program, MACA received establishment funding from the Victorian Transport Accident Commission in July 2020, and AuSAP was born.
The program has established itself as world leading, with potential for global impact. It draws on the contributions of generous stakeholders and experts, across sectors and countries, committed to achieving the vision of zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads.
AuSAP is MACA's signature program, contributing to rapidly increasing our knowledge and understanding of the prescribing practices, safety and performance of the restraint options outlined in the Australian/New Zealand Standard 4370.
Due to the size and complexity of the challenge, the aims of the program are broad and ambitious.
- To improve knowledge and raise awareness of the motor vehicle transport needs of children with disabilities and medical conditions
- To uphold the rights of children with disabilities to safe and accessible motor vehicle transport
- To influence the design and safety of vehicle restraint systems
- To expand safe vehicle restraint options for children with disabilities and medical conditions
- To support allied health professionals in their assessing and prescribing role.
AuSAP's aims are regularly reviewed in response to new research and learnings.