Disabled Accomplishments

Disabled Accomplishments
with Jo-Blogs

25 February 2010


Please refer to my website Can-Do-Ability from this point forward to view all of my stories and blogs..... No need to become a member, just click on the heading above, read away and make comments or email me to your hearts content! I am also available on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/disabledaccomplishments there, you can also read my blogs, chat live and join disability groups that I have joined... Hope to see you there soon!

Jo-Blogs aka Jodie

P.S. To see my appearance on Australia's 'Today Show', click here - http://video.au.msn.com/watch/video/life-with-brittle-bones/xasazk8

19 November 2009

Penrith Carer Car

This is one of the best disabled friendly cars I have ever seen. It’s called the Penrith Carer Car and has been imported from Japan by Rossco Hutchison with the help of his mate Al Palmer of Al Palmer Repairs Penrith (http://www.alpalmer.com/Products/Porte.html ) and also Jim Aitken who is the patron of the Carer Car, the car is to operate in the local Penrith area to help sick and disabled people travel to and from hospital, appointments or outings with very little effort.
It’s the first car of its kind in the Australia. I was privileged enough to speak with Rossco to ask him all the questions that I wanted answered about this car. When I first heard about it, I thought that it sounded like the idea had been done before, but when I actually saw the car in action and was lucky enough to have a ride around in the chair, I definitely changed my mind and am even happier to be telling everyone about this amazing car.
It is made from a Toyota Yaris that has been slightly modified, called a Toyota Porté, it has been stretched and had an automatic sliding door installed replacing the whole left side of the car, this door opens on its own with one lift of the handle.
Inside, the passenger seat looks like a normal car seat, just part of the car, but here’s the amazing part. It swivels around with the touch of a control, pointing the person’s feet out of the door, then lowers out of the car on a track reaching the ground, then dislodges itself and the chair can then be operated as an electric wheelchair. It can be driven for several kilometres before running out of battery and if the passenger cannot control the chair themselves, it can also be power assisted by the carer from the back to be driven manually. Let me tell you, I have used electric wheelchairs before and this is one of the smoothest chairs I have ever driven.
The car is fully manufactured and designed in Japan and costs around $55,000 which considering how much disabled modifications can cost is quite reasonable for a brand new car.
It is operated by an electric powered hydraulic system and has revolutionised the way car’s can be modified for the disabled.
The Porté can carry up to 4 people and even has capability to store a fold able manual wheelchair in the boot that gets lifted in by a hoist, this has all been designed to eliminate lifting and straining for the carer of a disabled person. I can tell you, this would’ve been very useful to my family when I was growing up, travelling to and from hospital in a normal car isn’t fun with broken bones, trying to get manoeuvred in and out of the car can be very painful and very straining for the person doing the lifting. I know my mum suffered some back problems from lifting me in and out of the car all the time. The Porté allows the patient to be put in the car at an angle that is comfortable for them and then the car seat swivels to the normal car position whilst still allowing all the standard safety equipment to operate such as the seatbelt and air-bags.
Rossco, who is among other things, a disc jockey for Vintage FM 87.6, hopes that this car will help a lot of people in the area, such as cancer patients and the disabled, he even says it will be a great help in nursing homes and retirement villages.
He wants to use trained Rotarian's and carers to drive the car around, there will be a small fee involved with using the car but they will be accepting small donations if the passenger cannot afford the trip. This is to help with the cars maintenance and running costs.
Rossco decided to bring this car to Australia after he saw a friend had purchased one to assist with a family member.
Rossco is a Reverend Minister at the Sacred Church of The Holy Spirit and has always loved helping people in the community, he was quoted saying ‘It’s not about me, it’s about what it does for other people’, this car and the ideas behind it just show how much he truly does want to help others.
He has a long list of accomplishments in his life that include; stuntman, dancer, ballet master, horse whisperer, former president of Rotary, support team for the John Mclean Foundation K2K Ride, gymnastics coach, healer, masseuse and harness horse racing, and that’s not all of them.
Rossco, together with his support team, who he has named ‘Team Rossco’, put together fundraising events to raise money to purchase the car, these included a trivia night, a parade with the Carer Car down High Street in Penrith, a dinner dance, they appeared with the Carer Car at the Penrith Show and held a harness horse racing night. Altogether they raised almost the total amount of the cars cost in just two months. Rossco said he could not have done it without the help of Jim Aitken, the Sir Roden Cutler Foundation, Al Palmer, Vintage FM, Team Rossco and of course the community who attended the fundraising events.
Ross hopes to purchase up to 12 cars for the Penrith area and will most likely be holding more fundraising events in the future. If you would like to speak to Rossco about organising a fundraising event, donating funds or if you want to see the car for yourself in person, go to http://www.penrithcarercarproject.org.au/ to check out more details or contact me and I will get him to call you.

06 October 2009

Deaf Orphans

With Christmas coming up, I thought this would be a good cause to mention after a friend sent me the details... Lances Deaf Orphans is an organisation that is based in Kenya, Africa.

It is run mostly by deaf people who teach sign language, schooling and offer somewhere safe for the children to eat and sleep.

This is much needed, especially after all the post-election violence in Africa that started early last year. Since then, they have taken on 20 more orphans.

They rely heavily on donations of clothing, bedding, computers, educational tools and money to help the children to learn and survive.

Some of the donations Lances Deaf Orphans have received were matching t-shirts which is important so the children feel like they have uniforms and fit in with other school children in their area.

They have also received, skipping ropes and soccer balls. Other donations included a new printer and a cheque for $150. This means so much to the orphans and their carers, you can view photos of them enjoying their new uniforms and toys at http://www.lancesdeaforphans.com/projects.html.

Sadly, one of the orphans, Lavender, died from Malaria, they wouldn’t normally be able to afford a coffin and proper burial but with all the charity’s help, they purchased a coffin and gave her a proper burial.

Another girl had a nasty fungus growing on her head, they were able to receive proper medication for her and it has completely gone away now.

Lances Deaf Orphans had to build a new toilet or they were going to be closed down, luckily donations covered this as well.

They were given their first ever Christmas feast last year of goat and soft drink (it was the first time most of them had ever tried soft drink).

They had 45 pairs of Croc brand shoes donated to them for the orphans as well.

Most of their cot (camping) beds have been given to them as well, before this, the children were sleeping on the floor.

If you’re feeling generous this Christmas, or want to help someone less fortunate than yourself, think about sending the orphans some food or bedding or pencils or anything Australian children take for granted. Just go to the website and send the organiser an email and he will tell you how you can send whatever you wish to help the orphans.

You can read more about the orphanage and the work that they do on their website, just click on the link above. They are doing such great things and will hopefully one day enable these deaf children to grow up healthy and educated and pass on the gift of love to other orphans in Africa.

01 October 2009

Autism – The Devil?

An American Autistic organisation called ‘Autism Speaks’ has released a very controversial video to raise awareness about Autism.

In the video which pictures real home video’s of children with Autism, a satanic sounding man is speaking as the ‘voice’ of Autism, saying things like – “I am visible in your children but if I can help it, I am invisible to you until it’s too late”, “I know where you live and guess what? I live their too”, “If you were happily married, I will make sure your marriage fails”, “Your money will fall into my hands and I will bankrupt you for my own self gain”, “I don’t sleep, so I make sure you don’t either”, “I will make sure that every day you wake up, you will cry, wondering, ‘who will take care of my child after I die?’” and “The truth is, I am still winning and you are scared and you should be. I am Autism; you ignored me, that was a mistake”.

Then it has the voices of all the parents of the children that feature in the video saying positive things like – “I am a parent riding towards you and you can push me off this horse time and time again, but I will get up, climb back on and ride on with the message (of united support)”, “Our capacity to love is greater than your capacity to overwhelm” and “We are a community of warriors”.

It’s a very powerful video and a lot of people have taken offense to it, with it’s release being protested by the Autism Community.

I think people can take this video two ways, it can either be seen as - Autism taunting everyone it affects and that there’s nothing anyone can do about it, or it can be taken as an aide to help bring people around the world together, to raise awareness to people who are unsure what effect Autism has on families, and to hopefully one day, find a cure, or at least more understanding on how to effectively treat Autism.

To view the entire video, click here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDdcDlQVYtM&feature=player_embedded
Once you've watched the video, i'd like to hear your thoughts...

30 September 2009

Baby Robot Wheelchairs

At the University of Delaware in the United States, researchers have come up with a mini robot-like wheelchair for toddlers.

Babies as young as six months old have been able to operate the wheelchairs, which are controlled by a joystick.

They have been tested on children with Spina Bifida, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Autism.

Researchers say that moving around and exploring the world is a healthy part of a baby’s brain development, children who can’t walk or have mobility problems, often miss out on normal toddler activities. With the robot wheelchair, they can gain some mobility and move around and chase their siblings, parents and pets just like any other toddler.

The wheelchair is equipped with infra red sensors so the chair avoids hazards and also has a camera attached to it to see the child’s expressions as they explore.

This is such a great idea, I wish there was something around like this when I was a baby, because of my bones being so brittle, a lot of times, I had to be kept away from other children in case they fell on me, and crawling around when I was very young was almost impossible.

To view the entire story and watch the video of the wheelchair in action, click here - http://www.wndu.com/mmm/headlines/62714672.html

Beach Wheelchairs

These are pretty cool for getting around on the beach.... Ahhhh, if only I had a spare $2,499 to buy one, but look, it's GST free! Huge savings!!
No but seriously, excellent invention, I am just trying to find one that people other than milliona...ires can afford.... I'll let you know once I have.
Apparently though, a lot of surf clubs rent them out for the day, Cronulla beach has one that you can borrow for up to 4 hours, you just need to book it through Sutherland Shire Council on 9544 5399.

24 September 2009

No Legs, No Arms, No Worries...

This guy is amazing! He was born in Australia with no arms or legs and now travels the world as an inspirational speaker. I will definately be getting in contact with him... This is a link to his own website, it's a very interesting read... Enjoy