Tracey Leong is one of the six Invacare staff members who was selected to participate in the Rob Rees Kitchen Challenge along with people from Presbyterian Support Northern and Invacare community members. Here is her take on her experience to date:
Is it okay to use the accessible toilet when you don’t have a disability? - A User Guide to Toilet Etiquette - by Susan Seipel
Currently, there are no laws that mandate accessible facilities for the exclusive use by people with disabilities. Unlike Disability Parking, which will earn you a substantial fine if you don’t have a permit. It is comforting to know you will not be arrested with your pants down for using the lavatory. However, just because something isn’t illegal to do, is it socially acceptable?
Exploring the world on wheels: from Egyptian pyramids to souvlaki atop Santorini - By Marayke Jonkers
Travel is on many peoples’ bucket lists for the new decade as we bring in the 2020s, but doing so in a wheelchair holds unique challenges and rewards. Having visited all continents of the world by myself independently in either a manual or powered wheelchair I’m here to let you know it can be done.
Staring out the car window at the great pyramid of Giza in Egypt, my initial reaction was awe at this ancient wonder of the world. Awe promptly turned to feeling perplexed as the four wheels of my wheelchair bogged into the sand before I even left the car.
Heading down the hospital corridor the hall echoes with the squeal of rubber tires on linoleum and the soft pitter-patter of paws. As we wait in the crowded waiting room I feel a light pawing followed by a gentle push of weight against my legs. Curious eyes watch on and people smile gently at what they assume is a small gesture of love.
What they don’t realise is that Riley, my Assistance Dog in Training, has picked up on the rise in my heart rate and is hard at work. This seemingly small action is, in fact, one the keys to independence as I know it.
Having just enjoyed the festive holiday season I wonder how many outside of the disabled community thought of some of the extra little nuances that a holiday period brings to a disabled person's life?
For instance, when you choose somewhere to stay for a holiday, you probably thought about price and location right? Well for a disabled person they thought of that plus accessibility, plus whether they could get rental adaptive equipment, plus whether they could access support workers in the area to name just a few.
How should I talk to my children when they ask about disability and difference? – by Eliza Ault-Connell AM
“Mummy look at that ladies legs”.
Each and every time I set foot in public I can be assured of two things. Comments from children who say it as they see it. Parents madly trying to hush their child to avoid an awkward moment or hoping that I may not have heard what their child had said.
I was in year 10 and all my girlfriends were getting part-time jobs. They had a variety of jobs such as Big W, Donut King and the standard McDonalds. My mother was always tough but fair and during this time in my life, there was not going to be an easy way out.
Why disability award-wins at the Logies and in the Sporting Hall of Fame means so much more to wheelchair users like me – by Marayke Jonkers
While watching The Australian Sporting Hall of Fame, I did a happy dance at home, not just because I know the winners and their athletic achievements but because it is a huge step forward for disability representation.
Louise Sauvage was bestowed with Australia’s greatest sporting honour when she became the first Paralympian to be elevated to “legend” status joining icons like Dawn Fraser.
Logie Award-winning Paralympian Dylan Alcott was nominated for the prestigious Don Award.
Our greatest Paralympian Mathew Cowdrey was inducted as a member.
Toys with Disabilities - creating a new generation of awareness, inclusion, and understanding! By Susan Seipel
Children have played with toys since prehistoric times. Research supports that creative play helps children develop social skills, empathy, compassion, kindness, and a greater understanding of themselves and others. Irrespective of these benefits, toy manufacturers have been slow to diversify their range to cater to social differences including culture, race, and disability. So, are calls for more positive representation of disabilities (and other differences) in the toy market finally being heard?
Clinical vs Personal Touch: Why both are vital in clinical practice to those with a disability. By Jess Cochran
Touch- to bring a bodily part into contact with especially so as to perceive through the tactile sense: handle or feel gently usually with the intent to understand or appreciate. (Merriam-webster.com, 2019)
Note: Consent is an important foundation when using touch in clinical practice. Having consent and the patient being informed of a procedure before and during practice is imperative to building a strong practitioner-patient relationship.