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					NEWSLETTER NO. 145                                                                                         WINTER, 2008



                      TECHNICAL AID TO THE DISABLED (SA)
                     INC.
                                       PO Box 540, Modbury, SA 5092
Telephone: 08) 8261 2922                     Fax: 08) 8369 1051
Website:www.tadsa.org.au
(Mon-Thurs 9.00am – 5.00pm)                                                                Email – admin@tadsa.org.au
State-wide Local Call – 1300 663 243




                                         NEWSLETTER
                                       No. 145 - WINTER, 2008



                       Happy 30th Birthday to Us!




                           Hon. Jay Weatherill, MP with some of the TADSA volunteers visiting Parliament
                                                              House




TADSA’s Mission – “To improve the quality of life of people with disabilities, the frail aged and
those who care for them through the application of technology using the skills of volunteers”.

TADSA’s Aim is to – “Strive to improve the quality of life for the ageing and people with
   disabilities by a dedication to –
   Design and manufacture of innovative equipment otherwise unavailable
   Modification of commercially available equipment to suit clients’ special needs
   Provision of specialised technical advice to clients and those concerned with their welfare
   and referral to other organisations able to assist when we cannot.
                                                         1
NEWSLETTER NO. 145                                                                      WINTER, 2008




                 We gratefully acknowledge the sponsorship of this issue of our Newsletter
                                    by the Lions Club of Blackwood Inc.


                                 TADSA INFORMATION
Technical Aid to the Disabled (TAD) - Is an Australia wide voluntary Organization, with
branches in every State. Technical members are people with skills in many fields, who give
their time to helping people with disabilities and elderly people with practical problems for which
no completely satisfactory commercial solution is available. This may require modifications to
existing equipment, or the construction of new, specialised aids. Sometimes we can provide
the means to overcome difficulties that had seemed insurmountable.



Technical Aid to the Disabled (SA) Inc. is based at The Royal Society for the Blind, Gilles
Plains, on site with The Royal Society for the Blind, Disability Services SA, Disability Services
SA-ILC, ILEP and Adult Therapy Solutions. Our members work, where necessary, in close
cooperation with health professionals. If you have a problem for us to solve, or if you know
someone who has, contact us at the address given below. No referral is necessary; cost is
normally only that of materials used, service charge and expenses actually incurred and is
usually small.



Volunteers Needed - If you have skills in the mechanical, carpentry, electrical or electronic
fields, or in computer applications, you might like to use some spare time on this challenging
and most rewarding work. TADSA is always seeking more volunteers. If you would like to
know more about how you could be part of our team, please telephone either the Project or
Office Manager on 08)8261 2922.



Page-Turner Loan Program - TADSA have 12 mechanical page-turners for loan to people with
severe disabilities. A small fee for this loan is requested. Each machine has been modified to
allow connecting the most suitable control device. Contact Julie in the office for further
information.



Rugged Terrain Electric Wheelchair Program - TADSA has two Electric Wheelchairs
available for loan to people with severe disabilities living in rugged terrain. For further
information, contact Julie in the Office.



Home Phone Numbers for Urgent TADSA business –
Chairman             -   Richard Jackson      - (H) 8294 8591  0412 895826 (mobile)
Office Manager       -   Julie Sullivan      - 0411 240118 (mobile)




Supported by
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NEWSLETTER NO. 145                                                                      WINTER, 2008




                          HAPPY 30TH BIRTHDAY TO TADSA
 Yes, this is our 30th year of operation in this State. TADSA was initially established and
 incorporated in 1977 and were in full operation in 1988. How time has flown, but in that time,
 TADSA has grown and become an integral part of the disability sector in our community.
 Over the years, we have completed thousands of jobs for people with special needs. We
 have been supported by many organizations and individuals, which has enabled us to not
 only continue offering a valuable service to the community, but to build upon it. We also
 appreciate the Government Grants received in that time, and of course we very much
 appreciate the recent Grant from the State Government. This has enabled us to employ two
 new staff, build up our volunteer base and increase our public awareness. Our future at this
 stage looks bright.
                           To celebrate our 30th year, we were delighted to accept an invitation
                           to all technical members to join the Minister of Disability, the Hon.
                           Jay Weatherill MP for afternoon tea at Parliament House. We had a
                           great turn-out, about 30 members joined us, initially for a hosted tour
                           of Parliament House, followed by afternoon tea with the Minister.

                           It was a most enjoyable afternoon and our thanks certainly go to our
                           hosts and of course, to the Minister, for their hospitality. Chairman
                           Richard Jackson thanked the Minister and staff for their hospitality
                           and presented the Minister with one of our new promotional mugs.
                           The following is the Minister‟s address to our technical members.
 Hon Jay Weatherill, MP
                           “It’s my very great pleasure to
 welcome you to Parliament House today. I wanted to
 officially recognise your thirtieth anniversary in a special
 way, to say thank you on behalf of the State Government for
 your invaluable service. And let’s face it, you’ve done it on
 the smell of an oily rag.

 I always look forward to seeing your newsletters and hearing
 about the amazing solutions you come up for tricky projects.
 In the latest issue alone, there was news of help for a one-
 armed angler, motorising a bedroom blind, a device to load
                                                                       LtoR- Richard Jackson,
 CDs into a computer and even fixing a harmonica to a neck                 Roger Davis &
 strap. No job is too small and every job makes a difference in        Hon. Jay Weatherill, MP
 the life of someone with a disability.

 South Australians lead the way when it comes to volunteering with two in every five people
 doing some sort of honorary work. The value of that work is estimated at about ten billion
 dollars a year and almost half of all adults give of their time. We are indebted to those
 people who give of their time, their expertise and their “never say die” attitude when it comes
 to solving a problem. Put simply, we wouldn’t be able to provide the service we do without
 our volunteers.

 So thank you most sincerely. I know the State Government helps you out with just a little
 funding of $23,000 a year. But I was very pleased to be able to announce in last year’s
 budget a one-off sum of $100,000 to carry on your work. Thank you again for all that you do
 and I hope you enjoy this afternoon tea here at Parliament House.”
                                                3
NEWSLETTER NO. 145                                                                    WINTER, 2008




                                                                       Hon. Jay Weatherill, MP




                                Public Relations News
Award winning TADSA. Chairman Richard and I attended the Northern Adelaide Volunteer
Awards luncheon on Friday 16th May, where our submitted nomination was rewarded with an
award in recognition of our service to people with disabilities. This award recognises the
hours of untiring work done by our fantastic volunteers over 30 years.
Promotional video. Filming of our promotional video took place over two days in mid April.
Thanks to those who appear in the video- tech members, Joe Tieste and Michael Green, our
Chairman Richard and client Sue for their patience, having to film the same scenes many
times. To say we had some sound problems is an understatement. The noise of cars, air
conditioning, planes, birds chirping, even a rooster crowing (at 1pm!), required Richard to
record some of his interview in the TADSA stationery cupboard and Sue doing the same, but
in her car. The completed video will be launched in June and will be used for member
inductions, grant applications, at expos and may even appear on our website or YouTube.
Refreshing the brand. We have been very lucky to have graphic designer Alison Fort
volunteer with us to update our logo, redesign our two brochures and letterhead and assist
with the look of our display boards. Expect to see our new look over the next couple of
months.
Rotary Club Edwardstown.          After giving a talk to this Club in March, the President
presented me with a pen as a thank you gift. This is not an unusual occurrence, but what was
unusual, was that the President also gave me a cheque for $1,000. One Club member said it
was worth going that night, just to see my reaction when the cheque was presented –
apparently my mouth was open for a while. It was also fantastic to meet one of TADSA‟s
original members (also a Life Member) Trevor Fechner, who is also a member of the
Edwardstown Rotary Club.



                                 Volunteer Inductions
Over the past 9 months or so, TADSA has
welcomed many new technical members into
the Organisation and as part of our policy, we
have introduced a new Volunteer Induction
programme.

This programme consists of structured
presentations given by management and staff
members, followed by the viewing of a DVD
called “Just Like You”. This very informative
DVD provides a guide to etiquette and
communicating with people with a disability              New Technical Members attending a
and includes interviews from a number of                       Volunteer Induction session
people with disabilities, explaining their
lifestyle and attitudes received from others to their disability.



                                                 4
NEWSLETTER NO. 145                                                                   WINTER, 2008

The afternoon concluded with afternoon tea and a general chat amongst members. The
Induction Programme is an important part of becoming a TADSA technical member, it is also
another nice way to meet up with other new members.




                                    How it was Done
           Please Note – Personal names have been altered to respect client’s privacy

Project 2008-117 - Chair to Access Model Train
Technical Member - Bill

Len is a keen model train enthusiast and loves to get out and play trains.        His medical
condition however, is deteriorating, so he now needs to sit rather than stand.

                             Len‟s family made a “Heath Robinson” chair (see photo on the
                             left), which proved to be very successful in allowing Len to enjoy
                             his model trains. Len would drag himself along and around his
                             train track, by using either his crutches or the frame work under
                             the train set. Over time however, safety became an important
                             issue as Len needed to use the chair more
                             often.

                             Technical Member Bill was asked to build a
                             chair that incorporated both a braking system
                             and the ability to lift Len‟s feet up off the
                             chair.

Bill purchased a chair from a company who kindly gave him a very good
price. This was then fixed to a platform that incorporated the hand
operated braking system. A plate was fitted on a pair of slides to lift
Len‟s feet up off the ground, operated easily by a lever.
                                     (Photos taken by Technical Member Bill)

                                               Total Design & Construction Time: 50 Hours


                                Project 2008-144 - Child’s Seat on Scooter
                                Technical Member         - Dennis

                                Cory has multiple disabilities and needs to use her scooter.
                                She found outings with her young grandson very difficult,
                                especially when shopping. TADSA was asked to solve this
                                problem.
                               Safety was of prime importance in the design and making of
                               this project. The scooter must not tip backwards under any
conditions and the seat must be strong enough to hold the child, not only now, but also as he
grows over the next few years. Ideally, the seat be fixed in a way that it could be removed
easily, when no longer needed.

Technical Member Dennis achieved all of the desired goals by incorporating a commercial
child‟s seat that Cory had, on to her scooter. For strength, it was made out of 25mm square


                                               5
NEWSLETTER NO. 145                                                                          WINTER, 2008

tubing with bracing to the scooter at three points. To help stabilise the scooter, the seat was
positioned as close as practical to the centre of gravity, i.e., the rear driving wheels.

The entire seat assembly is bolted to the scooter. This will enable the easy removal of the
seat at a later time, by simply undoing three bolts. The shade canopy over Cory was also
strengthened to reduce the wobble and a smaller canopy was also made to shade the child.
                                                                      (Photo taken by Project Manager)

                                                    Total Design & Construction Time: 30 hours


Project 2008-037             - Leg Exerciser
Technical Members           - Randal and Project Manager

                                Heather suffers from Friedreich‟s Ataxia, which is usually defined
                                as the failure of muscle coordination that generally results in an
                                unsteady gait and balance, limb or eye movements, and/or
                                speech. She tried, with some success, a loan mechanised leg
                                exerciser and wanted to continue this exercise on a long term
                                basis. TADSA was asked if we could convert the frame of a
                                standard exerciser bike to a motorised unit.

                             Technical      Member      Randal
                             accepted the project, to mount a
standard electric wheel chair motor on the frame, add cogs and
chain so that the pedal would rotate at a maximum speed of
fifty per minute. Guards were also added to enclose the chain
and all other moving parts.

Project Manager Travis then built the speed controller and
wired up the motor. The speed control knob for Heather was positioned on the tube, where
previously the seat had been. A pull out safety switch was included, which would stop the
machine instantly should something go wrong. A well combined project with a successful
outcome.
                                                                    (Photos taken by Project Manager)
Total Design & Construction Time: 35 hours


                                     From a Happy Client
Just wanted to send an email saying THANK-YOU so much for helping out with my clothesline.

Rod has done a wonderful job of making my paraline totally accessible. I put two loads on the line
yesterday and it was amazing how normal it felt!!! First time in 5 years – just so comfortable and not
having to reach to the heavens - holding clothes and line and trying to keep balanced and keeping off
as much pain as possible – it has been hard work and now it is so much easier. Rod has taken
photos but I will look a wreck – had been cooking all morning – will do some other photos that look a
little less like I have been through the washing machine myself!!! and send them to you and Rod for the
record. Just wanted to let you know – it is a great success

Kindest regards (name and address withheld for privacy)




                                             Statistics
                                                 Feb      Mar   Apr
                        Projects Assigned        18        9    10
                        Info Delivery             9       24    14
                                                    6
NEWSLETTER NO. 145                                                                           WINTER, 2008

                             Referrals                 2     1        -
                             *Public Relations        34    38       30
                             Miscellaneous -
                               -new volunteers         1     3        4
                               -Equipment Loans       -      1        -
                             * (excluding technical member enquiries)




                                 Projects Assigned to Members
          1st February – 30th April, 2008 - (tp = technical project           ap = assessment)


Project No.          ap/tp   Project
2008-130             AP      MODIFY BACKPACK
2008-131             TP      LCD SCREEN TABLE FOR WHEEL CHAIR
2008-132             AP      COVER FOR STOVE
2008-133             TP      NON-MOVEMENT DETECTOR
2008-134             TP      MAKE PARALLEL BARS FOR CHILD
2008-135             TP      LANGUAGE MACHINE FAULTY
2008-136             TP      HELP MAKE TOOTHBRUSH FOR PARKINSON
2008-137             TP      SWITCH FOR DOOR OPENER
2008-138             AP      ATTACH CARRY CHAIR TO SCOOTER
2008-139             TP      REPAIRS TO BLOOD SUGAR MACHINE
2008-140             AP      ASSESS CALL DEVICE AND DRINKING SYSTEM
2008-141             TP      REPAIR TADSA BUILT CALL UNIT
2008-142             TP      DRILL HOLES IN WALKER
2008-143             TP      AUDIBLE ANNUNCIATE FOR SWITCH SYSTEM
2008-144             TP      ATTACH CARRY CHAIR TO SCOOTER
2008-145             AP      MAKE MORE MOUTH STICKS
2008-146             AP      ASSESS LAUNDRY CHUTE
2008-147             TP      MAKE SEAT BELT GUARDS
2008-148             AP      REPAIRS TO WHEEL CHAIR
2008-149             TP      REPAIR TREADMILL
2008-150             TP      MAKE MORE MOUTH STICKS
2008-151             TP      BATTERY BACK UP ON TROLLEY
2008-152             TP      LARGE BOWLING CHUTE
2008-153             TP      REPLACE SHOWER FLOOR MAT
2008-154             AP      ASSESS MODS TO OVER TABLE
2008-155             AP      HELP TO DIAL FOR ASSISTANCE
2008-156             TP      ASSESS LAUNDRY CHUTE
2008-157             AP      HELP TO STABILISE HER WHILE WATERING GARDEN
2008-158             AP      RAISE HEAD AND FEET IN BED
2008-159             TP      TERI CLIPS FOR WALKING STICK AND PICK UP STICK
2008-160             TP      DRINK HOLDER REMAKE
2008-161             TP      INSTALL COMMUNICATION SYSTEM
2008-162             TP      BOOK-HOLDER BAR
2008-163             TP      CALL SYSTEM PROBLEM
2008-164             AP      INTERCOM
2008-165             TP      MOTORISE BEDROOM CURTAIN
2008-166             AP      REPAIR TO WHEELCHAIR CARRIAGE
2008-167             TP      REPAIR PICKUP STICKS
2008-168             AP      INVESTIGATE HEAD SUPPORT IN W/CHAIR
2008-169             AP      W ALKER TO HELP STABILSE WHEN WALKING
2008-170             TP      REPROGRAM TS PHONE CONTROLLER
2008-171             AP      ASSESS HOLDING DIGITAL CAMERA
2008-172             TP      BUILD WALKER FOR CHILD WITH DISABILITY
2008-173             TP      HELP FOR CLIENT WHILE WATERING GARDEN
2008-174             AP      REPLACE HANDLE ON ROCKING KNIFE

                                                       7
NEWSLETTER NO. 145                                                                                 WINTER, 2008




                              Making Your Workplace Safer
            LP Gas Cylinders – Safe Handling, Storage and Disposal                      (part 1)

This fact sheet outlines how to safely handle, store and dispose of unwanted LP gas cylinders. It
provides assistance to employers, employees, managers, supervisors, contractors and householders
who require information about dealing with unwanted or unidentifiable („orphaned‟) LP gas cylinders
that appear unpredictably in the waste stream.

Cylinders containing LP gas and cylinders that are apparently empty but in fact contain some contents
are found disposed in the waste stream, particularly in household waste collection bins, at landfill sites,
waste transfer stations and metal recyclers. These cylinders present a risk to health and safety of
employees and the general public and are not wanted by the waste and recycling management
industry in the general waste stream.

Cylinders may be discarded because –
.   they are empty and deliberately discarded because it is too hard to find a safe disposal route
.   They require re-inspection and it is cheaper to purchase a new cylinder, rather than pay for a re-
        inspection.
.   they are damaged and cannot be safely refilled
.   the owner/supplier cannot be identified – eg. There are no markings to indicate ownership or the
        cylinders are from a foreign supplier
.   the owner has no further use for the cylinders.

Risks Associated with Discarded LP Gas Cylinders – Explosions and fires have occurred when
cylinders of LP gas (propane gas) have been handled, stored or disposed of incorrectly. LP gas is
heavier than air and will accumulate in low areas and depressions, rather than dissipate. Without
adequate ventilation and air movement, dissipation will occur slowly, and the accumulated gas will
remain within its explosive range over a longer period, increasing the likelihood of it finding an ignition
source. A leaking cylinder can also generate an explosive mixture if it is not stored and handled
correctly.

Unless properly stored and handled, LP gas cylinders are a safety risk because they are:
.   pressurised, with the risk of a violent release of contents if the container is punctured
.   flammable, if the contents are released and mixed with air
.   an asphyxiant, if the contents displace the air in an area occupied by humans or animals.

Risk Assessment – Employers and occupiers of premises are required to undertake and record a risk
assessment to ensure that no persons are exposed to risks arising from the handling and storage of LP
gas cylinders on their premises. The risk assessment must be reviewed and updated should it be no
longer valid. Where no specific measures are necessary, the employer or occupier should make
annotation in the register of dangerous goods. Or, where specific measures are necessary to control
the risks associated with the storage and/or handling of LP gas cylinders, a report on the risk
assessment should be prepared – see clause 174Q of the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation
2001 (OHS Regulation).

Safe Handling and Storage – LP gas cylinders (dangerous goods Class 2.1) must be positioned so
the pressure relief valve is in the vapour space of the cylinder – eg. Stored in an upright position.
Quantities of LP gas cylinders stored on a site should be kept as low as is reasonably practicable within
the limits of safe storage facilities, and collected and disposed of on a regular basis. LP gas cylinders
must be handled and stored in accordance with chapter 6A of the OHS Regulation and clause 10.14 of
AS/NZS 1596:2002 – The storage and handling of LP Gas, which requires that cylinders must be:
.   handled carefully and not allowed to fall upon one another, or subjected to undue shock
                                                    8
NEWSLETTER NO. 145                                                                                         WINTER, 2008

.   secured to prevent movement of physical damage
.   safe-guarded against physical damage to the valves, in accordance with
        AS2473.1:2006 – Valves for compressed gas cylinders – Specifications, type testing and
        Manufacturing tests and inspections.
.   positioned so that the safety relief device will always vent the vapour space – if venting does occur
        it should vent into a well–ventilated area away from possible sources of ignition.

Information is also available at www.workcover.nsw.gov.au, or by calling 13 10 50.



                                          The Independent Living Centre
                                         BUILDING ACCESS & DESIGN (part 2)

Flooring - Ensure that all flooring is slip resistant. Loose mats should be eliminated or if not possible, securely
attached to the floor to minimise tripping. If an external doormat is required use only a low profile type with slip
resistant backing.

Fittings and Fixtures - Ensure that windows do not project outwards onto paths and do not interfere with grab
rails. Windows need to be easily operated by all users, and if locks are fitted they should be operated with the
same key and located 1 metre from the floor. Power points and light switches should have large rocker action
switch buttons. They should be positioned between 600mm – 1100mm above floor level for power points, and
900mm – 1100mm for light switches. Lever taps, time release button or sensor taps are usually easier to operate
than standard tap heads. Two way light switches should be installed at the end of each corridor, in living areas that
have more than one entry and in bedrooms, with the additional switch located alongside the bed.

Toilet - To increase circulation space, consider having the toilet in the bathroom or building a wall between the
toilet and bathroom that can be easily removed at a later date. A swing out toilet door or escape hinge door is
recommended if one of the users is at risk of falling inside the toilet room and blocking the door from opening
inwards.
Generally, grab rails in the toilet are installed at 800mm above floor level and proceed at a 45 degree angle or
vertically 200mm in front of the toilet. If there is a wall at both sides of the toilet, grab rails on both sides may be
appropriate. For a toilet in the bathroom a retractable grab rail may be necessary. The toilet roll holder needs to be
easy to reach but out of the way of the rails, generally up to 300mm from the front end of the toilet pan and 700mm
above the floor. Ensure the flush button is easy to reach and operate. A toilet pan with a „P‟ trap is easier to
relocate than an „S‟ trap if the pan ever needs to be moved further out from the wall.

Bathroom - Slip resistant flooring in the bathroom is essential, either by way of installing slip resistant tiles or
using a treatment to alter the existing surface. Grab rails are often positioned horizontally around 800mm above
floor level. Ideally, a user should be able to stabilise themselves on one rail outside the shower and then as they
transfer into the shower alcove easily reach a rail inside the shower. The shower alcove should be 1100mm x
1100mm, and the floor should have a gentle gradient without a step up or down. To eliminate a step down, a
wooden shower platform can be constructed to fill the sunken area, this will allow a mobile shower commode to be
wheeled into the alcove and reduce a tripping hazard for users that are unsteady on their feet.
Other items for consideration in the shower include the tap positions and style, a recessed soap holder, seating,
hand held shower, scalding safeguards/temperature control and the installation of a shower curtain rather than a
shower screen. Not all hand held showers are suitable for use with gravity fed hot water systems, so check the
product suitability before purchasing. For many existing home situations with baths/showers over baths, the safest
option is to remove a bath and replace it with generous sized shower alcove, if this is not possible, a bath board
over a bath or an electric bath hoist may be a suitable alternative.

Kitchen - Principles about positioning and energy conservation should be incorporated into the kitchen design.
Consideration should be given to bench heights, circulation space, storage heights and locations, lighting, taps
and power points. For more detailed information refer to the July 2004 ILC News Article “Kitchen Design Meeting
Everyone‟s Needs” available on the ILC website.


                                                           9
NEWSLETTER NO. 145                                                                                WINTER, 2008

Resources - An easy to read booklet on building adaptable / accessible housing called “Housing for Life:
Designed for Everybody” published by Master Builders Association of ACT is available from the Master Builders
Association free of charge.


       For more information contact Independent Living Centre, 11 Blacks Road, GILLES PLAINS SA 5086
    Ph: 1300 885 886 (SA/NT callers only) Ph: (08) 8266 5260 Fax: (08) 8266 5263 E-mail: ilcsa@ilc.asn.au
                                            Web: www.ilc.asn.au

           Free Advice on Equipment and Techniques to Help You with Everyday Task


                                       DISABILITY GUIDE
                                         Friedreich’s Ataxia


Friedreich's Ataxia is caused by an abnormality in one of the genes, called X25, located in the
ninth chromosome pair. Genes are sets of instructions that tell the cells, containing
chromosomes, how to build the proteins that enable these cells to carry out their various
functions. These functions determine a person's physical characteristics, from the colour of
the hair and eyes to the organization of the nervous system. Friedreich's Ataxia occurs when
there is a lack of the protein frataxin (for which X25 provides the code) in the tissues. This
lack of protein causes the nerve cells within the tissues of the spinal cord and its brain
connections, the heart and pancreas to degenerate, thereby reducing nerve signals to the
muscles. The disorder develops only when a person inherits the defective gene from both
parents. This is called a recessive inheritance pattern. If only one parent contributes a
defective gene, the child becomes a "carrier" of Friedreich's Ataxia but never develops the
disorder. Carriers appear neurologically normal, and sometimes may not know they are
carriers until an afflicted child is born to them. Each child of parents who are both carriers has
a 25 percent chance of inheriting the disease.

Symptoms
Symptoms usually begin in childhood or youth (age 5 through 25) as a result of deterioration
in areas of the brain controlling muscle coordination, the spinal cord and nerves. The
symptoms may include: -
clumsiness
progressive weakness of the legs which may appear as a staggering, lurching way of walking
(gait)
reduced muscle coordination
trembling when standing still
partial loss of the sense of touch or sensitivity to pain and temperature
arms and legs may become weak or numb
paralysis of the lower limb
impaired speech
impaired swallowing
spine may begin to curve to one side (scoliosis)
feet may become rigid and deformed
vision & hearing problems
diabetes develops
heart muscles may be impaired (cardiomyopathy)


Diagnosis
Diagnosis is based on a person's medical history, family history and a complete neurological
evaluation. To supplement the evaluation, various tests may be performed which assist in the
diagnosis and rule out other possible disorders that may present similar symptoms.


                                                     10
NEWSLETTER NO. 145                                                                         WINTER, 2008

Treatment
As with many degenerative diseases of the nervous system, there is no specific treatment.
However, many of the symptoms associated with Friedreich's Ataxia can be treated or
controlled. A wheelchair may be required for mobility.




                                      Reading & Viewing Matter
              The following articles and videos are available from the DIRC library. Videos, DVDs (and
              books etc) can be borrowed from the library. Articles can be photocopied for 10c a page.
              DIRC contact phone number - Library - 8236 0555

    New Additions to the DIRC Library- (as reviewed in DIRC’s Current Awareness Service No 122)

MADE FOR WALKING – Guide to Walking Sticks
By Anne Wallace, ILC, NSW
Walking sticks are and have been a popular device over many centuries to support the user
when walking by providing a third or fourth „leg‟. They also assist with balance support and
reduce strain on joints such as knees or hops during walking. This very informative article
offers good advice on choosing the correct height for a stick, which hand to hold the stick, and
the choice of sticks. The article also includes accessories available, such as the wrist strap
and cane holders.
Independent Living – Summer 2007 (6804)

RINGING IN THE EAR – What is Tinnitus?
By Barbara Tabachnick Sanders
Tinnitus can be for most people, just a brief tone (called transient tinnitus) heard in the quiet
of night right before bed, or perhaps for an hour after going to a concert without earplugs. It
can however, be far more persistent and often troubling. This article explains in more detail
the make-up of the condition and ramifications in more severe cases. It also outlines
management of the condition and offers some information and advice on treatment. For more
information on Tinnitus go to The American Tinnitutus Association (www.ata.com).
Ability (6768).

‘THEY’RE TAKING THE PLACE OF MY HANDS’: - PERSPECTIVES OF PEOPLE USING
PERSONAL CARE
by Michelle Meyer, Michelle Donnelly & Patricia Weerakoon, The University of Sydney, Aust.
The aim of this study was to understand and describe the experience of people receiving
assistance and people‟s interactions and personal care attendants from the perspective of the
person receiving personal care assistance. All 11 participants in this detailed study had
received personal care assistance for more than three years and were all wheelchair users.
The study highlights the need for people using personal care services to have an essential
proactive role in directing and controlling their assistance. It shows how poor carer
responsiveness resulted in exacerbated stress for the participants, particularly the stress
associated with the turnover and training of carers. Some participants however, developed
effective working relationships with their carers. The detailed study is very informative and
covers a wide area. Some areas include initial introductory and carer training, training and
directions to control assistance, trust established during initial training and introduction and
directions and training to increase quality of assistance received. The importance of
directions to prevent accidents and mistakes is also highlighted in this study. The study‟s
findings are particularly important for agency-directed personal care service providers. It
highlights the need for people using personal care services to have an essential proactive role
in directing and controlling their assistance.
Disability & Society – Vo. 22 No. 6 – October 2007, pp 595-608 (6762)
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NEWSLETTER NO. 145                                                                 WINTER, 2008



NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT
This paper briefly sums up a four-day lecture programme at the 43rd annual meeting of the
European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) which convened in Amsterdam in
September 2007. The conference highlighted the quality and diversity of research being
undertaken in Europe – and the important roll being played by research-funding charities such
as Diabetes UK.
Balance, November-December 2007 (6775)




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