JIMMY BARNES - disability magazine - Link Disability Magazine

 
JIMMY BARNES - disability magazine - Link Disability Magazine
australia’s national
                                                           disability magazine

                                                           June 2017 | Volume 26 Issue 3
                                                           linkonline.com.au

In this issue: FEATURE // Car Conversions & Equipment | News | Opinion | Travel | Music

                                               JIMMY
                                              BARNES
                                                TALKS MUSIC, FATHERHOOD
                                                      AND CEREBRAL PALSY
JIMMY BARNES - disability magazine - Link Disability Magazine
FEATURING

                     YOUR WORLD
                    WITHIN REACH.

            For more information please contact:
             info.au@permobil.com l Ph: 1300 845 483
                               www.permobil.com.au
JIMMY BARNES - disability magazine - Link Disability Magazine
inside
                                                     02 from the editor
                                                20   04 link loves

                                                     06 in the news

                                                     12 products & services

                                                     14 contributions

                                                     15 issues
                                                     16 people
                                                         Meet Paralympic snowboarder
                                                         Joany Badenhorst

                                                     20 interview
                                                         We chat with Jimmy Barnes and
                                                         daughter Elly-May

                                                     24 features
                                                         Car conversions and equipment

                                                     38 features
 24                                        48            Cerebral Palsy

                                                     46 Industry
                                                         In conversation with Jo Toohey,
                                                         Benevolent Society

                                                     48 travel
                                                         Meet new Link contributor Craig
                                                         Sheather

                                                     52 music
 38                                                      Discover a film company for
                                                         people with disability
                                           52
                                                     54 breakthroughs
                                                     56 issues
                                                     57 books
                                                     58 social scene
                                                     60 what's on
Cover photo courtesy of Elly-May Barnes.
JIMMY BARNES - disability magazine - Link Disability Magazine
from the editor
                                                                 Just about every Australian
                          Publisher                              knows of legendary rocker Jimmy
                         Inprint Design                          Barnes and his music but did you
                        ISSN 1447–2023
                                                                 know that Jimmy has a daughter,
                           Editorial                             Elly-May, with cerebral palsy?
                 Editor Rebecca Somerfield                       Having recently opened up about
                  editor@linkonline.com.au
                                                                 his violent and often traumatic
                            Design                               childhood in the book Working
                        Rachel Tortorella
                                                                 Class Boy, Jimmy chatted to our
                            Digital                              entertainment writer Marlena
                 Inprint Design Digital Team                     Katene to share his experiences
                                                                 as the parent of a child with CP, as
                        Contributors
        Amy Park, Carole Lander, Anthea Skinner,                 well as music, his career and the importance of family. Marlena also
       Craig Sheather, Heidi Laidler, Louise Proctor             caught up with Elly-May, who says that having a disability has made
                                                                 her stronger and more determined to succeed in life.
                        Advertising
                      Michelle Stevens
               advertising@linkonline.com.au                     Also in this issue Carole Lander examine the findings of the Royal
                   Phone 08 7325 3209
                   Mobile 0419 822 717
                                                                 Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
                                                                 Professor Gwynnyth Llewellyn from the University of Sydney, who
                       Subscriptions                             presented on behalf of children with disability at the release of
                   subs@linkonline.com.au
                     Phone 08 7325 3200                          the Commission’s findings, recommended a range of strategies to
                                                                 keep children with disability safe, including ensuring that staff in
                     Print/Supporter                             residential care centres are trained in identifying emotional and
                     Graphic Print Group
                                                                 behavioural changes in children that signal possible sexual abuse.

                                                                 In our People section we meet para-snowboarder Joany Badenhorst,
                                                                 who is currently ranked the world number one in Snowboard Cross
                          Enquiries                              for LL-2 Women. In our Cerebral Palsy feature we meet a young
                       Inprint Design
                                                                 woman, Venessa Crane, who has just climbed Mt Kosciuszko, while
                    Phone 08 7325 3200
                  Email info@inprint.com.au                      in Music Anthea Skinner meets the first legally blind person to write,
                                                                 produce, direct, edit and star in a feature-length film.

                                                                 Our Car Conversions and Equipment feature is sure to get you
                                                                 moving with all the latest news on modifications and learning to drive
                      Like us on Facebook
                      /linkdisabilitymagazine                    with a disability, while travel contributor Craig Sheather tells us how
                                                                 the travel bug has helped him deal with his disability.
                      www.inprint.com.au

        All material appearing in Link Disability Magazine
                                                                 We hope you enjoy reading our June 2017 edition and look forward
        is copyright unless otherwise stated or it may rest
        with the provider of the supplied material. Please
                                                                 to receiving your comments and contributions via email or Facebook.
       contact the editor for permission to reprint content.
          Link Disablity Magazine takes all care to ensure
      information is correct at the time of printing, but the    Until next time.
      publisher accepts no responsibiltiy or liability for the
       accuracy of any information contained in the text of
      advertisement. Views expressed does not necessarily                                      Rebecca
              reflect those of the publisher or editor.                                        Link Editor

02   from the editor                                                                                                        linkonline.com.au
JIMMY BARNES - disability magazine - Link Disability Magazine
ROVI X3
ONE OF THE MOST
INNOVATIVE POWERBASES
EVER CREATED

The Complete Solution
Unlike anything that has come before, the ROVI X3 utilises a unique chassis
configuration that creates MORE stability with LESS overall width. It’s simple,
but remarkable breakthrough in power wheelchair design.
   FOR YOUR NEAREST ROVI PROVIDER VISIT
   INVACARE.COM.AU OR PHONE 1800 460 460
linkonline.com.au
                                                                                  ADVANCING MOBILITY
                                                                                    section title   03
JIMMY BARNES - disability magazine - Link Disability Magazine
link loves

                                 loves
     fashion forward

     A dream career in the fashion
     industry is one step closer for
     18-year-old Steph thanks to an
     innovative partnership between
     disability service provider
     Barkuma and Australian designer
     Paul Vasileff.

     The enthusiastic year 12 student,
     who hopes to move into a hair
     and beauty course via Barkuma’s
     Transition Program, got the chance
     to meet Paul, the founder and               Barkuma ambassador Paul Vasileff with Barkuma client Steph.
     designer of the Paolo Sebastian
     label, as part of his new role as           The Paolo Sebastian label is                   Barkuma chief executive officer
     ambassador for Adelaide-based               an international success story,                Geoff Blackwood said the
     Barkuma.                                    established in South Australia.                partnership would provide
                                                 Vasileff’s creations have graced               Barkuma with new opportunities,
     During the meeting Paul told Steph          magazine covers and red carpets                and would be a great asset in
     about the importance of hard work           across the globe and are a                     helping motivate and inspire the
     and staying true to yourself.               favourite of many celebrities                  Barkuma family.
                                                 including Danni Minogue, Delta
     “My current dream job in the fashion        Goodrem and Carrie Bickmore.                   “Like Barkuma, Paul has worked
     industry is to be a model and as a                                                         hard to be recognised and
     start I have enrolled in a four day         Paul said he was excited to be                 included as a quality South
     modelling course,” Steph said.              involved with Barkuma, which                   Australian icon. Although working
                                                 recently celebrated 50 years in                in differing industries, Barkuma
     “I’m also interested in fashion             South Australia.                               is at the forefront of ‘individual
     design and have learned to sew a                                                           design’ offering programs that are
     little and have made myself a skirt.        “The support they offer in training            NDIS compliant and specifically
     I love following trends, styles and         and helping people to find jobs is             tailored to suit each person we
     seasonal fashions and I really like         so important and does so much for              support.”
     how fashion is a way to express             their confidence and self-esteem,”
     your personality.”                          Paul said.

                                         Share your views and read about all things disability-related at
                                         facebook.com/linkdisabilitymagazine.

04   link loves                                                                                                        linkonline.com.au
JIMMY BARNES - disability magazine - Link Disability Magazine
SAVE THE DATE
            16 -17 MAY 2018
             Melbourne Showgrounds
     On display will be the latest in assistive technology, aids and equipment, as well as options for mobility,
 communication, travel services and lifestyle options. The Independent Living Expo is an event that welcomes
  all those involved in ensuring better outcomes for people with disability of all ages. The Expo is of interest for
everyone, whether a consumer, care giver, allied health practitioner, equipment funder or support organisation.

             For more information phone 1300 789 845 or
            visit www.atsaindependentlivingexpo.com.au

     Media Partner
JIMMY BARNES - disability magazine - Link Disability Magazine
news

     in the news
     jobs for people with mental health issues
     Mental health support provider          of roles in any organisation and
     Flourish Australia has hired 350        perform with distinction.”
     people with a lived experience of
     a mental health issue.                  Flourish Australia inclusion
                                             manager and NSW Deputy Mental
     The initiative, believed to be an       Health Commissioner Fay Jackson –
     Australian-first, follows three years   who lives with her own mental
     of targeted recruiting for a range      health issues – is hopeful the
     of positions, including executive       outcome will prompt employers
     management roles through to part-       across Australia to take on workers
     time support roles.                     with mental illness.

     Flourish Australia chief executive      “Our door is open for any
     officer Pamela Rutledge said the        employer who wants to see how
     result demonstrates that people         successful employing people with
     with a mental health issue have the     mental health issues can be,”
     skills, knowledge and experience        Ms Jackson said.
     to contribute to any workplace,
     despite often being neglected in        “We can show very quickly that
     the labour market.                      people with a mental health issue
                                             are as – if not more – productive
     “We’ve actively sought people with      than others, because they’re
     a lived experience to take up roles     hungry to prove themselves.
     with us and the response has been
     incredible,” Ms Rutledge said.          “A key is having the right
                                             workplace education, HR and           “Stable and meaningful
     “Given that we’re a not-for-profit      management strategies to boost        employment is vitally important for
     supporting people with mental           co-worker understanding of what       anyone on a recovery journey,”
     health issues, it’s appropriate that    living with a mental health issue     Dr Anderson said.
     people with a lived experience          means, and to provide a mentally
     should make up at least half of         healthy workplace for all staff.”     “Unemployment can be disastrous
     our workforce.                                                                and part of a downward mental
                                             Flourish Australia director and       health spiral, resulting in
     “We’re also showing that people         psychiatrist Dr Josey Anderson said   incalculable economic and social
     with a mental health issue can          stable employment was extremely       costs. A stable job gives all of
     fill positions across the spectrum      important to recovery when mental     us a sense of meaning, stability,
                                             health issues are in play.            participation and independence.”

06   news		                                                                                               linkonline.com.au
JIMMY BARNES - disability magazine - Link Disability Magazine
getting the ndis right                   environment is presenting major
                                         obstacles – from inadequate pricing
Australia’s peak body for disability     to systems that are not holding up in
service providers, National Disability   the rapid pace of implementation.”
Services, has released a paper
which details recommendations on         NDS’s recommendations include
the way forward for the National         proposals to improve participant
Disability Insurance Scheme.             planning and pricing; to strengthen
                                         the NDIS’s focus on employment;           governments to improve the NDIS.
The paper ‘How to get the NDIS on        and improve communication                 We have recommendations ready
track’ commends the NDIS as the          between all parties.                      to be heard and acted upon. The
right reform for Australia but warns                                               time to act is now.
that the scale and complexity of         “The NDIS cannot deliver on its
implementation is placing great          great promise to people with              “Disability service providers
pressure on stakeholders, including      disability and their families unless      campaigned for the NDIS
service providers.                       there is a strong and sustainable         alongside people with disability,
                                         disability services sector. That          their families and carers. Their
NDS Chief Executive Dr Ken Baker         sector is at risk,” said Dr Baker.        motive was to improve the life
said: “The commitment of the                                                       opportunities and wellbeing of
service sector to the NDIS has never     “NDS and the sector are ready             people with disability. That same
been in question. But the operating      to work with the NDIA and                 motive remains.”

tennis star named                        how we can all improve the lives of
as idpwd patron                          people with disability.”

Tennis champion Dylan Alcott             Mr Alcott, who is a dual
OAM has been named as this               Paralympian and recent addition
year’s patron for the International      to Triple J’s breakfast line-up, said
Day of People with Disability            he was particularly honoured to
(IDPwD), on December 3.                  be named as the 2017 Patron, as
                                         this year commemorates the 25th
The Assistant Minister for Disability    anniversary of the event.
Services Hon Jane Prentice MP said
Mr Alcott, also 2016 Paralympian         “I have always used my profile
of the Year, is a remarkable young       in the community to turn up the
Australian who exemplifies what          spotlight and volume on disability
IDPwD represents.                        issues and awareness in Australia
                                         and IDPwD provides a platform to
“His passion and positivity is           do this,” he said.                        “I want to encourage people of
infectious, making him an excellent                                                all abilities to be more aware,
choice to champion the rights of         “As the 2017 IDPwD Patron I am            increase their understanding and
people with disability and contribute    inviting you all to continue a national   be more accepting and inclusive of
to the national conversation about       conversation that talks about what        people with disability during their
                                         we can do to normalise disability.        everyday lives.”

linkonline.com.au                                                                                                     news   07
JIMMY BARNES - disability magazine - Link Disability Magazine
news

     all abilities play                      part of an international group
     space breaks                            developing standards for inclusive

     new ground                              playgrounds, designed the play
                                             space after intensive consultation
     A $4 million all abilities play         with local user groups.
     space is being constructed on the
     Nedlands Swan River foreshore           Features will include a sensory
     in Perth.                               walkway, flying fox, active climbing,
                                             decks and slide, active swinging,
     Six years in the making, the            accessible picnic areas, a community
     community-driven project at             garden and kitchen, an informal
     Beaton Park in Dalkeith will provide    sports and games area, exercise
     an innovative state-of-the-art play     equipment, ramps and relaxation         Nedlands Mayor Max Hipkins, left, Bella
                                                                                     Hopewell, Justin Lekias and Nedlands MLA
     facility for everyone – regardless of   areas, parking (including ACROD         Bill Marmion officially break the ground for
     age or ability.                         bays), accessible toilets and nature,   the All Abilities Play Space.
                                             music, sand and water play areas.
     The large-scale, purpose-designed                                               everyone, helping to build physical,
     project was initiated by the Rotary     City of Nedlands Mayor Max              psychological and social health,”
     Clubs of Nedlands, Subiaco              Hipkins said the All Abilities Play     Mr Hipkins said.
     and West Perth with the City of         Space would bring inclusive play to
     Nedlands providing the site and         the whole of Perth with everyone        Stage one of the development
     managing construction.                  using the same equipment.               began in March, focusing on most of
                                                                                     the play equipment and part of the
     Award-winning landscape                 “Research has shown the sheer           car park. The final stage is expected
     architect Fiona Robbé, who is           fun of playing is important for         to be completed by 2019.

     value of mental                         “This is the equivalent to the          aged under 25, with some as young

     health carers                           work of 173,000 full-time mental
                                             health support workers,” Professor
                                                                                     as eight,” Professor Whiteford said.

     exceeds $13 billion                     Whiteford said. “The dollar             Lead author Sandra Diminic
                                             value of this support far exceeds       said mental health carers faced
     Carers supporting Australians           current spending on mental health       challenges in accessing services to
     with mental illness are providing       services, which in 2014-2015 was        support their caring role.
     services that would cost                around $8.5 billion.”
     governments $13.2 billion to                                                    “Only a quarter of primary carers
     replace, according to a new report      The majority of Australia’s 240,000     receive Carer Payment, and two
     by the University of Queensland.        mental health carers were women,        thirds don’t receive any assistance
                                             and the biggest age group were          at all,” she said. “Carers are to a
     Professor Harvey Whiteford, from        those in their working years.           large extent the ‘hidden workforce’
     the Queensland Centre for Mental                                                in the Australian health system and
     Health Research, said mental            “The number of young people             this report sends a clear message –
     health carers provided 208 million      providing support to family members     we need to recognise, appropriately
     hours of care nationally in 2015.       was also concerning, with 15 per cent   train and support them.”

08   news		                                                                                                    linkonline.com.au
film festival to                                                                  “The stories range from the

showcase disability                                                               viewpoint of an artist losing his most
                                                                                  vital sense, to the experience of a
The 64th Sydney Film Festival, on                                                 queer teen with disability in a body-
June 7 to 18, will include an exciting                                            swapping sci-fi, and a tale of teenage
new platform for screen practitioners                                             love told by a filmmaker immobilised
with disability.                                                                  by motor neurone disease. These
                                                                                  films, made by those with lived
Developed in partnership with Screen                                              experience of disability, are boldly
NSW and the NSW Department of            A scene from Drumming is Like Thunder.
                                                                                  breathing new life into storytelling.”
Family and Community Services,
Screenability will showcase six          “These titles offer gripping insights    Screenability at the Sydney
cutting-edge works – features            and unique perspectives, with            Film Festival is part of a suite of
My Name is Emily and Pulse,              creatives with disability leading        initiatives by Screen NSW designed
documentary Lust for Sight, and          the narrative,” said Sydney Film         to boost the participation of
short films Drumming is Like Thunder,    Festival’s Screenability programmer      underrepresented groups in
Struck, and Milky Pop Kid – all by       Sofya Gollan.                            the screen industry. The focus
filmmakers with disability.                                                       of Screenability is to grow
                                         “The programming of films for            participation with a wide range of
Screenability is an international        Screenability has been an exciting       industry professionals, showcasing
program showcasing films by              process, revealing a depth of            films by filmmakers with disability
filmmakers with disability from          talent and professionalism, as           in a festival context.
France, New Zealand, Australia           well as startling, provocative, and
and the UK.                              authentic cinema.                        For details visit sff.org.au

new research                             “Researchers will present                “Our aim is to support teachers by
into autism                              the results of an Autism CRC             developing interventions that are
                                         nationwide online survey into how        easy to implement and will make a
The latest in Australian autism          Australian schools are meeting the       huge difference to a student with
research will be discussed at a series   needs of students with autism,” Dr       autism, but ultimately benefit the
of seminars to be held in Brisbane.      Ashburner said.                          whole class.”

Presented by Autism Queensland, in       “A team of researchers from QUT,         The Research to Practice series
collaboration with The Cooperative       Autism Queensland, Aspect, and           will be held at the Autism Hub &
Research Centre for Living with          Griffith University surveyed 1,468       Reading Centre. A The Research to
Autism (Autism CRC), the ‘Research       participants for the study, from         Practice series will be held at the
to Practice’ series will showcase        every state in Australia, making it      Autism Hub & Reading Centre, 141
the work of Australian clinicians,       the largest study of its kind.           Merton Rd, Woolloongabba on July
educators and researchers.                                                        21 and October 20.
                                         “Educators face the challenge
Autism Queensland’s manager,             of meeting the complex needs             Registration cost $185 per workshop,
research and development, Dr             of children with autism while            or $150 for parents and students. For
Jill Ashburner said the series will      maintaining an appropriate learning      more information call 07 3273 0000 or
explain the latest Autism CRC            environment for all students.            email learning@autismqld.com.au
research on improving educational
outcomes for students with autism.

linkonline.com.au                                                                                                   news   09
news

     countdown to
     wheelchair rugby champs

     The former governor of New South
     Wales, His Excellency General The
     Honourable David Hurley AC DSC,
     has been named as the patron of
     the 2018 Wheelchair Rugby World
     Championships, to be held in
     Sydney in August 2018.

     “Seeing the joy that this very            Organisers also announced GIO          their vision to enrich the lives of
     physical sport offers to our veterans     as the naming right sponsor of the     people with a disability through
     whose injuries through service            event, which will be the largest       participation in sport.”
     to their nation resulted in them          disability sporting event held in
     requiring the use of a wheelchair is      Australia since the Sydney 2000        DSA chief executive Ms Jeni Cole
     inspiring,” Governor Hurley said.         Paralympics.                           said partnerships with the Australian
                                                                                      Rugby Union and the support of the
     “As Patron, I am looking forward          GIO spokesperson Mr Matthew            Department of Defence had assisted
     to fast and furious games of              Kayrooz said “sport is an important    in DSA’s successful bid to bring
     strength, skill and speed, as the         part in the wellbeing of all of        the GIO 2018 IWRF Wheelchair
     11 international teams battle it out      our lives, and for people with a       Rugby World Championship to
     against our champion Australian           disability it is no different”.        Sydney, and the announcement of
     Steelers. I welcome the world to                                                 Governor Hurley’s patronage further
     play in our city of Sydney, whose         “We are very proud of our ongoing      exemplified the significance of the
     Paralympics brought wheelchair            partnership with Disability Sports     event.
     rugby to the world.”                      Australia (DSA), and fully support

     better access                             Symbol will be found on the
     for sydney                                home page of 12 leading cultural
                                               organisations in the City of Sydney.
     Accessing Sydney Collectively is a
     new campaign designed to enable           Launched by the Disability
     greater access to the arts and            Discrimination Commissioner Mr         Inaugural participating
     cultural life of the City of Sydney,      Alastair McEwin at the Sydney          organisations include: Sydney
     removing barriers online for people       Theatre Company Bar in March, the      Theatre Company, City Recital Hall,
     with disability through just one click.   world-first initiative also includes   Maritime Museum, Museum of
                                               a free pocket guide that lists the     Contemporary Art, Belvoir, Sydney
     The campaign includes a new               participating organisations and        Festival, Sydney Writers' Festival,
     Access Symbol that supports               directs visitors with disability to    Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney Film
     improved online access awareness,         current access programs and            Festival, Carriageworks, Australian
     connectivity and navigation for           initiatives using the campaign short   Museum and State Library of NSW.
     people with disability. The Access        URL, ASYD.CO and braille.              www.asyd.co

10   news		                                                                                                 linkonline.com.au
IN DISABILITY SERVICES
  JOIN THE UNIQUE, DIVERSE AND DYNAMIC PROFESSION OF
  DEVELOPMENTAL EDUCATION.
  • Graduates are recognised by the                   • Study online or face-to-face.
    Developmental Educators Inc (DEAI) to
    practice as a Developmental Educator.             • Developmental Educators are recognised by the
                                                        National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) as
  • Our rehabilitation counselling program is fully     professionals with disability specific expertise who
    accredited by the Australian Society of             can provide services under the NDIS.
    Rehabilitation Counsellors and Rehabilitation
    Counselling Association of Australasia.           • Entry pathways available for students with
                                                        Certificate IV or Diploma.
                                                                                                                   CRICOS No. 00114A

 LEARN MORE: FLINDERS.EDU.AU/COURSES/UNDERGRAD/BDCR
linkonline.com.au                                                                             section title   11
products & services

     products
     & services

     everyone can play                        telling your story                      getting mobile
     The All Play app and website aims        NGO Communications is a new             The Tecla-e is a cloud connected
     to encourage kids of all abilities       consultancy that aims to help           assistive technology device that
     to get involved in AFL and sport in      not-for-profit and NGOs as              provides users with control of
     general. It’s based on the premise       they navigate an increasingly           their devices and environment.
     that when everyone can’t play it’s       competitive funding environment.
     because of the attitudes of those                                                The brainchild of Canadian
     involved and the structures and          Head of Communications, Benjamin        business Komodo OpenLab, Tecla
     systems in place, not because of         Graham, said the key to the             is for anyone who can’t easily use
     the abilities of kids. AllPlay targets   sustainability of NGOs is the quality   a smartphone, tablet or computer,
     these attitudes, structures and          communication of what they can          including those with limited upper-
     systems so that everyone can play        offer. “The long-term success of        body mobility resulting from spinal
     and truly be part of the community.      an organisation rests on its ability    cord injuries, multiple sclerosis,
                                              to define its point of difference, to   ALS, muscular dystrophy, cerebral
     A joint initiative between the           develop its brand, and to tell that     palsy, brain injuries, or stroke.
     Deakin Child Study Centre at             brand’s story with conviction and
     Deakin University and the AFL,           purpose so it stands out from the       Tecla connects to accessibility
     it contains practical tips and           crowd,” he said.                        switches (buttons, sip and puff)
     strategies for coaches, parents and                                              or wheelchairs and allows an
     players, including special sections      “Being able to clearly communicate      individual to then wirelessly
     for specific disabilities such as        how you are best placed to service      interact with their iOS or Android
     autism. It can be downloaded from        your client base is the difference      devices, computer, internet-
     the AppStore or GooglePlay.              between success and failure,” he        enabled appliances hands-free.
                                              said.
     allplay.org.au                                                                   gettecla.com
                                              ngocommunications.com.au

12   products                                                                                                linkonline.com.au
Mr Chappel says requesting a carer is    than 30 supported employees in
                                         simply a matter of pressing a button     Fire & Clay’s Lilydale factory, and
                                         in the app on your smartphone and        then sold in selected Mitre 10
                                         waiting for an offer from a nearby       stores across Victoria and Tasmania.
                                         carer to appear within minutes. That
                                         response will include the carer’s        “This is the first time Fire & Clay
                                         name, photo, star rating, charge rate    products have been stocked by
                                         and estimated time of arrival.           a large commercial enterprise,”
                                                                                  says Reeni Ekanayake from Wesley
                                         ubercare.com                             Mission Victoria. “This means Wesley
                                                                                  can continue to grow employees’
care on demand                                                                    confidence, skills and sense of
                                                                                  personal value for years to come
A new mobile app that enables                                                     through stability of product demand.
people to access affordable,
in-home care services on demand                                                   “For Fire & Clay employees, this
from qualified care workers has                                                   is a very proud moment and an
been launched in South Australia.                                                 opportunity to showcase their
                                                                                  quality, hand-crafted pottery
In a world-first, Ubercare allows                                                 pieces to the wider community
people to find carers at short notice                                             for purchase, and to educate
in a similar way to how people can                                                the community that people with
order food or request immediate          stick it                                 intellectual, neurological and
transport through their smartphones.                                              physical disabilities can and should
                                         Fire & Clay’s new herb sticks not        be able to participate in life and
“If you or a family member need          only look great in the garden, they’re   reach their full potential.”
urgent care or assistance, Ubercare      made by supported employees from
can link you with a qualified, insured   Wesley Mission Victoria’s social         Visit the website to find Mitre 10
and police checked carer who will        enterprise, Fire & Clay.                 stores that stock the herb sticks.
provide affordable personal care
when and where you need it,” says        The ceramic sticks are crafted,          wesley.org.au
creator Simon Chappel.                   shaped, painted and glazed by more

linkonline.com.au                                                                                                products   13
contributions

     everyone
     has
     disability                                     the same all of the time. People’s
                                                    needs are fluid – and among many
                                                                                                          something permanent or ongoing.
                                                                                                          Disability can be the result of
     Accessible design isn’t just                   things, they can vary depending                       illness, environment or an activity.
     designing for a minority group                 on each person’s surroundings,
     who identify as having a                       activities or illnesses. A user                       Temporary state: Light sensitive
     permanent ongoing impairment.                  may be able to perform a task or                      migraine. Disability = Vision
     Accessibility is about designing               perceive information in a certain                     impairment, as unable to look
     for diverse user needs and it                  way in one context, but not be                        at a screen.
     benefits everyone, because                     able to in another. To illustrate this
     everyone has disability, writes                point, here are some examples:                        Temporary state: Broken arm.
     Heidi Laidler.                                                                                       Disability = Mobility impairment
                                                    Situation: Using your mobile                          as must rely on only one arm.
     With the increased awareness                   phone while in the sun at the
     around user experience, most newly-            beach. Disability = Reduced colour                    Temporary state: Ear infection.
     developed products, apps and                   vision due to sun glare.                              Disability = Reduced hearing or
     websites undergo usability testing                                                                   hearing loss.
     throughout the design process. Yet,            Situation: Making a phone call
     there is a significant limitation to           while driving. Disability = Vision                    Designing for accessibility allows
     this testing, if it’s not done across a        impairment as you must pay                            users to overcome these contextual
     diverse range of people.                       attention to your surroundings and                    and temporary limitations through
                                                    cannot look at your phone.                            allowing them to interact with
     Generally, usability testing is                Disability = Mobility impairment, as                  products, applications and websites
     conducted in a testing environment             you must use both hands to drive                      in flexible ways.
     – usually a small, quiet space with            and cannot touch your phone.
     chairs and maybe a desk. Each user                                                                   For helpful advice and information
     is able to focus on performing the             Situation: Using your phone while                     on how to ensure that your online
     required tasks without contextual              standing on a busy bus or train.                      apps and digital communications
     variables – and in this environment,           Disability = Mobility impairment,                     are accessible to people of all
     the needs of users are fixed.                  as one arm is required to hold on                     abilities, visit mediaaccess.org.au ,
                                                    to keep balance.                                      an organisation dedicated to web
     However, outside of testing                                                                          and digital access for those with a
     environments, user needs are not               And here are some examples of                         disability.
     fixed, they’re not the same for                temporary disabilities – which
     every person, they’re not the same             serve to demonstrate that the term                    Heidi Laidler is a former User Experience
     in every context, and they’re not              ‘disability’ doesn’t always refer to                  Designer with Media Access Australia.

       Send your letters and contributions to Link Editor, Inprint         By contributing a letter you authorise Link to publish it in the magazine or
       Design, 1B Laffer Drive, Bedford Park SA 5042 or email it to        www.linkonline.com.au. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. All published
       editor@linkonline.com.au.                                           contributions earn the author a free copy of the magazine, containing the letter (or
                                                                           current subscribers may specify that they would prefer their free magazine as an
       Please include your postal address (not for publication). Letters   extension of their current subscription), provided a postal address is included with
       should be a maximum of 200 words and may be edited for              the original letter. Your name, suburb and state will be published with your letter
       brevity and clarity.                                                unless you specify otherwise.

14   contributions                                                                                                                          linkonline.com.au
Why choose Minda?
                                                                                        One-stop-shop for advice,
                                                                                        consultancy, advocacy and
                                                                                        services
                                                                                        Wide range of support and
                                                                                        service options
                                                                                        Services tailored
                                                                                        to the individual
                                                                                        Qualified staff

                                                               ability
                                               People with dis
                                                                                        High standards of
                                                                                        service excellence

                                                                  es
                                                 and their famili
                                                                                        Over 100 years’ experience

                                                                r t of
                                                are at the hea
                                                                                    We can help you
                                                                                    understand the
                                                                  do
                                                  everything we
                                                                                    NDIS and...
                                                                                        Plan for your future
                                                                                        Guide you through the
                                                                                        application process
                                                                                        Identify what
                                                                                        you’re eligible for
                                        Free Call 1800 164 632                          Find support and
                                                                                        services to suit you
                                        King George Avenue, North Brighton SA
                                        Shop 3, 53-57 Elizabeth Way, Elizabeth SA       Prepare you for your
                                                                                        NDIS planning meeting
                                        Email disability.choices@minda.asn.au
                                                                                        Help you track and meet key
     NDIS Registered Provider           mindainc.com.au                                 goals and milestones

                                                                                    Newly renovated
                                                                                    throughout, Dunsford
                                                                                    House offers totally
                                                                                    access-friendly
                                                                                    accommodation for
                                                                                    families and individuals
                                                                                    with high needs.
                                                                                    ü Five bedroom property
                                                                                    ü Sleeps 11 people
                                                                                    ü Hospital bed and lifter
                                                                                    ü Spacious family
                                                                                      dining room
                                                                                    ü Large games room
                                                                                    ü New kitchen

   DUNSFORD HOUSE
                                                                                    ü Wide door openings
                                                                                    ü Disability friendly bathrooms
                                                                                    ü Access railings
   ACCESS-FRIENDLY HOLIDAY ACCOMMODATION                                              and ramps
                                                                                    ü Outdoor area for
   PORT ELLIOTT, SOUTH AUSTRALIA                                                      entertaining
   BOOK NOW | T 08 8422 6213 | F 08 8422 6200 | duty.office@minda.asn.au            ü Close to the towns of
                                                                                      Port Elliott, Victor Harbor,
   mindainc.com.au/dunsfordhouse                                                      Middleton and Goolwa

linkonline.com.au                                                                                              advertising   15
people

     shredding the
     scene for australia
     Joany Badenhorst is an Australian
     para-athlete with incredible
     ability, currently ranked the World
     Number One in Snowboard Cross
     for LL-2 Women.

     The South African-born 22-year-
     old moved to Australia in 2009,
     following a farm accident in 2005
     that resulted in her becoming a
     lower limb amputee.

     “The accident was incredibly
     traumatic,” Joany told Link
     Magazine, “it left ten-year-
     old me with a lot of questions,
     responsibilities, and decisions.

     “I came out of it the way I did       “The sports of snowboarding
     because of the type of family I had   and track training are similar on a
     supporting me; amazing doesn’t        physical fitness level,” she said.
     do justice to who my parents are
     and how they raised me.               “However, the skills required
                                           specifically for snowboarding
     “I have a number of spectacular       couldn’t be more different;
     people in my life, strong women       snowboarding encompasses
     like my mother who forged a way       endurance, strength, explosive        high heels, squatting and doing
     forward for me in my sport, in        power and technical racing.”          high kicks, all to prove to him that
     society, and in everyday life.”                                             I was not a hazard to myself, or
                                           In an odd twist, it wasn’t until      anyone else.
     Joany didn’t initially see herself    Joany was trialling a high-heeled
     as a snowboarder, with early          prosthetic leg, for her Year 12       “While I was making a fool of
     efforts as a para-athlete being       Formal, that the winter sport         myself, the Australian Paralympic
     funnelled into track and field.       became an option.                     Snowboard coach was watching,
     She’d been identified as a track                                            while one of this other athletes was
     and field athlete with Paralympic     “I had to convince my prosthetist     being treated.
     potential, and narrowly missed        that I was capable of managing
     out on selection for the London       the high-heeled prosthetic leg, so    “The coach called me a couple of
     Paralympic Games.                     I was running around the clinic in    days later and said; ‘you are female

16   people                                                                                            linkonline.com.au
I have a number of spectacular
    people in my life, strong women                             Are you a South Australian
    like my mother who forged a way                           employer looking to increase
    forward for me in my sport, in                           diversity in your workplace with
    society, and in everyday life.
                                                                committed employees?

and have one leg - do you want to snowboard?’ I
quit my job and moved down to Jindabyne near the
Snowy Mountains the next winter.”

Joany experienced success early in her transition to
the sport when she qualified as Australia’s first female
snowboarder for the Sochi Winter Paralympics in 2014.

But a dislocated knee in a training run would stall her
success, until 2015 when Joany won silver medals in
the Para-snowboard World Cups in Aspen, America,
and Big White, Canada.

More recently, Joany’s conquests have continued,
when she placed second in two events at the 2017
Test Event in Pyeongchang, ahead of the South              We can assist you to find the right
Korea Winter Paralympics in 2018.
                                                             person quickly and efficiently,
Receiving the two silver medals was a career
                                                             as South Australia’s only Deaf
highlight for Joany, whose placings now rank her            and hearing impaired specialist
number one in the world for her category.                   employment service provider.

Ever the athlete, Joany hasn’t let recent successes              Our services are FREE
and achievements distract her from her goals.
                                                           Offering continued ongoing support
“For the last three years my long-term goal has               for employers and employees.
always been to compete at the Korea Winter
Paralympics Games in 2018,” she said.                       Employer incentives are available.

“I have strict training goals leading into the games                P 08 8464 0782
to ensure that I am able to put my best foot forward         E info@youremployment.org.au
for myself, and for Australia.”
                                                              youremployment.org.au
With less than a year until the games, Joany
Badenhorst will be one to watch when the Winter
Paralympic Games begin in Pyeongchang, South
Korea, from March 9, 2018.

linkonline.com.au                                                                               people   17
18
19
interview

                             family
                               ties

20   interview                   linkonline.com.au
jimmy
                                                        I was fortunate enough to see
                                                        your book tour show last year
                                                        where you discussed some very
                                                                                               born 14 weeks prematurely?
                                                                                               When Elly was born she was so
                                                                                               tiny and beautiful. I held her in
                                                        personal stories. Was writing the
                            Jimmy Barnes is                                                    the palm of my hand and bathed
                                                        book and the tour a therapeutic        her in a kidney dish. We sat with
                            Australian rock and
                                                        way to deal with some of your past     her and sang to her for most of
                            roll royalty. Having        experiences?                           the day. I would put my hand into
                            migrated to South           Writing this book set me free in       the humidicrib and touch her face
                            Australia from Scotland     a lot of ways. There were many         and whisper that we needed her
                            in the 1960s, Jimmy         very deep personal things in the       to fight because her family was
                            soon became Australia's     book that hadn’t seen the light of     all waiting for her to come home.

                            own 'Working Class          day since I was a child. It brought    From day one there was no way
                                                        back a lot of sad and very dark        we were going to let go of her.
                            Man', racking up a
                                                        memories, which were hard to deal      She was meant to be with us and
                            string of hits, both with
                                                        with, but needed to be dealt with,     we were meant to be with her.
                            iconic band Cold Chisel     so in that sense it was good. It       When we found out that she had
                            and as a solo artist, and   also brought back memories that        cerebral palsy it was just one more
                            was renowned for his        took me back to the innocence of       thing to fight. She would still be
                            wild live performances.     childhood; the good things that        with us and we would still love
                                                        got me through this life. The love     her regardless of anything. Elly-
                            He recently told of         myself and my brothers and sisters     May was an angel sent to us and

                            his dysfunctional and       shared, how lucky we were to have      we were blessed to be with her.
                                                        each other. I feel blessed to have     Nothing could change that.
                            violent childhood in the
                                                        had the chance to write this down
                            autobiography Working
                                                        and share it with people.              As someone who has cerebral
                            Class Boy, and explained                                           palsy I appreciate the strength and
                            how music provided          What are some of your favourite        courage of my family to literally
                            him with an opportunity     memories from the Cold Chisel days?    stand up and speak for me when
                            to escape poverty and       There are so many memories from        I could not. What were some of
                            create a better future.     the Cold Chisel days. I was a child    the challenges or obstacles your
                                                                                               daughter may have faced when
                            As the father of five       when I joined the band. I learned
                                                        about life, about friendship and       growing up?
                            adult children, including
                                                        about love. Not to mention how to      Our baby went through thousands
                            entertainer David           fight for what you believe in. Cold    of tests. People poking her, jabbing
                            Campbell, and a doting      Chisel always had a strong belief in   her, stretching her beyond where
                            grandad, Jimmy Barnes       themselves, and we fought to make      she could go. And we went through
                            is now very much the        our way through this tough business    it with her. If she could be so strong
                            family man.                 that is the music industry. I toured   and fight so hard, what could we do
                                                        the world and I met the love of my     but fight with her and cry with her
                            Link entertainment          life, Jane. The band helped me         and laugh with her. Every challenge
Photo by Stephanie Barnes

                                                        achieve everything.                    she was faced with, she bravely met
                            journalist Marlena
                                                                                               it. Sometimes I really didn’t know
                            Katene spoke to Jimmy
                                                        Your youngest daughter Elly-May        where she got the strength, but she
                            and his youngest            has cerebral palsy. Can you share      did. She has inspired me to be a
                            daughter, Elly-May,         a little about what it was like        better person and shown me what it
                            who has cerebral palsy.     getting that news after she was        is to really fight.

                            linkonline.com.au                                                                                interview   21
interview

     How did you as a father
     encourage, support and embrace
     each child in the family to become
                                             We all do the best we can during
                                             any stages of our lives but do you
                                             have any regrets as a father?
                                                                                       el ly-may
                                                                                       What it was like growing up in
                                                                                       a house full of music?
                                                                                       I guess I don’t have anything to
     the best they could be?                 I have a lot of regrets. Could I have     compare it to but I do feel very
     If a child feels loved and feels        done this? Could I have done that?        lucky to have been exposed to so
     safe they will go on to be the best     But as I have grown older I have          much different music throughout
     they can be. I have tried to give       learned that every mistake I have         my life. Everyone in my family is
     them that love and courage to           made is an opportunity to learn. I        musical, but everyone kind of likes
     face what comes. You give your          don’t look back and let mistakes          different styles.
     children the tools to grow up but       drag me down. I would rather look
     what they choose to do with them        forward and see what is coming            Aside from having your father’s
     is up to them. They make mistakes       and think about how I can make            music in your life, who were some
     and they make the right decisions.      the right choices and make the            other musical influences growing
     All a parent can do is be there to      right decisions. Looking back at my       up in the Barnes’ house?
     encourage them and to offer them        mistakes is a waste of time unless I      As I said, we all kind of like
     help and love when they need it.        can learn from what I see.                different music. Dad likes a bit of
                                                                                       everything and I have been very
     Having a family member with             You are a grandfather now.                influenced by his taste in music. As
     a disability can sometimes be           How has that changed you?                 a kid I really loved Michael Jackson
     a juggling act especially in the        Being a grandparent is great.             and as I’ve gotten older I’ve
     younger years. How did you              I remember when we first had              listened to a lot of Beatles, Rolling
     manage these things while being         children we would be worried about        Stones, Neil Young, Bob Dylan (my
     Jimmy Barnes the rock icon? Who         everything. Oh my god, she coughed        baby boy is named Dylan), Blondie,
     were some of the people along the       or he’s fallen over and cut his head.     Divinyls and David Bowie.
     way that helped in this journey?        Now as grandparents you are a
     Elly-May was so incredible as a         little more calm. Yes, we can fix that    When I was a teenager I was often
     child. We knew she was fighting to      cough, let’s go to the doctor. He         told to ‘Turn my music down’. I
     get on top of her disability but she    needs stiches but he will survive. That   could imagine it may have been
     tried so hard and worked so hard        myth about it being so great because      different in your house. Am I right?
     to get by that most people didn’t       you can give them back is untrue. We      I used to close my bedroom door
     even notice she was disabled. We        never want to give them back.             and sing at the top of my lungs
     treated her with respect, as we                                                   because I thought no-one could
     did all our children, and she led a     What is in store for you say in the       hear me with the door closed.
     normal life. She struggled with pain    next 5, 10 or 20 years?                   No-one ever told me to turn it
     and surgery and having to wear          I’m happy being a grandparent             down though I think my Silverchair
     casts on her legs but the whole         and I want to be as involved as I         phase wasn’t for everybody!
     family struggled with her. Her          am needed. I love singing and will
     brother and sisters were with her all   continue to write songs and sing as       You have cerebral palsy but it
     the way. We spent a lot of days at      long as people are interested. I am       hasn’t stopped you from striving
     the rehab centre at the Westmead        loving writing books and I can see        towards achieving goals in your
     Children’s Hospital and had help        myself doing more of that. I even         life. What advice would you give
     from so many incredible people          have a few ideas for some fiction         young people with disabilities to
     there – doctors, nurses and parents     on the backburner.                        get out there and begin to dream
     of other children going through the                                               or work at their goals?
     same struggles as Elly. We never                                                  I feel like having something like
     felt alone.                                                                       a disability can just make you a

22   interview                                                                                                linkonline.com.au
[Elly-May] has inspired
    me to be a better
    person and shown me
    what it is to really fight.

stronger person. A fighter. I know
it can be hard sometimes but you
have to believe in yourself and
work towards your dreams because
whilst we may have some physical
limitations, our ability to dream is still
very much intact, as is our strength,
strength that no one else can know
about because they haven’t gone
through what we have gone through.
Do not let your disability define you
for the rest of your life. Dream big,
be brave, work hard and be kind. Try
not to be too hard on yourself if it
doesn’t work out straight away. Find
your own unique way of achieving               Photo courtesy of Elly-May Barnes
your goals because everyone is
different and there are many ways to         my life but over the years I’ve made      my limits and he has made me cry
do everything.                               some really wonderful friends who         a few times but he makes me smile
                                             have just been so amazing. There are      every day and I am so lucky to have
Growing up with a disability I had           too many people to name. One of           my baby. I lived a much more self-
many appointments. Your father               my amazing friends is actually staying    centred life before Dylan came along.
often was on the road performing             with me now, helping me while I           I am a better person because of him.
and could not physically be present          recover from a minor procedure.
at times. What was this like?                                                          What is something you would
My father may not have been able             How has becoming a mother                 love to achieve that you have
to make a lot of my appointments             changed you as a person?                  not as of yet?
but I have always been supported             I was afraid that my disability would     I think there’s always something to
and loved. I am very lucky in this           really affect my parenting but there      work towards. I am about to start
way. I have a very big and loving            have only really been a few times         recording my first album which is
family. My dad’s sense of humour             where I’ve struggled, as I’m sure is      so exciting. I can’t wait to have that
has also really helped me get                the case with many new parents. I         finished and ready to put out in to
through a lot. Sometimes you just            think being a mother is one of the        the world.
have to laugh.                               best things I have achieved in my
                                             life. When I fell pregnant I thought it   Jimmy Barnes’ new children’s
Who else (aside from family) were            would be too much for my body to          book, Och Aye the G’Nu, and
some of the instrumental people              handle but now I have this amazing        the companion CD featuring
in your life that supported you              little person and he’s clever and         The Wiggles through ABC Music
especially in the younger years?             sweet and I’ve never loved anyone         are out now. For details see:
My family are the main support in            so much in my life. He pushes me to       jimmybarnes.com .

linkonline.com.au                                                                                                   interview   23
car conversions
          & equipment

     challenges worth the effort
     Getting your learner’s permit is        Despite Nick’s fierce willpower,          “But, more than that, I find that the
     challenging for all new drivers,        he said that the process of going         order of tasks can be hard. Driving
     but even more so if you have to         for his licence had been more             is all about processes, knowing
     face additional tests before you        challenging than he expected.             what comes next, and executing
     can take to the road.                                                             that. I can do all the things, but
                                             “Initially it was very simple – I spoke   part of my disability means that
     Nick Schumi, 31, from Adelaide,         to my GP, and I did some very basic       putting that together in the right
     recently achieved this goal and is      reflex tests, and got referred for        order can be challenging.”
     working toward a Provisional license.   more testing at a hospital.
                                                                                       As part of gaining his learner’s
     “It was really important to me to get   “And I did the L’s theory test, which     permit Nick had to spend time in a
     my driver’s licence,” Nick told Link.   is the same test that all drivers have    car with an occupational therapist
                                             to take and really just required a bit    to try out different modifications
     “I’m really determined because I        of learning about the road rules.”        to figure out what would work best
     know the difference it’ll make in my                                              for him.
     life to have more independence          Learning to drive using hand
     and to get to commitments without       controls has also come with its           “I imagine that process is different
     relying on other people, or access      own challenges.                           for everyone, but for me, my mods
     cabs.”                                                                            are quite generic,” he said.
                                             “If I have to brake or accelerate,
     Nick has cerebral palsy, and is a       steer, and indicate all at the same       “And the time on your L’s for me
     wheelchair user, and is determined      time, that is a lot for my hands to       is quite different to that of other
     to drive independently.                 be doing,” Nick said.                     drivers – they might be learning
                                                                                       about road rules and how to drive,
                                                                                       but I had all of that, and also
                                                                                       testing different modified vehicles
                                                                                       or instructors and trying to find
                                                                                       what suited my needs.

                                                                                       “One thing I learnt is how
                                                                                       important it is to have access to a
                                                                                       car with the mods you need.

                                                                                       “Initially I thought I’d have to do
                                                                                       all of my hours (in South Australia
                                                                                       learner drivers are required to log 75
                                                                                       hours driving with a qualified driver
                                                                                       before they can go for the next stage
                                                                                       of their license) in an instructor’s car,
                                                                                       paying by the hour to use their car
                                                                                       and have them drive with me.

24   car conversions & equipment                                                                                linkonline.com.au
I’m really determined              many examples in my life of people
                                      like me driving”.
                                                                                        car conversions
   because I know the                                                                            and equipment
   difference it’ll make in
                                      “And there is was some stigma
   my life to have more               too, associated with people with a
   independence...                    disability driving.

“But I can actually drive my own      “In the early stages of driving, I also   “It’s hard because, as far as
modified vehicle, or one that I       had a police officer pull me over         Disability SA are concerned, there
have access to, and any driving       and look at the modifications in my       isn’t anything wrong with my current
instructor or qualified driver can    car, and he said in a demeaning           wheelchair, and so there is no
take me for a lesson, it doesn’t      tone ‘what’s all this then?’ as if he’d   reason to provide a new one, so that
have to be someone who has            never seen a modified car before.”        will be another challenge,” he said.
special experience with people
with a disability.”                   The next step for Nick is to gain his     “But, if there is anyone thinking
                                      provisional licence – though to do        about this as an option for them,
Before gaining his learner’s permit   this he requires a lighter wheelchair     I would say go for it. Get on to it
Nick said he wasn’t even sure         so that once he has transferred           early, start the testing process,
whether it would be possible for      into the driver’s seat he can lift his    because it does take a while, but
him to drive, as “there weren’t       wheelchair into the car.                  the independence is worth it.”

linkonline.com.au                                                                          car conversions & equipment   25
car conversions
           & equipment

     can you drive?
     The process of getting your licence      According to Kate, there are two
     if you have a disability can be a        main type of modifications –
     long one. Link Magazine spoke to         Access Mods; which help people
     occupational therapist Kate Walker       with a disability get into and out of
     about her experiences assessing          a car; such as ramps, sliders, and
     potential drivers.                       wheelchair storage, and Driving
                                              Mods; which are mods people
     “The first thing that happens is a       need in order to drive the car.
     person goes to their GP to find
     out if they are fit for assessment,”     “This includes hand controls, for
     Kate said. “There is a book called       people unable to use their lower         “It tends to happen more for
     ‘Assessing Fitness to Drive’ that sets   limbs, left foot accelerators for        people who have been driving, but
     out minimum standards for driving,       people who have an injured or            now have a medical condition that
     and GPs, specialists and occupational    missing right leg, or panoramic          impacts on their ability to drive,
     therapists (OTs) use this.               mirrors for people with poor neck        such as advancing dementia or
                                              movement.”                               visual neglect. It can be hard to do
     “Once a person is referred to me,                                                 cancellations, but if I can keep others
     I generally contact the Roads and        For Kate, being a Driving Assessor       on the road safe, that is generally
     Maritime Services Medical Unit to        meant acquiring some additional          how I justify the decisions I’m making.
     confirm the person has a Learners        knowledge and training.
     Licence, or I can’t take them out on                                              “And I’ll always discuss alternative
     the road.”                               “To be an assessor you have to           transport options with clients,
                                              have been a qualified OT for at          and generally call their GP to let
     Kate, who runs Upshot                    least two years, be registered           them know the outcome of the
     Occupational Therapy in New              with the Australian Health               assessment, and encourage the
     South Wales, said initially she          Practitioner Regulation Authority        client to link back in with their GP.”
     doesn’t discuss modifications, and       and have completed a post-grad
     uses a more general assessment.          qualification for specialist driving     For people considering going
                                              assessment,” she said.                   through the Driver Assessment
     “I always see the person for an                                                   process, Kate had some advice.
     off-road assessment first. During        Kate said that part of her job is
     this I am clinically assessing the       also, at times, cancelling or not-       “I would urge people to speak
     client in three main areas– vision,      allowing a person’s licence.             to their regular doctor in the first
     biomechanics and cognitive thinking.                                              instance, and then go for it – and
                                              “The main reason to do a                 if you’re with the NDIS, ask for
     “This takes around two hours,            cancellation is if we have a ‘critical   funding to assist you in reaching
     and then I take them on the road         incident’ on the road, which means       this goal.”
     for an hour in my Rehab Driving          that the Driving Instructor has to
     Instructor’s car and assess how they     intervene by braking or steering to      Processes and regulations vary
     drive, and only then do we start         prevent an accident,” she said.          from state to state so talk to your
     experimenting with modifications                                                  GP or occupational therapist to
     the person may require.”                                                          find out more.

26   car conversions & equipment                                                                               linkonline.com.au
linkonline.com.au   car conversions
                                 mobility
                                    & equipment
                                          feature   27
car conversions
          & equipment

     research the key
     to car conversions                                                                With some converted
                                                                                       vehicles the wheelchair
                                                                                       may sit above the
     Buying a wheelchair accessible           Of course comfort is another             standard seats meaning
     vehicle is a big investment so it pays   important factor to consider – both      the occupant will have
     to do your research in advance. Link     for the driver and passengers.”
                                                                                       less headroom.
     asked Nick Kotsonis from Norden
     Conversion for his advice.               Nick said the amount of headroom
                                              available for the wheelchair          families who wanted a smaller
     “The most important thing to             occupant was another important        vehicle that still drives like a
     consider when purchasing a               consideration.                        car, but has the capacity to be
     wheelchair accessible vehicle is                                               converted for wheelchair access.
     making sure you end up with a            “With some converted vehicles
     product that meets your needs –          the wheelchair may sit above          “The vehicle is fully compliant with
     both now and in the future,”             the standard seats meaning the        all Australian Design Rules and
     says Nick.                               occupant will have less headroom.     comes with the option for electric
                                                                                    or standard wheelchair restraint
     “Firstly, consider the height of the     “Consider also storage options.       systems. It is also designed to
     vehicle as many converted vehicles       As the rear of a modified vehicle     accommodate most manual and
     will be unsuitable for standard          is typically occupied with a ramp     automatic wheelchairs.“
     underground carparks or garages.         and wheelchair occupant, are there
                                              alternative storage locations?”       The conversion comes standard with
     “Next think about the size of your                                             a modified tailgate and automatic
     family – how many people you will        Nick said the Norden Converted        suspension lowering system, which
     and could transport if needed.           Caddy is an ideal option for          lowers the ramp gradient making
                                                                                    it easier to get in and out of the
                                                                                    vehicle. There are manual and
                                                                                    automatic ramps available.

                                                                                    Established in 1959 and a market
                                                                                    leader in vehicle conversions for
                                                                                    nearly 30 years, Norden Conversion
                                                                                    has traditionally specialised in
                                                                                    disability transport for large
                                                                                    community groups and organisations
                                                                                    by utilising larger vehicles.

                                                                                    “Through the changing needs and
                                                                                    preferences of our customers we
                                                                                    have added smaller vehicles to
                                                                                    our list of competencies so we can
                                                                                    develop vehicles that are tailored
                                                                                    to individuals and families.”

28   car conversions & equipment                                                                            linkonline.com.au
You can also read