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Creative Creative by linxiaoqin


									TADJOURNAL                           Summer 2011 Vol 31 No 1


                                                                                                                   Camera mount
                                                                                                                   Sewing caddy
                                                                                                                   Horse-drawn pleasure
                                                                                                                   iPad mount
                                                                                                                   Happy riding
                                                                                                                                        TAD JOURNAL VOL. 31 NO. 1   
Official journal of TADNSW funded by a grant from Ageing, Disability and Home Care, Department of Human Services NSW Print Post Approved: PP244 099/00021 ISSN 0725.2919
            About TADNSW
Custom Designed Aids                                                                      FREEDOM WHEELS                            Volunteers

                                               Computer Support Service

            WhAT Is TAD?                                 Computer Support Service                    ageing. There is no means test, and a
            Technical Aid to the Disabled (TAD) was      Refurbishes and customises donated          referral is not always necessary.
            initiated in 1973 by George Winston AM,      computers, supplies them to clients
                                                                                                     Clients are charged for costs and
            an electrical engineer, and formally         and supports clients in their use.
                                                                                                     materials for custom-designed
            established in 1975. George recognised       FREEDOM WHEELS®                             equipment, and a small purchase fee
            that customised devices could assist         Modified Bike Service                       for computers. Our volunteers donate
            people with disabilities to maximise         Modifies bicycles to enable children        their skills and labour.
            their opportunities and live their lives     with disabilities to ride them.
            more fully and independently.                                                            WOulD YOu lIKE TO hElp?
                                                         George Winston                              You can help TADNSW by becoming a
            Thirty-five years later, TAD organisations   Communication Service                       volunteer. You can construct aids for
            operate in all states of Australia and
                                                         Communicates “the TAD story” and            clients, refurbish computers, or provide
            the ACT. They coordinate the work of
                                                         supports services and fundraising by        support for administration, management,
            volunteers to design and construct
                                                         raising awareness about TADNSW.             fundraising and communications.
            devices for people with disabilities,
            and some also refurbish and supply           TADNsW’s vAluEs                             You can become a member of
            recycled computers.                          l   innovative and personalised             TADNSW, which brings various
                                                             services;                               benefits including copies of the
            TADNsW’s mIssION                                                                         TADJournal, or subscribe to the journal
                                                         l   assistance that is affordable and fit
            We provide personalised equipment                                                        without becoming a member.
                                                             for the purpose;
            and advice to people with disabilities
            and their carers, through the innovative     l   services that are responsive to         You can donate funds to support our
            services of skilled volunteers and staff.        the needs of our clients, within        services. TADNSW is a registered charity
                                                             operational constraints.                and contributions of $2 or more are
            TADNsW’s CORE busINEssEs                                                                 tax deductible. You can also donate
            Our core businesses are the supply
                                                         TADNsW’s ORgANIsATION                       computers and related equipment.
            of equipment, support in the use of          TADNSW is managed by a Board
                                                         of 13 Directors and has 21 staff (17        spONsORs
            equipment, and provision of advice
            and information about equipment to           FTE). Our offices are at Northmead          Many generous organisations and
            people with disabilities, their carers       in Sydney. We also have 13 branches         individuals support our unique work
                                                         and interest groups in regional NSW         for people with disabilities. We
            and the disability sector.
                                                         run by local volunteers with support        particularly recognise the support of
            Custom Designed Aids Service                 from Northmead staff.                       two major sponsors: Amway of Australia
            Designs and makes custom-                                                                supports the FREEDOM WHEELS®
            designed devices for our clients             WhO DOEs TADNsW hElp?                       Modified Bike Service; and Holcim
            where commercial equipment is not            TADNSW helps anyone with a disability,      supports the Custom Designed Aids
            appropriate.                                 including conditions associated with        Service.

            TAD JOURNAL VOL. 31 NO. 1
the CEO                                            Contents
 Taking a stroll in the park, riding a bike,
 painting a picture, doing a spot of fishing
                                                   8                                                                                                    14
 are just a few of the many recreational
 activities available to most of us. Recreation
 gives us a break from everyday routine to
 do something we enjoy. The motive may
 be the opportunity to compete with others,
 personal fitness, the fun factor, or the sense                                                                   12
 of achievement from doing something
                                                   CusTOm DEsIgNED AIDs sERvICE                   vOluNTEERs
 But what if you couldn’t go for that bike ride    4    Easier painting                           8 A journey of friendship
 because your disability prevents you? What        6    Horse-drawn pleasure                      9 Volunteers years of service awards
 if you are unable to paint because you can’t      8    Wheelchair camera mount                   9 Reg Gardner
 hold a paintbrush? What if you only have          9    Simple but effective
                                                                                                  NEWs AND DEvElOpmENT
 one arm to use when you are fishing?              0   Sewing caddy
                                                                                                  0 First FREEDOM WHEELS ride
                                                      iPad mount
 Designing customised equipment to                                                                0 New bikes for special school
                                                      Sensory stimulation
 solve the problems faced by people with                                                          0 New Board members
                                                   4   Gaining movement
 disabilities in their pursuit of recreational                                                     Bill Phippen honoured
                                                   5   Happy riding
 enjoyment provides some of the many                                                               35th anniversary dinner
 challenges that TADNSW faces each week.           COmpuTER suppORT sERvICE                        Bequest from Helen Murphy
                                                   6 The land of the living                       Workplace giving
 In this edition you will find examples of
                                                   7 CSS laptops support Burmese                  Contribute to TADNSW
 recent recreational projects that TADNSW
 has completed. For our volunteers, there is
 great satisfaction in developing a solution
 that makes a real difference for a person
 with a disability. It’s not work for them but
                                                   publIshER                                      DIsClAImER
 their form of recreation.
                                                   Technical Aid to the Disabled (NSW)            The information contained in this journal is of
                                                   Unit 10, 185 Briens Road,                      a general nature and is to be used as a guide.
 The enjoyment that a child with an
                                                   Northmead NSW 2152, Australia                  TADNSW does not warrant or guarantee the
 intellectual disability gets from the sights      Locked Bag 2008, Wentworthville NSW 2145       accuracy of the technical information in this
 and sounds in a sensory room touches your         Tel: (02) 9912 3400                            journal, and disclaims any liability howsoever
 heart. To see the excitement of child with a      Email:                       caused by reason of any application or
                                                   Website:                     misapplication of the data or information
 disability riding his or her bike for the first
                                                   ABN: 82 002 042 462                            contained or arising from articles in this journal.
 time on the M7 cycle path is just inspiring.
                                                   EDITINg AND DEsIgN      vOluNTEER              TADNSW advises that any person wishing to use
 Recreation is something we all need to lift       Carley Tucker           Penny Lye              or apply any data or information contained in
 our spirits. We thank our volunteers for                                                         this journal should contact TADNSW for
                                                   REpRODuCTION OF TADNsW mATERIAl
                                                                                                  assistance or otherwise seek further
 turning difficult into easy, and our clients      Articles published in the TADJournal may
                                                                                                  professional help.
 for presenting the challenges that give us a      generally be reproduced with credit to
                                                   TADNSW, as long as permission is obtained      OuR COvER
 great sense of satisfaction in being able to
                                                   from the George Winston Communication          A specially designed easel and headpointer
 help.                                             Service. Reproduced articles may not be        made by TADNSW have made it much easier
                                                   edited unless the edited version is approved   for Daniel to produce his artworks.
 Alan McGregor                                     by TADNSW prior to publication. Photographs
 Chief Executive Officer, TADNSW                   may be provided in some circumstances.

                                                                                                                        TAD JOURNAL VOL. 31 NO. 1   

    To connect with their creativity and         was loaded with paint by his aide and     him and bending over to reach it. This
    realise their potential, most artists need   clamped to the shaft.                     was likely to be adding to his neck
    a good teacher, access to a variety of                                                 problems, particularly as some of his
                                                 However there were several problems
    materials and a light-filled space to                                                  paintings are quite large.
                                                 with this arrangement. The frame did
    work. So it is at Studio Artes in Hornsby,
                                                 not fit correctly on his head, which      “Of course you’re going to strain your
    which provides arts and other related
                                                 meant he did not have maximum             neck in that position,” Bruce said. “We
    training for adults with a disability.
                                                 control of the brush unless he wore a     had to get him upright.” He designed
    One artist at the studio is Daniel           hat under the frame. The frame was        an easel and asked his friend and
    Collati, who has cerebral palsy. He is       irritating his forehead, the chin strap   fellow volunteer the late Bob Jones,
    serious about his work and generally         was irritating his chin, and the brush    who specialised in woodwork, to
    comes to the studio four days per            attachment was too heavy, which           make it. At the same time Bruce set
    week. His paintings are mainly               made it even harder to control the        about making a better head mount for
    landscapes with varying degrees of           brush and also gave him neck-ache.        Daniel’s paintbrush.
    abstraction, and they are colourful,
                                                 TADNSW volunteers had previously          For the new frame, Bruce used the inner
    well composed and compelling.
                                                 made a camera support for a wheelchair    mechanism from a welder’s helmet,
    However, Daniel can’t use the tools of       user at Studio Artes (TADJournal          which has a tensioner at the back to
    the trade in the traditional way, as he      Summer 2003), so the staff knew that      ensure an exact fit. He riveted a small
    has no functional grasp and can’t hold       our volunteers could probably provide     brass plate to the front, taking care to
    a paintbrush. He therefore controls          a better solution for Daniel.             preserve the frame’s cloth surround so
    the brush using his head.                                                              that Daniel’s forehead is protected.
                                                 When volunteer Bruce Watts went to
    Daniel had an existing setup with            investigate, he realised that Daniel      Onto the plate Bruce mounted a shaft
    a frame that fitted over his head,           would also benefit from using an          made of aluminium tube, which is
    which had a shaft mounted in the             easel. At the time Daniel was resting     much lighter than the previous brass
    centre. The brush he wanted to use           his painting on the table in front of     one. Two aluminium clamps with

4    TAD JOURNAL VOL. 31 NO. 1
                                                                                          Custom Designed Aids

brass tightening screws hold the brush       added advantage is that he gets a
in position on the shaft, keeping it         much better view of the painting as a
completely firm and preventing it from       whole, without someone having to
twisting. Daniel also sometimes uses a       hold it up off the table for him.
roller on his paintings, so Bruce made a
                                             As well as the brushes and roller, Daniel
separate attachment for this.
                                             also uses other tools such as a sponge,
Bruce then took a range of Daniel’s          a fork and stamps. His aides have
brushes and cut off the ends to make         worked out ways to fit these onto the
them shorter and lighter, machining          new shaft as well, with a bit of masking
down the larger ones to further lighten      tape coming in handy in some cases.
them and enable them to fit easily
                                             Bruce also made a head-mounted
into the clamps. He also made a brush
                                             holder for another artist at Studio Artes,
stand with a brass label with Daniel’s
                                             Lucy Lambley, who has severe cerebral
name on it, so that the brushes can be
                                             palsy. Lucy had previously been
easily stored and identified as Daniel’s.
                                             holding the brushes in her mouth, which
The easel was the last project Bob           was unhygienic, and was wearing away
completed before he died in June 2010        her teeth and giving her a sore jaw.
(see the TADJournal October 2008 for         Her holder is similar to Daniel’s apart
Bob’s profile), and is typical of his        from being a little shorter, and has also
immaculate woodwork. Made from               been a great success.
plywood and pine, it is designed to sit
                                             Daniel says that in his eight years at the
on the table so that Daniel can easily
                                             studio he has probably sold around a
get his wheelchair in underneath it.
                                             hundred paintings at an average of
The easel has a deckchair-type               $300 each. Daniel’s paintings, and those
mechanism at the back which gives            of other artists from the studio, can be
four different angles, a lip at the front    viewed and purchased at Gallery Artes,
to rest the painting on, and a clamp in      12-14 George Street, Hornsby NSW
the centre which holds the painting in       2077, phone (02) 9476 3533.
place. The clamp locks in place using
a tri-nut, and can be moved up and                         SUMMARY
down in a central channel to cater for                    client profile
different sizes of painting.                              cerebral palsy
“I was changing the entire concept of                description of project
how Daniel worked, so it was important          easel and head mount for artists
that he was involved and took
ownership of it,” Bruce said. “I was a bit                  age group                       Photos
                                                               adult                        Top: One of Daniel’s landscapes. See also the
wary about how it would go, but
                                                                                            painting on the front cover.
apparently he was absolutely thrilled                                                       Centre: The trimmed-down paintbrushes in the
because it made so much difference.”                                                        brush holder, with Daniel’s name on the front.
                                                     Bruce Watts, Bob Jones
                                                                                            Below: The head frame showing the fabric
Daniel says it took him a couple of                        project nos                      cover at the front, the shaft and the two clamps
months to get used to the new system,                                                       for the paintbrush.
but now it is working very well. An

                                                                                                              TAD JOURNAL VOL. 31 NO. 1   5
                     Custom Designed Aids

    Horse-drawn pleasure
    Many people find horseriding a              Horse drawn carts generally have big          Displaying an impressive range of
    pleasurable activity and a way of           wheels which make them quite high             skills, Neil also upholstered the seats
    getting away from everyday life,            so that the driver can see over the top       and seat backs with vinyl covered
    including many people with a                of the horse. However Neil’s version          foam. “After you restore a vintage
    disability. Riding for the Disabled (RDA)   is very low-slung, with the floor of the      car, you learn to do all sorts of funny
    is a voluntary, non-profit organisation     cart only 30cm from the ground.               things,” he said.
    that provides the opportunity for
                                                “We had to do that to enable a                The centre and right seats are
    anyone with a disability to enjoy safe,
                                                wheelchair to be wheeled on,                  removable to provide space for a
    stimulating and therapeutic horse-
                                                otherwise you would have needed               wheelchair. These seats are held in
    related activities throughout Australia.
                                                a ramp a mile long,” he said. “Being          place by four locking pins, which are
    The Bathurst branch of RDA wanted a         lower down also gives added stability         easy for a trained person to take out
    horse-drawn cart so that children who       and prevents it from rolling over.”           but according to Neil, too difficult for
    can’t actually ride a horse, for example                                                  someone with a disability. The centre
    because of poor balance, could still        Instead of the usual spoke wheels             seat rests on the outer ones and lifts
    enjoy the group’s specially-trained         with a timber or steel rim, Neil opted        out first, followed by the outer one.
    horses. The group had a cart made by        for smaller car tyres. “As well as
                                                being lower to the ground, they are           When an electric wheelchair is in place
    the local TAFE, which worked well for
                                                designed to carry heavier loads and           instead of the two seats, it needs to
    many of these children.
                                                give a softer ride,” he said.                 be in exactly the right position so its
    However, the cart only had two seats,                                                     weight is equally distributed to the
    and as it had to have a qualified driver    The tailgate of the cart consists of two      front and back wheels of the cart.
    at all times for safety reasons, it meant   hinged sections which fold down to            It also needs to be firmly secured
    that children who needed a carer with       form a ramp for wheelchair access.            so it doesn’t move and change the
    them could not use it. Also, it was not     When folded down, the first section is        balance of the cart during travel. Neil
    strong enough to carry heavy electric       supported by a leg between the two            therefore added toggle clamps similar
    wheelchairs, which precluded other          sections, and the second section rests        to those used for securing wheelchairs
    children as well.                           on the ground. To make it easier to           in buses.
                                                unfold the sections, there is a handle
    RDA Secretary Shirley Walsh asked           in the centre of the lower section.           On the side wall left of the driver’s seat
    TADNSW’s Central West branch if they                                                      there is a foot-operated brake which
    could build an improved version of          When folded up, the two sections form         uses a car hand-brake mechanism,
    the original cart. The goal was to carry    a sturdy back panel which is extra            and has a hand lever to lock it on.
    a driver plus one child in an electric      protection against the wheelchair             This can be used to keep the cart
    wheelchair, two children who were           rolling out of the cart, if by chance it      completely still while the passengers
    not in wheelchairs, or a child and a        became unsecured. “The back is locked         are boarding, even if the horse moves
    carer.                                      in place with a pin on either side, similar   a little. It can also be used as a parking
                                                to a tailgate on a truck or trailer,” Neil    brake when necessary, for example on
    Using a standard horse-drawn cart           said. “It’s fully contained so the pin        a hill.
    as a base, volunteer Neil Musgrove          can’t come all the way out and get lost.”
    designed a sophisticated cart which                                                       To make the ride as comfortable as
    meets all RDA’s needs. It has a sturdy      The cart has three seats. The two             possible, the cart has leaf springs from
    chassis made from steel tubing, with        outside seats each have two arms, so          a car suspension, which were chosen
    marine-grade plywood panels and             the outer arms create a safety railing        for their load-carrying capacity. “You
    floor and fabricated metal mudguards.       and the inner arms create divisions           can adjust the capacity by adding or
    “All in all, it weighs about the same as    between the seats which help to keep          removing leaves to the spring,” Neil
    a box trailer,” Neil said.                  the passengers in position.                   said.

6    TAD JOURNAL VOL. 31 NO. 1
                                                                                           Custom Designed Aids

                                                                                           this sort of bar is used on most horse-
                                                                                           drawn vehicles of this type. The bar
                                                                                           swivels as the horse turns to maintain
                                                                                           an equal load on both sides.

                                                                                           Once complete, the frame was painted
                                                                                           maroon and the outside panels a
                                                                                           cheerful yellow, with grey anti-slip
                                                                                           paving paint on the floor of the cart
                                                                                           and the ramp. “The idea was to use
                                                                                           federation colours to make it look like
                                                                                           an old carriage,” Neil said.

                                                                                           Neil completed all the work on the
                                                                                           cart himself, and according to his
                                                                                           records it took 430 hours to complete
                                                                                           (equivalent to over 12 weeks full-time
                                                                                           work, excluding weekends). “The man
                                                                                           from Riding for the Disabled at Orange
                                                                                           asked me if I would like to build
                                                                                           another one,” he said. “I said I would
                                                                                           think about it!”

                                                                                           Although they have had some trouble
                                                                                           finding a suitable horse and a qualified
                                                                                           driver, Shirley says that RDA Bathurst
                                                                                           are absolutely delighted with the cart.
                                                                                           “Neil was really good,” she said. “He had
                                                                                           us out there looking at it every so often
                                                                                           to make sure it was exactly right.”

   Top: The cart with the three seats in place. The swindle bar is visible between the                   SUMMARY
   wooden shafts at the front. Centre: The ramp folded down for wheelchair access.
   Below: The wheelchair in place on the cart, with two of the seats removed.
                                                                                                        client profile
                                                                                                    variety of conditions

                                                                                                  description of project
The system for attaching the cart to            be pulling on one side when it was              horse-drawn cart suitable for
the horse is similar to a normal horse-         turning. They have been steam-bent                      wheelchair
drawn cart. There are rigid hickory             inwards so they fit snugly around the
shafts mounted at the front of the              horse’s shoulders when it turns. “Past                   age group
cart which keep the cart away from              the horse they bend out again so they                children and adult
the horse and prevent it from tipping           act like a funnel to get the horse into
forward or backward.                            the correct position,” Neil said.
                                                                                                       Neil Musgrove
The shafts slide back and forth rather          To pull the cart the horse uses leather
                                                                                                         project no
than being rigidly attached to the              straps which are attached to a swindle
horse, otherwise the horse would only           bar at the front of the cart – Neil says

                                                                                                                 TAD JOURNAL VOL. 31 NO. 1   7
                          Custom Designed Aids

                                                    Wheelchair camera mount
                                                    Ian Dihm is a keen and successful           Susan asked Ian’s therapists if there
                                                    photographer who has travelled to far-      was anything that could be done
                                                    flung corners of the world, including       to help Ian. “He’s been taking
                                                    Antarctica, Siberia, Greenland and          photographs since he was a child,
                                                    parts of Africa, in search of the perfect   and I knew how important it was to
                                                    picture.                                    him. It also activates the brain which I
                                                                                                understand is important after a stroke.”
                                                    Although he had never made it his
                                                    full-time profession, Ian has held          The therapists suggested that TADNSW
                                                    exhibitions, sold pictures and won          might be able to help, and volunteer
                                                    awards with his striking landscape          Bruce Watts was sent to assist. “Bruce
                                                    and nature photographs. “He enjoyed         was amazing,” Susan said. “We said
                                                    it so much he just wanted to do it for      this is what we want, and we had a
                                                    himself,” said his wife Susan Mayo.         long talk about the whys and
                                                                                                wherefores, and he did a design on the
                                                    Ian had a major stroke in 2009 at
                                                                                                back of an envelope, and then came up
                                                    the age of 65. He was completely
                                                                                                with the device, which was beautifully
                                                    paralysed at first, but after
                                                                                                machined, it was just perfect!”
                                                    rehabilitation he has recovered
                                                    some movement and is able to walk           Bruce’s design uses a U-shaped
                                                    and talk. Even while he was still in        aluminium frame to support the
                                                    residential rehabilitation, he wanted       camera. This is mounted on the
                                                    to take up his beloved hobby again.         footrests of Ian’s wheelchair, using
                                                                                                specially made clamps that stay on the
                                                    However he still can’t use his
                                                                                                chair. “You just slip the frame into the
                                                    right arm, which means he can’t
                                                                                                clamps when it is needed,” Bruce said.
                                                    simultaneously hold his camera firmly
                                                    and press the shutter, particularly as      The top section of a tripod is mounted
                                                    he uses large lenses which are quite        in the centre of the frame’s cross bar,
                                                    heavy. Using a tripod to hold the           held in place with another specially
                                                    camera doesn’t work either, as it’s         made aluminium fitting. The base of
                                                    difficult to set this up with one hand.     the camera then screws into the tripod

TADNSW can make aids to suit most cameras,
such as grips for easier handling, supports
and mounts for wheelchairs, adaptions to the
shutter, focus and zoom controls and remote
operating attachments.

Photos: Top: Ian in his wheelchair using the
camera. Above left: The camera from Ian’s point
of view. Above right: The specially made clamp
on the footplate. Right: One of Ian’s photographs
taken in Greenland.

      8   TAD JOURNAL VOL. 31 NO. 1
                                                                                     Custom Designed Aids

                                            Simple but effective
head in the normal way. Ian can move        Many of the projects completed by        the platform with epoxy marine
the camera up and down the tripod’s         TADNSW’s volunteers are relatively       paint and added non-slip strips to
shaft, and adjust the angle and             simple solutions. These show the         the top. So that the platform could
direction using a lever on the left side.   creativity of our volunteers in using    be removed later without
                                            easily available materials to provide    compromising the commode, he
“Ian takes time span photos, so he has
                                            an effective and affordable solution     made and added aluminium angle
to be able to adjust the camera position
                                            that can still make a big difference.    brackets to the inside of the legs,
very finely and it has to be completely
                                                                                     with velcro strips on the bottom.
stable,” Bruce said. “The mount also
                                                                                     These attach to corresponding velcro
needs to be as light as possible, as
                                                                                     strips on the footplates.
weight causes deflection, which is why
aluminium was the best choice.”                                                      Project no: SO9-0191

It’s taking Ian a while to adjust to
being back at home, but he is slowly
experimenting with his new camera
setup and getting back into his
digitised darkroom. He is thinking          COmmODE FOOTsTOOl
that he might start working on a
                                            Fourteen-year-old David Gough has
smaller scale, producing bookmarks          cerebral palsy and developmental
and postcards with patterns rather          delay. He needed a commode chair to
than large landscapes.                      use in the bathroom, but his parents
“My motive was to make it possible          didn’t want to have to replace it in a
for Ian to take photographs again, and      few years when he grows taller.
see what happens,” Susan said. “It’s        The most suitable commode is too         ChAIR bAsE plATE
a big challenge, but it wouldn’t be         big for David at the moment, and his     Six-year-old Diwali Guha can’t sit on
possible without Bruce’s device. We         legs don’t reach the footplate. His      a chair without support, so when
were just incredibly impressed with         therapist asked TADNSW to provide        she is at school she is either in her
the whole thing.”                           a waterproof platform that would         wheelchair or in a wooden chair with
                                            sit on the footplate and provide a       a lap strap. However, the lap strap
                                            stable rest for David’s feet.            holds her so securely that she can
             client profile                                                          rock her chair backwards with a real
                                            Local volunteer Mike Atkinson saw a
              hemiplegia                                                             risk of toppling over.
                                            bargain-priced plywood coffee table
      description of project                with the correct dimensions, which       Diwali’s occupational therapist,
    camera mount for wheelchair             had a smooth top and curved sides        Catherine Cartwright, suggested
                                            that would be easy to waterproof         that a base plate be fitted to the
              age group                     and clean. And because the               bottom of the chair, extending 30cm
                adult                       plywood had already been bent            at the back and 20cm in the front.
                                            under steam heat, Mike knew the          Volunteer the late Bob Jones carried
                                            glue in the ply must be waterproof.      out the job using 9mm plywood
              Bruce Watts
                                                                                     and Diwali is now safe and unable to
                                            Volunteer John Crimmings cut off
              project no                                                             endanger herself.
                                            the legs to the required length, and
                                            then volunteer John Brumby painted       Project no: SO9-0279-1

                                                                                                         TAD JOURNAL VOL. 31 NO. 1   9
                                                                                                 Sewing caddy
                                                                                                 To keep her materials close at hand,
                                                                                                 Mrs Brett had a fabric storage bag that
                                                                                                 fitted over the arm of her favourite
                                                                                                 chair, with pockets on either side of
                                                                                                 the arm. However, as her mobility
                                                                                                 needs changed, she needed a new
                                                                                                 recliner-style chair. After purchasing
                                                                                                 this chair she found that her previous
                                                                                                 set-up no longer worked, as the arm
                                                                                                 was too wide and not tall enough for
                                                                                                 the bag to balance on.

                                                                                                 TADNSW physiotherapist Weh Yeoh
     Nancy Brett has always enjoyed sewing          limited. She still lives in her adapted      suggested a free-standing caddy
     and knitting, but her hobby has become         family home, and has good support            to solve the problem, and this was
     more important to her since her                from her family and visiting carers.         made by late volunteer Bob Jones.
     husband died last year. “We were                                                            Beautifully turned and stained to
                                                    Mrs Brett produces a wide range of
     married for 67 years,” she said, “and I                                                     match the rest of Mrs Brett’s furniture,
                                                    items including soft toys for hospitals
     needed an activity to keep me busy at                                                       the wooden caddy has two posts with
                                                    and fundraising drives by her local
     home, because I can’t go out much, and                                                      bars across at the top and bottom, and
                                                    club, and knitted squares for the Wrap
     reading all the time is hard on the eyes.”                                                  wide feet for stability.
                                                    With Love aid program. “I think it
     With a variety of health conditions            is good for my hands to keep using           Mrs Brett’s granddaughter then made
     including osteoarthritis and heart             them like this,” she said. “A lot of older   a new, more advanced bag for her, with
     problems, Mrs Brett’s mobility is quite        ladies can’t do it any more.”                multiple pockets and a cushion on the
                                                                                                 top for her pins. The stand fits neatly
                                                                                                 next to the recliner and does not create
                                                                                                 a trip hazard when she is getting on
                                                                                                 and off the chair. “Everything is now
                                                                                                 within reach,” she said.

                                                                                                             client profile
                 We have information about all kinds of products, equipment                          heart problems, osteoarthritis
                       and home design to make everyday living easier
                                                                                                         description of project
                                      OUR SERVICES INCLUDE:
                                                                                                         caddy for knitting bag
                                   assistive technology information
                                          journal and website
                                                                                                               age group
                                              display centre
                                       access audits and advice
                                      home modifications advice
             No 1 Fennell Street Parramatta NSW 2150  Weekdays 9.00 am – 5.00 pm                              Bob Jones
                   Info-Line 1300 885 886  02 9890 0940  Fax: 02 9890 0966
                      email:  Web:
                                                                                                               project no

0    TAD JOURNAL VOL. 31 NO. 1
                                                                                       Custom Designed Aids

iPad mount
Greg Moran became a quadriplegic           of his mouthstick (or iStick), which he
after he broke his neck in a football      and a friend designed and made.
game when he was 15 years old, and
                                           Greg and his friend started with an
has been a wheelchair user since then.
                                           iPhone stylus, which some people use
His computer and more recently his
                                           to operate the touchscreen instead of
iPhone are very important to enable
                                           their finger. They attached this to a
him to organise his life – currently his
                                           lightweight carbon fibre arrow shaft
activities include painting, filmmaking,
                                           using a compass pencil holder.
counselling and motivational speaking.
                                           To give the necessary electrical
However, Greg was not finding it easy
                                           conductivity from the body to operate
to access his laptop computer from his
                                           a touchscreen device like an iPhone
wheelchair. When the chance arose to
                                           or iPad, the shaft was wrapped in
get a smaller iPad from the US prior to
                                           stainless steel wire right to the top,
their release in Australia, he jumped
                                           so it is in constant contact with Greg’s
at it.
                                           lips or tongue when he is using it.
Before the iPad arrived, Greg asked        When he is not using the mouthstick,
TADNSW to make a bracket so the            it sits within easy reach in a metal tube
iPad could be mounted on his electric      mounted on the wheelchair.
wheelchair. He also wanted to be able
                                           The initial idea was that Greg would
to pivot the iPad so he could use it in
                                           be able to rotate the iPad with his
either landscape or portrait mode.
                                           mouthstick, but this proved too
Greg already had a bracket attached        difficult. As it turned out, after using
to his wheelchair to hold his iPhone,      his iPad for a while Greg found he
house front gate control and universal     generally preferred it in landscape
remote which operates the TV and           mode anyway.
sound systems. Volunteer Les Daniels                                                   For more information about Greg and
                                           One of the drawbacks of the two
checked all the dimensions of the iPad                                                 his counselling services, refer to
                                           devices is that if you use them all day
on the internet, so the new bracket                                          
                                           you can run out of battery. Greg has
would be ready when it arrived.
                                           overcome this problem by using an                       SUMMARY
Les then attached another horizontal       iPhone car charger kit to connect each
bar to the wheelchair. He cut an           device to his wheelchair battery.                      client profile
aluminium base to hold the iPad,                                                                  quadriplegia
                                           Greg, like virtually every iPad user, is
with a disc underneath so the device                                                          description of project
                                           enchanted by it and delighted that it is
could rotate. He glued strips of Velcro
                                           now easy for him to use, thanks to the                  iPad mount
to the supporting base and to the
                                           mounting. “I can read books, watch                      age group
underneath of the iPad case, so it sits
                                           videos, email, access the internet                        adult
firmly in position on the base.
                                           and a million other things. It is not
Greg has limited movement in his           as powerful as a normal computer,                       volunteer
arms, and although he can operate          but I can remotely access my laptop                     Les Daniels
the controls of his wheelchair by hand,    through my iPad if I need to, or even                   project no
he uses a mouthstick to operate both       use my iPad as a wireless keyboard
the iPhone and iPad. He is very proud      and mouse to operate my laptop.”

                                                                                                           TAD JOURNAL VOL. 31 NO. 1   
                      Custom Designed Aids

     Teachers and therapists often use         could set up a sensory environment         To encourage the children’s
     sensory equipment when working            for the children.                          understanding of cause and effect, a
     with children with disabilities. This                                                latching switch can be used with the
                                               Michael began with a simple perspex
     is sometimes done in a dedicated                                                     sensory devices. This turns the device
                                               tunnel which he placed over a single       off automatically a certain time after it
     space known as a sensory room,
     which contains a number of different      child lying on the floor. He then          is switched on, so the child can press
     sensory devices that can be used to       sectioned off a storage area to create     the switch and turn the device on
     accommodate the individual needs of       a dedicated room, with the aim of          again without it having to be turned
     each child.                               accommodating up to five children          off first.
                                               and two teachers.
     Having a separate space means                                                        Due to the need for each sensory
     that children can enjoy these             As well as assisting the children’s        device and the latch boxes to have
     sensory experiences in a controlled       cognitive skills, motor development,       dedicated power supplies, there were
     environment. The room is often            language and social interaction,           a number of power leads running
     darkened to highlight certain lights      Michael wanted to teach them about         along the floor of Chatham’s sensory
     or lit objects, which can be useful for   cause and effect. To do this, he           room. This concerned Michael and
     children with intellectual disabilities   wanted to have a number of devices         Annette, and when local TADNSW
     who may have difficulty maintaining       that could each be activated by a jelly    volunteer Chris Scott attended a
     their attention on a specific activity.   bean switch.                               TADNSW clinic at the school, Annette
     It can also make it easier for                                                       asked him if anything could be done
                                               “Children with intellectual disabilities
     children with a visual impairment to                                                 about the leads.
                                               can find it hard to grasp the concept
     distinguish the lights and objects.
                                               of cause and effect, but in a dark         As the sensory devices that were
     The support unit at Chatham High          room, the focus is much more               being used ran on low voltage, Chris
     School in Taree teaches 52 students       intense,” Michael said. “They              suggested using a low-voltage latch
     with a variety of disabilities, most      understand more quickly that if they       box. This would mean that the power
     of whom have high support needs.          hit that switch that light comes on.       for the devices could be supplied
     A visiting teacher of children with       They learn to make choices, and that       directly through the latch box rather
     vision impairment, Annette Gleeson,       can be moved into other areas such as      than having a separate lead. The
     suggested to special education            learning to switch on the CD player or     transformers could then be mounted
     teacher Michael Osborne that they         TV for themselves.”                        on the wall out of harm’s way.

                                                                                     Custom Designed Aids

Chris approached TADNSW Sydney           on the back so they can be attached        machines, fans and an activity wall
volunteer Peter Bennett to design        wherever they are needed.                  with a variety of tactile items.
and make a low-voltage latch box.
                                         “That switchbox (the latch box) is a       Nicknamed “the Cave”, the new
This needed to operate with multiple
                                         pretty amazing bit of gear,” Michael       sensory room was opened recently
voltages, as the sensory devices
                                         said. “It’s so easy now. You just plug     by the Hon. Rob Oakeshott, who is
do not all have the same voltage
                                         in what you want to use and flick the      the local MP. Mr Oakeshott said it
(otherwise each latch box would have
                                         switch on, and the whole system is         was great to see so many facets of the
to be matched to a specific device).
                                         small and easy to manage.”                 community working together for the
Peter designed a box that can also                                                  benefit of the students. “The more
                                         “And because it is self-contained and
accommodate multiple devices. Each                                                  schools that can be integrated into the
                                         completely portable, it can be used
sensory device was then modified for                                                community, the better and stronger
                                         anywhere. If you don’t have a room
compatibility with the system, and a                                                they will be,” he said.
                                         you can set it up anywhere for a group
voltage-specific cable made up for it.
                                         of children or just one child. You can
To further reduce the number of          set it up in a tunnel or on a wheelchair
power leads required, Chris and          or beside a bed or wherever, so no-                     client profile
fellow volunteer Allen Pidgeon then      one misses out.”                                    variety of conditions
designed a power module. This            “That has been the great benefit of              description of project
can supply up to four latch boxes        what Chris has done. It’s great to have       power system for sensory room
operating with different voltages.       someone with that expertise, who can
An indicator on each latch box lights    think it through and solve problems as                   age group
up only when the correct voltage is      we go.”                                                   children
available from the power module.
                                         Taree Lions Club provided funding for                    volunteers
The power modules can be piggy-          devices for the room, including special          Chris Scott, Allen Pidgeon,
backed, so that multiple latch boxes     lighting such as black lights, a mirror                 Peter Bennett
can be connected. The modules can        ball, fibre optic sprays, lava lamps
                                                                                                  project no
also run from a battery rather than a    and flashing lights. It also has other
power supply, and they have Velcro       sensory equipment such as bubble

                                                                                       Photo top left: Chris in the
                                                                                       sensory room with student
                                                                                       Michael Honeyman.
                                                                                       Left: Support unit students at the
                                                                                       opening with, from left, TADNSW
                                                                                       volunteer John Brumby, TADNSW
                                                                                       CEO Alan McGregor, Michael
                                                                                       Osborne, Peter McKellar from
                                                                                       Taree Lions Club, Chris Scott, Rob
                                                                                       Oakeshott and Chatham High
                                                                                       Principal William Holvast.
                                                                                       Photos courtesy of the Manning
                                                                                       River Times (Fairfax Media).

                                                                                                          TAD JOURNAL VOL. 31 NO. 1   
                          Custom Designed Aids

                                                 Gaining movement
                                                 A Chailley Cart from TADNSW has           “It took Ava about a week to learn
                                                 made a huge difference to the life of     to drive the cart,” Kristy said. “Now
                                                 two-year-old Ava Edwards. “It has         she can go around corners and steer
                                                 got her up off the floor, and it’s the    between things, and she has a little
                                                 first time that she can go where she      piano and she can get in under that
                                                 wants to without getting frustrated       to play it. And lately she has worked
                                                 and injuring herself,” said her mother    out how to go really fast and then turn
                                                 Kristy.                                   quickly to do a wheelie!”
                                                 Ava (pictured left with baby              “It’s also a benefit for me, as I have
                                                 brother Ezaiah) has spina bifida and      a new baby and now I don’t have
                                                 hydrocephalus, and is paralysed           to carry both of them. The cart isn’t
                                                 from the waist down, but has good
                                                                                           suitable for use out in public, but it is
                                                 cognitive development. Before she
                                                                                           handy in all sorts of other situations
                                                 received her cart, the only way she
                                                                                           – she used it all day around the
                                                 could move independently was to
                                                                                           hospital last week.”
                                                 drag herself along the ground on her
                                                 stomach.                                  But the overwhelming benefit for Ava
                                                                                           has been a social one. “She can keep
                                                 “That meant she couldn’t really go
                                                                                           up with her older brother and sister
                                                 outside, because she was skinning
                                                                                           now, and go outside and play chasings
                                                 her legs and she has poor blood
                                                 circulation so it would take ages to      with them,” Kristy said.
                                                 heal,” Kristy said.                       “The kids at playgroup also interact
                                                 The Chailley Cart is designed as a        with her more now that she can move
                                                 mobility device for young children        and she is on eye level with them.
                                                 who cannot walk but have good             Before that they thought she was a
                                                 upper body strength. Made primarily       baby, because she was just on the
                                                 from plywood, it has a winged back        ground and was small for her age.”
                                                 support and an extended, upholstered
                                                 base with a lap belt. The child propels                  SUMMARY
                                                 it by pushing directly on the side                      client profile
                                                 wheels, and it also has front and rear
                                                                                                 spina bifida, hydrocephalus
                                                 castors to prevent overturning and
                                                 make steering very easy.                          description of project
                                                                                                         mobility cart
                                                 The cart can be used by children
The Chailley Cart is sized to suit the           who are too young for a wheelchair,                      age group
needs of most young children. The                developing skills in steering and                         children
wheels can be set forward or backwards           turning as well as building strength.
depending on their needs, and it can also                                                                 volunteer
                                                 It also empowers them and enables
be made with a different kind of seat,           them to make the kind of decisions                     Ian McClelland
such as a padded corner chair back, a            that other children are making and                       project no
small plastic seat shell or a bucket seat.       learning from about when, where and
                                                 how to move in the world.

     4   TAD JOURNAL VOL. 31 NO. 1
                                                                                        FREEDOM WHEELS

                                                                                                    Alex and his sister Mali on their bikes.

Happy riding
When Debbie Coombs saw a little
girl at the Spastic Centre at Allambie
Heights riding a bike that had been
modified, to suit her disability, she
thought that something similar could
work for her son Alex.

Alex is an outgoing boy of nearly five
who has spastic diplegia. This mainly
affects his lower limbs, but he is able
to walk short distances using a walker.
His motor skills and strength in his left
hand are also affected.

Debbie booked into a FREEDOM
WHEELS bike clinic at TADNSW, where
children are assessed on test bikes.
“It was near his fourth birthday, so I
asked if it would be possible to get it
by then,” she said.

Alex’s bike did not need extensive
modification, as he has reasonable
                                            But the most important thing is
upper body strength. His bike has the
                                            that the bike gives Alex a sense of
usual wider seat and outrigger wheels,
                                            achievement. “He likes it because it
plus a high-riser bar with a padded
                                            is something he can do,” Debbie said.
back support plate and a pelvic strap.
                                            “He’s quite proud of himself when he
It also has toe clips to keep his feet
                                            does get it going independently. And
securely on the pedals, and the hand
                                            it’s an activity for the whole family. We
brake is located on the right side to
                                            all go to the park, and his sister Mali
suit his stronger right hand.
                                            rides her bike and he rides his. It’s a
The bike did arrive in time for Alex’s      nice thing for us all to do together.”
birthday. “They did it really quickly,
they were fantastic,” Debbie said. “Alex                  SUMMARY
got onto the bike as soon as he saw it!”                 client profile
Since then Alex’s riding has                            spastic diplegia
progressed to the point where he can                description of project               Bikes can be modified for most children
pedal on his own on flat ground,                        modified bike                    with a disability, even those with high
although his parents have to help him                                                    support needs. For more information, go
with a push when he is going uphill.                      age group                      to the TADNSW website at www.tadnsw.
“It didn’t take him long to pick it up,                    children             and click on Freedom Wheels. You
the steering and so on, and now he’s                                                     can also download the application form
                                                          project no
learning to use the brakes to stop, and                                                  to register for a bike clinic.
to turn around corners,” Debbie said.

                                                                                                          TAD JOURNAL VOL. 31 NO. 1   5
                                                The land                     of the living
                                                my father couldn’t practice over here,      and the goodwill of individuals to help
                                                so he cut soles for tennis shoes at         me,” she said.
                                                Dunlop. He had never done physical
                                                                                            “That is where the computer comes in,”
                                                work in his life,” she said.
                                                                                            she said. Eha had a computer
                                                Eha settled into life in Sydney’s eastern   previously, when she did an Arts degree
                                                suburbs, doing well at school and           with Open Universities Australia. “I
                                                mixing with the varied communities          used it for word processing and the
                                                in the area. She studied medicine,          internet, but it was too expensive,” she
                                                but left before taking her degree due       said. “When that computer passed out
                                                to family commitments, as she had           I said no more, but after a while I was
                                                married a fellow Estonian.                  going bananas, handwriting the
                                                                                            shopping list and so on.”
                                                The marriage lasted for 21 years,
                                                during which time Eha had two               Eha saw an ad about TADNSW in a
     Eha Carr has made many journeys in
                                                children, and did public relations and      leaflet from the local health authority.
     her life, and has recently embarked
                                                entertaining for her husband’s family       “My birthday was coming up, so when
     on a major new one with the help of a
                                                company. “My father went to work for        friends asked what they could get me,
     refurbished computer from TADNSW’s
                                                them as well, which made things a lot       I asked them to make a contribution
     Computer Support Service.
                                                easier for him,” she said.                  towards one of TAD’s computers.”
     “It is quite difficult for me to get out
                                                The next move for Eha was to the            “People were wary about a second-
     of the house now, and with such
                                                Northern Rivers with her second             hand computer, but I said if it has a
     limited stimulation it would be easy to
                                                husband. “We built a beautiful house        two-year guarantee it must be all right.
     become brain dead, but you can open
                                                near Byron Bay, but unfortunately           We have a guy here who helps people
     up the computer and you are in the
                                                that didn’t work out either, so I found     with their computers, and he was very
     land of the living,” she said.
                                                myself at 50 with no work record and        impressed and said it was good gear.”
     Eha was born in Tallinn, Estonia before    very tight finances,” she said.
                                                                                            Since then Eha’s computer use has
     the Second World War and is now in
                                                Eha moved to the Gold Coast, but            increased exponentially. She uses it for
     her 70s. Her father was a senior lawyer
                                                found it difficult to compete with          writing, and has written chapters for
     with the Estonian army, and when the
                                                younger people for the available jobs.      two books that are being published
     Russians invaded in 1944 the family
                                                After struggling for some years, she        about the Estonian camp in Germany.
     had to flee to Germany. “The Russians
                                                wondered where she could go.                She also likes to enter competitions,
     got rid of everyone with an education,”
                                                                                            which often involve writing a short
     she said.                                  She knew of an Estonian retirement
                                                                                            statement. “My writing is crazy, it’s
                                                village outside Sydney, as her mother
     Germany was in chaos at the end of the                                                 funky, it’s often bad grammar, but
                                                had lived there briefly, and moved
     war. The US set up camps for refugees                                                  people say it doesn’t matter, it’s you,”
                                                there 17 years ago. Since then she has
     and Eha’s family lived for several years                                               she said. “So I’ve done quite well.”
                                                had a number of major health issues
     in a camp of over 4,000 Estonians. “It
                                                including cancer, strokes, back, heart      She goes on survey panels for market
     was the best camp in Germany,” she
                                                and gastric problems. “It is nice here      research, which generally pays a
     said. “We had our own schools,
                                                in many ways, but quite isolated, and       small sum or a product in kind. “I’m
     theatre, church and everything.”
                                                it is difficult to get out when you don’t   registered on 108 different panels,
     Eventually Eha’s family was sponsored      have a car and your mobility is so          doing new product evaluation, or for
     by a relative to come to Australia. “It    limited. I can’t socialise much, and I      politics or religion. I spend four to six
     was very hard for my parents, because      have to rely on community services          hours a day doing all this.”

6    TAD JOURNAL VOL. 31 NO. 1
                                                                                        Computer Support Service

                                                                                                       Volunteers at the WLC
                                                                                                       with the CSS laptops.

“I’m also interested in so many things
you can find on the internet,” she said.
“I go to the Bureau of Meteorology
to see what’s going to happen to the
weather. I’m very interested in cycling,
so I follow the Tour de France and the
Vuelta Espana. I also subscribe to
Bigpond movies, which is good value.”

“You can also get lecture series by some      Css lApTOps suppORT buRmEsE REFugEEs
very well-known academics, they are
                                              A consignment of computers from           “She said, ‘Before you came, we had
expensive but sometimes they have
                                              the Computer Support Service has          only one laptop in our office, and
sales. I would rather eat baked beans
                                              recently gone to India for use by         now we have eight!’”.
and spaghetti for a while to get those
                                              groups supporting refugee women
– that is the greatest wealth, to have                                                  “The TAD laptops are so important
                                              from Burma. Via TADNSW
the greatest lecturer in the world!”                                                    for these groups. They are truly
                                              physiotherapist Weh Yeoh, the CSS
                                                                                        integral to keeping the organisations
“I love cooking, and the internet is          delivered 16 refurbished laptops to
                                                                                        ticking over, so they can make things
great for that too. I can easily search       two organisations, the Women’s
                                                                                        happen for the people they are trying
for recipes, and buy spices, and I get        League of Chinland (WLC) and
                                                                                        to help. Have a look at the WLC
emails from SBS on food. And there’s a        Burmese Women Delhi (BWD).
                                                                                        website to see what they are capable
website called ‘Not Quite Nigella’, so I’ll
                                              There are up to 100,000 Burmese           of with virtually no resources.”
go and blog on that, it has hundreds
                                              refugees living in India, most of whom
of people blogging every day. They                                                      “Working with WLC and BWD
                                              are ethnic minorities fleeing Burma
have wonderful prizes too, and I’ve                                                     showed me how there are many
                                              to escape persecution by the military
already won a couple of them.”                                                          people struggling in their daily lives
                                              government. However, they
                                                                                        to help others with few resources. I
“Email is the biggest part I use. I           frequently find their situation is even
                                                                                        have come across some incredibly
probably get around 150 emails per            worse in India, as they are often
                                                                                        inspiring people through my work
day, which is almost too much. My             unregistered and therefore
                                                                                        at TAD, but nothing could prepare
friends say I am too much on the              unprotected under Indian law. They
                                                                                        me for what I saw over there. It was
computer, but I am balancing myself           lack access to jobs, education and
                                                                                        a truly moving experience, and
better now, and it’s better than              medical care, and may be subjected
                                                                                        another example of how doing
watching TV all day. And its no more          to abuse, violence and discrimination.
                                                                                        something which is relatively easy for
expensive than before, as my phone            Weh travelled to Delhi as one of a        us can have a huge impact for people
and post bills are down.”                     group of interns with the Centre for      who are desperate for support.”
                                              Refugee Research at the University
Eha is quite unwell, but she was                                                        Apart from bringing the laptops,
                                              of New South Wales. The centre
determined to share her story with                                                      the interns also made a financial
                                              is facilitating dialogue between
TADJournal readers. “I feel I am not the                                                donation to both WLC and BWD, and
                                              Burmese refugees in the area and
only one who lives on their own, who                                                    to a clinic that provides free medical
                                              local office of the United Nations
is in a similar situation, out of contact                                               care for Burmese refugees. For
                                              High Commission for Refugees.
with the world, and if they know how                                                    more information, refer to http://
happy it has made one person, what a          “As I was leaving the WLC office, one or http://yamuna-
difference it has made, maybe they            of the ladies excitedly shook my, or phone
will get one as well,” she said.              hand and thanked me,” Weh said.           TADNSW and ask for Weh.

                                                                                                            TAD JOURNAL VOL. 31 NO. 1   7
                                                                                          VOLUNTEER PORTRAIT

                                              A journey
                                                  of friendship
                                              people with a disability. “I thought that    (reported in the July 2006 TADJournal
                                              there was so much that can be done           as taking 647 hours to make!). See
                                              in my field to support people, and I         also pages 4 and 8 of this issue for two
                                              have the equipment there to make the         of Bruce’s more recent projects.
                                              things that they need,” he said.
                                                                                           Bruce says that working with TADNSW
                                              Bruce consulted the yellow pages, and        has given him a lot of satisfaction,
                                              there was TADNSW. “It fitted exactly,”       particularly in meeting the clients and
                                              he said. “My first job was a camera,         making life easier for them. “The most
                                              making a device to enable a guy who          touching was a client with motor
                                              had had a stroke to operate his zoom         neurone disease for whom I made a
                                              lens while simultaneously holding the        number of devices,” he said.
                                              viewfinder up to his eye.” (TADJournal
                                                                                           “He couldn’t get his hand in the right
                                              Summer 2005.)
                                                                                           position to operate the controls on his
     When talking to Bruce Watts about the    Since then Bruce has worked on a             wheelchair, so I put a motor under the
     projects he has worked on as a           number of TADNSW’s more technically          seat which he could use to move the
     volunteer with TADNSW, just about        challenging projects, often in               arm of the chair to the exact position
     everything he mentions has been          collaboration with other volunteers.         that suited him at the time. He said it
     written about in the TADJournal.         These have included a drink and              was the best thing since sliced bread!”
     That’s because Bruce, a mechanical       sandwich holder which enabled a              “But it’s also been a journey of
     engineer, has used his design and        young wheelchair user to lunch               friendship,” Bruce said. “It’s nice to
     metalwork skills to produce some very    independently at school (TADJournal          associate with people who have similar
     innovative devices.                      Spring 2005), a lifter for a client with     interests and skills and blend with
                                              muscular dystrophy (TADJournal July          them to produce the required result.”
     Leaving school at 15, Bruce tried a
                                              2008), and an adjustable double-seated
     career in insurance and then turned to                                                “We’ve lost both Bob Jones and
                                              chair for a young man who could only
     engineering. He trained as a toolmaker                                                Graham Sharp recently, and I often
                                              sit with his legs completely curled up.
     and spent 19 years in precision and                                                   worked with both of them – generally
     production of mechanical products for    He also worked with volunteer Barry          they did the woodwork and I did the
     industry and agriculture.                Lees on the famed “Boddington Bessie”,       metalwork. There always seems to be
                                              a motorised wheelchair mover for a           room for two people to work on
     Bruce then became a director of a
                                              diversional therapist with a back injury     something and get it done.”
     fledgling company, working on its
     expansion over the next 11 years
     until ill-health prompted him to move                                                                           The double-
                                                                                                                     seated chair.
     back into management. He managed
     several enterprises including
     heavy industry and NATA (National
     Association of Testing Authorities)
     laboratory certification of process
     instrumentation and products for the
     food and beverage industry.

     When Bruce “happily retired”, he
     wanted to do something useful and
                                                                      Boddington Bessie
     was particularly interested in helping

8    TAD JOURNAL VOL. 31 NO. 1

                        REg gARDNER
   TADNSW               stalwart volunteer and
YEARS OF SERVICE        innovative boatbuilder
AWARDS 2010             All at TADNSW were very sad to hear
                        of the recent passing of long-time                      Reg and his wife Norma
                        volunteer Reg Gardner OAM. Reg
     Bill Phippen
                        joined TADNSW in 1996 and became          yachts that made the sport available
  30 YEARS SERVICE      a stalwart of the custom designed         to ordinary Australians, as well as
      Fred Clark        aids volunteer team, working on           larger boats up to 32 feet.
  25 YEARS SERVICE      over 450 projects in the next 15
      Eric Booth        years.                                    Reg brought his boat-building
    William Rodoni                                                skills to TADNSW when he retired,
                        An electrician by trade, Reg was          working with wood, metal and
                        well-known as the developer of the        plastic. He was happy to take on a
        Bill Arnold
  Gail Tang-Demetriou   Endeavour, an early fibreglass yacht.     wide variety of tasks ranging from
                        He had been oriented towards the          minor adjustments to existing
  16 YEARS SERVICE      sea from an early age, and began          equipment, to bathroom steps
   Laurie Chambers
                        competition sailing.                      and wheelchair trays to complex
    Alan Perriman
      Ian Young                                                   powered lifting devices.
                        When he became concerned about
  12 YEARS SERVICE      the state of the woodwork in his          One TADNSW client who Reg
      Paul Ereaut       yacht, he looked for a replacement        worked with was David O’Brien,
    Alvan Hancock       he could build with fibreglass. With      who has quadriplegia. Over the
   Ingrid Liermann      boat builder John Bott and naval          years Reg made David mouthsticks,
     Keith McKay
                        architect Len Hedges, he developed        a table for his wheelchair, a book
   Donald Pearson
                        a mould for a streamlined boat            stand, a sip-and-suck mechanism to
   8 YEARS SERVICE      which he displayed to great interest      operate his bed, pen holders, drink
     Robert Castles     at the 1965 Sydney Caravan and            holders, a revolving overbed table
    Noel Gavenlock                                                and a portable table.
                        Boat Show.
       Daniel Mills
      Tony Oyston       Reg began to receive orders for the       “Reg was a unique person in that
      Laura Walker                                                he could see solutions and answers
                        fibreglass yacht and became a full-
  4 YEARS SERVICE       time boat builder. During the next        to problems that others couldn’t,”
   Michael Atkinson     45 years he produced more than            David said. “He would involve you
     Bruce Beattie      600 sailing and racing yachts. He         from the beginning and make sure
    Peter Bennett                                                 the aid was just what I wanted. The
                        made realtively cheap, kit-form
    Harry Blundell                                                end products were really special
     John Brumby                                                  because they not only looked good,
    Mayo Brumby                            David O’Brien with     they were very functional.”
       Rod Elliott                         a tray and flexible-
                                           use table Reg
     Robyn Foster                          made for him.          “Reg was a good friend as well. He
  Peter Loewensohn                                                was very sincere, passionate, reliable
   Geoffrey Milton
                                                                  and caring. And he inspired me, and
      Afet Ozyigit
    Graham Pearce                                                 still does, because all that he did for
  Geoffrey Permezel                                               me allows me to have a productive
    Ignatius Pirina                                               day, every day. I remember him
   Michael Stanford                                               telling me about other devices he
    Steven Woods                                                  had made for disabled children that
                                                                  would allow them to walk better,
                                                                  and his eyes were full of tears!”

                                                                                      TAD JOURNAL VOL. 31 NO. 1   9
                                                                                                   NEW bOARD
                                                                                                   Three new Board members were
                                                                                                   elected at TADNSW’s AGM in October
                                                                                                   2010. They are:

                                                                                                   Matthew Kayrooz

     FIRsT FREEDOm WhEEls RIDE                                                                     Matthew has worked in
                                                                                                   the insurance industry
     TADNSW’s inaugural Westlink M7                Westlink M7 assisted with planning              for over 30 years and is
     FREEDOM WHEELS Bike Ride was held             and signage along the track.                    now with Suncorp,
     on International Day of People with                                                           specialising in CTP insurance.
                                                   We attached colourful balloons to
     Disability in December.
                                                   each bike, which provided a fantastic           Laurie Nelson
     The goal was to bring our FREEDOM             sight to the other riders using the             Laurie trained as an
     WHEELS client families together for a         path. The children seemed to have a             industrial engineer,
     social ride, and invite the general public    ball, and each rider and volunteer was          and then moved into
     to join in. We wanted to show how             presented with a certificate and a hat          accountancy. He is now
     important a simple pleasure like riding       to thank them for coming.                       a FCPA and Registered Tax Agent.
     a bike is to someone with a disability
                                                   In 2012 we plan to hold several rides           Tony Ross
     and that the perceived barrier between
                                                   to cater for varying abilities, including       Tony has worked in the
     ability and disability is irrelevant.
                                                   a serious ride covering the length of           financial services industry
     Starting from Lady Penhryn Park at            the motorway. For more information,             for many years, and is
     Kings Langley, the ride covered a short       email, or             currently the owner of
     loop of the Westlink M7 bike path.            phone (02) 9912 3406.                           Serenity Financial Professionals.

     NEW bIKEs FOR spECIAl sChOOl
     Students with disabilities at Tallowood       are all “low support”. This means that
     School in Kellyville will have six modified   they are not highly modified, and are
     bikes to ride thanks to the generosity        generally suitable for children with
     of students at William Clarke School          mild to moderate disabilities. Bikes
     and the National Australia Bank.              can often also be modified for children
                                                   with high support needs, but these
     Students from William Clarke have
                                                   will usually need to be tailored very
     been doing charity work with
                                                   specifically for the individual rider.
     Tallowood for several years, and saw                                                                                            Cole Rojas
     children riding test bikes which were         Brendan says that leaving a range of                                           from William
                                                                                                                                 Clarke School
     on loan from TADNSW’s FREEDOM                 test bikes at special schools is a great                                       assists Jacob
     WHEELS service. When William Clarke                                                                                     Cassar with a bike.
                                                   way of introducing some children to
     received funding from NAB under its           riding. “Generally we test children
     Schools First Award, they decided to          for bikes at a clinic held at TAD, but       in a familiar environment, as part of
     use it to donate bikes that could stay        this doesn’t work so well for children       their daily routine. It also introduces
     permanently at the school.                    with disabilities like autism as it is too   the idea to the parents and teachers,
                                                   unfamiliar,” he said.                        and shows them what is possible.”
     According to TADNSW physiotherapist
     Brendan Worne, the bikes have a               “Having the bikes at school enables          If you are interested in the loan bike
     range of sizes and modifications but          children to approach them gradually          program, please contact TADNSW.

0    TAD JOURNAL VOL. 31 NO. 1
bIll phIppEN                              5Th ANNIvERsARY
hONOuRED                                  DINNER
TADNSW President Bill Phippen             Over 100 friends of TADNSW turned
received the award of 2010 NSW            out on a wild night in October to
Senior Volunteer of the Year at           celebrate 35 years of service to people
Parliament House in December. The         with disabilities.
award includes a $1,000 donation to
TADNSW plus a Seiko watch, which          The theme of the anniversary was
Bill has also donated to TADNSW.          “Growing Independence: TAD’s 35 Year
                                          Journey”, and the surrounds of Eden
Run by the NSW Centre for                 Gardens at North Ryde helped capture
Volunteering, the awards received         that idea. Each guest also went home
more than 6,000 nominations. The          with their own packet of forget-me-
process gave Bill the opportunity to      not seeds to grow.
make important contacts on
TADNSW’s behalf, and he was also          Television personality Mike Bailey
featured as one of Sydney’s 100 most      acted as MC for the night, with musical
influential people in the December        entertainment from the wonderful
issue of the Sydney Morning Herald’s      jazz and soul singer Isaac. But the
Sydney Magazine. They quoted him          highlight of the evening was the
as saying: “Volunteerism is not           speeches from two client families.
unpaid, it’s just not paid in dollars.”
                                          Linda Langton spoke about the
No-one who knows Bill could doubt         challenges she and her husband face
that he richly deserves the award. He     as parents to Georgia, who has a
became a member of TAD when it                                                      artworks by TADNSW clients. We
                                          developmental disability, and the
began in 1976, and has served on the                                                were lucky to have two of the artists,
                                          assistance TADNSW has provided –
management committee and Board                                                      Matt Kilby and Stephanie Gore, in
                                          such as making the kitchen safe and
continuously since then. He has been                                                attendence, as well as Trish and Wayne
                                          allowing them to eat as a family with
TADNSW President since 1997.                                                        Faint, the parents of our cover artist,
                                          one of TADNSW’s Joshua Chairs.
                                                                                    Luke Faint.
As well as completing over 125            Penny Graham then spoke about her
projects for the Custom-Designed                                                    Thanks goes to all our guests and
                                          son Alex, who has cerebral palsy. Alex
Aids Service, Bill has steered                                                      supporters, including Cincom Systems,
                                          has received a computer from the
TADNSW’s governance and                                                             Microsoft (Australia), Inghams
                                          Computer Support Service, bed rails
management for many years. He                                                       Enterprises, IBM, Suncorp, The Mailing
                                          from the Custom Designed Aids Service,
cites his greatest achievement as                                                   House, Amway and our staff and
                                          and a modified bike from the FREEDOM
overseeing the process of fundraising                                               volunteers for helping to make the
                                          WHEELS Service. It was very clear from
for, and moving to, TADNSW’s new                                                    evening such a success. You can view
                                          both mothers what a big difference
$2.7 million premises in Northmead.                                                 the rest of the photos on our facebook
                                          TADNSW has made to their lives.
                                          Long-serving TADNSW President
                                          Bill Phippen was given a surprise         Photo top: Penny Graham and Mike
                                                                                    Bailey. Centre: TADNSW President Bill
                                          Honorary Membership at the dinner,
                                                                                    Phippen, recent CEO Joy Barrett, current
                                          to recognise his dedication to            CEO Alan McGregor and former CEO
                                          TADNSW since he joined in 1976.           Sancha Donald. Below: TADNSW Board
                                                                                    member Monica Vardabasso (centre), her
                                          Bill also launched the first TADNSW       husband Vincent de Gouw and Jackie
                                          calendar, which contains excellent        Evans from The Mailing House.

                                                                                                           TAD JOURNAL VOL. 31 NO. 1   
 Bill with The Hon. Michael Veitch MLC

     bEQuEsT FROm hElEN muRphY                                                              TADNsW CAlENDAR
     TADNSW was honoured last year to            working in Senior Citizens’ Clubs and
     receive a bequest from the late Helen       Meals on Wheels. Once out of the
     Murphy OAM, a long-time volunteer           workforce, Helen was involved with
     and supporter.                              a number of organisations including
                                                 Plan International Australia, the Older
     For 23 years Helen was a familiar face
                                                 Women’s Network, and Australians for
     in TADNSW’s office. Every Monday she
                                                 Native Title and Reconciliation.
     took on the responsibility of making
     follow-up phone calls to clients to         Helen also made a major contribution
     ensure that their device was meeting        to 2RPH (Radio for the Print
     their needs. She then fed back the          Handicapped), where she was a Board
     responses to the volunteer who made         Member, read the daily newspapers
     the device and staff of the Custom-         on air two days a week and produced        we fulfil Helen’s wish to support
     Designed Aids Service. As with all our      two weekly programs, “New Ideas” and       our ongoing work for people with a
     volunteers, Helen’s role was crucial to     “Technical Aid to the Disabled”.           disability and their families and carers.
     TADNSW’s operations.
                                                 As with any bequest to TADNSW,             For a confidential discussion on
     Before retiring, Helen was a social         Helen’s gift is a life-giving act for      making a bequest to TADNSW, please
     welfare worker with Sydney City             our services. The funds have been          contact Mark Lees on his direct line
     Council and Waverley Council,               invested by the Board to ensure that       (02) 9912 3406.

                    Have you considered workplace giving?
         WhAT Is WORKplACE gIvINg?               WhAT’s IN IT FOR YOu?                      hOW IT WORKs
         l   A simple and effective way to       l   Your tax is calculated on your ‘net’   Traditional donations
             regularly donate to TADNSW              amount after the donation = an         Donation                      $10.00
             through automated payroll               immediate tax benefit.                 Administration costs          - $1.70
             deductions.                         l   Your donation is received free of      Receipting costs              - $3.60
         l   Your tax deductible pledge is           cost by TADNSW.                        Total donation to TADNSW       $4.70
             sent directly to TADNSW each
             month by your payroll office.       WhAT hAppENs AT TAx TImE?                  Workplace giving

         l   Regular flow of income enables      l   Your employer provides you with a      Donation                      $10.00
             TADNSW to better plan                   statement along with your group        Administration costs             Nil
             activities, goals and budgets.          certificate for the amount you have    Receipting costs                 Nil
                                                     donated.                               Total donation to TADNSW $10.00
         l   A better alternative to expensive
             fundraising campaigns.              l   In a pre-tax workplace giving
                                                     system you will only need to record
         l   Each company can opt to match
                                                     the amount on your tax return,         If you would like TADNSW to talk
             their employee’s donation dollar
                                                     rather than keeping receipts and       to your management about a
             for dollar.
                                                     claiming for that amount. It’s an      Workplace Giving Program in your
                                                     easy way to give!                      workplace, call Mark Lees on his
                                                                                            direct line (02) 9912 3406 or email

                                 Contribute to TADNSWTADjOuRNAl subsCRIpTION                            pRIvACY sTATEmENT
As well as the opportunity to support                You can subscribe to the TADJournal                The information collected by TADNSW
TADNSW’s services, benefits of                       without becoming a member or                       is for the purposes of processing your
membership include voting rights at                  volunteering. For more information refer           enquiry, request, registration, donation
meetings of the company, eligibility for             to                     and/or for promotional purposes.
election to the TADNSW Board and branch              Communications/subscribe.php.                      TADNSW only discloses personal and
committees, issues of the TADJournal and                                                                sensitive information to the TADNSW
                                                     vOluNTEERINg                                       employee or volunteer involved in
invitations to seminars and functions.
                                                     Volunteers have the opportunity to use             the provision of the service you have
DONATION                                             their skills to support people with                requested.
We have over 300 volunteers who donate               disabilities and their families. Volunteers
their labour to make around 1,000                    can receive the TADJournal and invitations         If you are giving personal information
custom-designed aids and maintain                    to seminars and functions, and are covered         about another person, e.g. next of
around 1,000 computer clients per year.              by insurance while doing authorised                kin, you should seek their permission
However, we do need funds to support                 voluntary work. Reduced-rate membership            beforehand and advise why you are
and deliver these services, and for this             is available to volunteers who wish to have        disclosing their details to TADNSW.
we rely on the generous support of our               voting rights and be eligible for election.        For a copy of our Privacy Policy visit
donors. For more information refer to                For more information refer to www.        or telephone                     1300 663 243 or (02) 9912 3400.

   mEmbERshIp                                                                TADjOuRNAl subsCRIpTION
   I wish to become a member of TADNSW and enclose payment for:                 I wish to subscribe to the TADJournal $45.00 per year including GST
        Member $50.00 per year                                               Overseas subscribers please add $AUS 15.00 for airmail postage
        Volunteer member $10.00 per year
        (available to registered volunteers only)                            vOluNTEERINg
        Corporate $250.00                                                       Please send me more information on volunteering
   Overseas members please add $AUS 15.00 per year for postage.
   I would like to:                                                          Name
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   Please send me a TAD1000 Club sign-up kit

       Become a regular donor
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       Leave a bequest
   Please send me more information on leaving a bequest to TADNSW            Dated

   All donations of $2 or more are tax deductible (CFN 10944)                Please send to Locked Bag 2008, Wentworthville NSW 2145

                                                                                                                                     TAD JOURNAL VOL. 31 NO. 1   
                                                                 Ensuring your legacy
                                                                               with TADNSW
     Technical Aid to the Disabled (TADNSW) is a unique charity that uses technology and the creativity of our
     volunteers to provide solutions that improve the lives of people with disabilities. If you would like to leave a
     lasting reminder of your support for TADNSW’s services, please consider leaving a gift to TADNSW in your will.
     This will help to ensure that these invaluable services continue and develop in the future.

     A gift to TADNSW will help ensure a                             There is no need to tell us the                 or estate planner. You can also access
     long-lasting legacy. To leave a gift for                        amount if you do not want to, and we            information online at
     TADNSW, you should nominate the                                 will treat any information you give us
     TAD Foundation as your beneficiary.                             in the strictest confidence.
                                                                                                                     For more information on leaving a
     When you decide to make a gift to                               You could also leave a memorial                 bequest or memorial gift to the TAD
     TADNSW, please let us know. This will                           gift to TADNSW by including in                  Foundation, please phone Mark
     allow us to thank you personally for                            your will a request to family and               Lees on his direct line at (02) 9912
     your generosity. it will also allow us                          friends to give a donation to the TAD           3406 or mobile 0407 253 136, or
     to plan for the future knowing that                             Foundation in lieu of flowers.                  email You
     we will have the financial resources                                                                            can also find information at www.
     to continue helping people with                                 For more information on bequests      
     disabilities and develop our services.                          and wills, please see your solicitor

     TEChNICAl AID TO ThE DIsAblED NsW (TADNsW)                                                                      TAD AROuND AusTRAlIA
     PATRON                                                          EMAiL                                           TADACT
     Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir, AC CVO                   Administration:
                                                                                                                     T: (02) 6287 4290; E:
     Governor of New South Wales
                          TAD NSW   Logo Artwork   Solid Black
                                                                     Custom Designed Aids Service:         
     ViCE PATRON                                                                                                     TAD QuEENSLAND
                                                                     Freedom Wheels Modified Bike service:
     Mark Bagshaw BA, Dip Int Marketing                                                                              T: (07) 3216 1733; E:
     Managing Director, Innov8 Consulting Group                                                            
                                                                     George Winston Communication Service:
                                                                                         TECHNiCAL AiD TO THE DiSABLED (SA)
                                                                     Computer Support Service:                       T: (08) 8261 2922; E:
     Unit 10, 185 Briens Road
     Northmead NSW 2152
     Locked Bag 2008, Wentworthville NSW 2145                        Development:
                                                                                                                     TECHNiCAL AiD TO THE DiSABLED (TAS)
                                                                     BRANCHES AND iNTEREST GROuPS                    T: (03) 6223 7794; E:
                                                                     (phone 1300 663 243 for details       
     Phone: (02) 9912 3400
     Freecall: 1300 663 243                                          of your nearest group)
     General fax: (02) 9890 1911                                     Albury/Wodonga, Central Coast,
                                                                                                                     T: (03) 9853 8655; E:
     Custom Designed Aids Service fax:                               Central West, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour,
     (02) 9890 1912                                                  Hunter, Illawarra, Manning/Great Lakes,
                                                                     Northern Rivers, Port Macquarie,                TECHNOLOGY ASSiSTiNG DiSABiLiTY WA
     WEBSiTE                                                         Shoalhaven, Southern Area,                      T: (08) 9379 7400; E: technicalaidwa@                                               Southern Highlands                    ;

4    TAD JOURNAL VOL. 31 NO. 1

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