MLAK Key: Master Locksmith Access Keys
A Master Locksmith Access Key is a key created by the Master Locksmiths Association of Australasia that enables people with a disability to gain 24-hour access to a network of public facilities around Australia.
How Does An MLAK Key Work?
An MLAK Key is a master key that allows the user access to specially designed locks.
There are two types of keys available. There is a standard style of key, and there is a specially designed key with a larger head to be used by people with impaired hand function.
This specially designed key head allows user to take advantage of a device called a Lederer Key Leverage Aid, that was designed by Technical Aid For The Disabled (TAD)
Where Can I Use My MLAK Key?
MLAK keys can be used with a number of different facilities around Australia. This includes:
- Elevators at railway stations
- Accessible Toilets in Council and National Parks facilities
- Adaptive Playground Equipment (Liberty Swings across Australia)
Many businesses in Australia also have facilities that can be accessed using an MLAK key.
Who Is Eligible For An MLAK Key?
If you have a disability, you are able to purchase an MLAK master key.
If you are a carer you can get authority from a doctor, disability organisation, or a community health centre.
Alternatively, you can talk to centre management or the owner of a building who has MLAK accessible facilities on site.
How Do I Get An MLAK Key?
Most locksmiths who are part of the Master Locksmiths Association Of Australasia (MLAA) will be able to cut and supply a Master Locksmith Access Key.
Call or walk into your local locksmith store and they will be able to cut a new key for you. Alternatively, some locksmiths have a mobile service and can come to your home.
Why Are MLAK Keys Important?
For someone with a disability, it can often be hard to find an accessible public toilet left open after hours.
Most disabled toilet facilities are opened during the day, however sometimes it is necessary to lock them up after hours.
The MLAK key system is designed to reduce vandalism and keeps the facilities clean while still allow people with a disability access to these facilities.
How Can I Find My Local MLAK Key Facilities?
Wondering where you local ambulant toilet is? Want to find the closest Liberty Swing? Here are a number of resources that will help you find your local MLAK facility.
Spinal Cord Injuries Australia
The Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA) has an up to date directory of all MLAK-enabled facilities across Australia.
The National Public Toilet Map
The national public toilet map contains the locations of over 14000 public and private toilet facilities across Australia. This resource provides details information on each toilet, including the location, opening hours, availability of baby change rooms and accessibility for people with disabilities
Most businesses and councils will have signage indicating that particularly facilities are MLAK accessible.
What Happens If I Lose My MLAK Key?
Lost your MLAK key? Don’t worry, each key is numbered and recorded by the Master Locksmith Association Of Australasia (MLAA).
If a lost MLAK key is found, then it can be traced back and return to the original owner via the locksmith.
However, if the key is not returned, you will have to get a new one cut.
What Are Liberty Swings?
Liberty swings are playground equipment that allows a child in a wheelchair to enjoy the experience of a swing at the park.
Liberty swings can be found in popular playground areas around Australia and can only be used if you have an MLAK key.
Are you wondering where your local liberty swing is? You can visit the liberty swing website and find out where your local liberty swing is located.
How Can I Install A MLAK Accessible Lock At My Business?
Are you a local business who wants to provide specialist facilities for people with a disability? A local locksmith who is part of the Master Locksmiths Association Of Australia can install a MLAK lock and key system at your business.
There are some standards you must adhere to if you wish to install an MLAK lock. If you facility is accessed via another door or gate, ensure that you provide at least an 850mm clear opening.
The locks will be installed between 900-1100mm from the floor. If you are providing toilet facilities, then a privacy latch will need to be provided to prevent others entering while the disabled toilet is in use.
The MLAK key system can only be used for facilities are for people with a disability.
Whilst it is not required, it is the responsibility of the business or organisation implementing the MLAK system to show proper signage and make the public aware of the MLAK facilities.
It is also a good idea to inform Spinal Cord Injuries Australia of your new facilities. SCIA can be contacted on (02) 9661 8855 or 1800 819 775. SCIA will record the location of the lock on their database. SCIA will distribute the updated list to inform people where the MLAK facilities are located across Australia.
A Brief MLAK History
MLAK is a nationally recognised master key system that was trialled from 1994 to 1995 by Pittwater Council in Sydney’s Northern Beaches to improve access for people with disabilities. It was a collaboration between ACROD, Technical Aid For The Disabled (TAD) and the Master Locksmiths Association Of Australasia.
It was a huge success and has now spread Australia wide with over 230 facilities fitted with MLAK keys.