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News 2022

QAWC Newsletter 2022

If you would like to download a Pdf of the above Newsletter, please click on the link below:

QAWC Newsletter July 2022

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School Visits

Raising awareness about the ability and mobility requirements of wheelchair users at schools is something whichSchool Visits continues to be a focus area of QAWC. QAWC believes that by teaching the youth the correct way to interact with wheelchair users and providing them with information about the reality of life as a wheelchair user, some of the attitudinal barriers faced by wheelchair users in the community will be broken down, after all, Knowledge is Power! In February of this year, QAWC visited schools in the Plettenberg Bay and Knysna area, sharing information with the learners and School Visitsteachers who attended. Members were introduced to some of the basic requirements of wheelchair users, how wheelchairs operate and what the leading cause of spinal cord injuries that result in paralysis occurr. Learners were also shown the artwork of one of the QAWC team members who is a mouth painter by profession, with the gasps of amazement of the learners an indication of the appreciation that they have for the talent that they were shown. Mobility and access issues were highlighted to the learners at all of the schools visited, with learners taking particular delight when witnessing the highly specialized adapted vehicle that one of the team members drives himself and his passengers around in. Funding for the school visits was received from QASA as well as the AVP Impact Grant and we are very grateful to our funders for allowing the school visits to happen. We look forward to visiting schools in the Matzikama, Cedarburg, Vredenberg and Swartland districts between August and November.


Notification of the QAWC Annual General Meeting (AGM) which will take place online on the Zoom platform on 30 July 2022 has been circulated to members. The AGM is an important day on the QAWC calendar as it gives theQAWC AGM Board the opportunity to feedback to members about what has happened in the organization over the previous 12 month period. In addition to sharing the successes and challenges faced by the organization over the previous year, including from the Chairperson, Treasurer and General Manager. As this is an election year, members will elect the Board that will lead QAWC for the next 2 years. QAWC is a member driven organization, and as such we encourage you to make your voice heard and to be present at the AGM. Nomination forms for the Board have been circulated to all members and we ask you to consider nominating a person/people to serve on the QAWC Board.

You can join the virtual AGM by clicking on the link below, we look forward to seeing your online!


Ramps and Pathways

Thanks to funding that we received from the Australian High Commission as part of their Direct Aid Programme, QAWC was able to build ramps and pathways at the homes of 17 of our members in various areas. QAWC invitedRamps members who had difficulty accessing their homes independently to apply for assistance and we were very pleased to be able to assist all 17 members who requested assistance. Eddie, the QAWC appointed builder, and his team visited the properties where ourRamps members stay where he assessed the scale of the work required before returning at a later stage to do the required work. The feedback QAWC has received from members was extremely positive and clearly indicated the positive impact that this project has had on their lives. In addition to the 17 members in the community who now have improved access to their homes, QAWC was able to also assist our 3 Self-Help Centres by having Eddie visit their premises and sort out some access issues that they had. Being able to access one’s home independently and safety makes a huge difference to the lives of our members and we are proud to have been able to assist in this way. Our sincere thanks and gratitude to the Australian High Commission who made this project possible, the smiles on the faces of the members who benefited says all that needs to be said about the success of this project.

Medical Supplies & equipment

The QAWC Medical Supply Bank continues to be used to assist QAWC members across the province who experience Medical Suppliesa shortage of medical supplies where possible. The Medical Supply Bank means that QAWC is able to relieve aMedical Supplies portion of the burden experienced by members when they have a shortage of vital medical supplies. Thanks to a significant boost of medical supplies purchased using funds from the Australian High Commission’s Direct Aid Programme, QAWC’s stock includes items such as linen savers, examination gloves, urine drainage bags as well as internal and external catheters. Members who require and request supplies in and around Cape Town have their supplies delivered to them by the QAWC driver, with supplies to members who live further afield being delivered to them by a delivery service. In addition to the above, QAWC was grateful to be able to pass on a commode to a member living in Mitchell’s Plain to assist with his showering and bowel routine. We were also very pleased to, thanks to the assistance of QASA, give a pre-usedMedical Supplies motorized wheelchair to a member from Kuils River whose motorized wheelchair of 15+ years had finally stopped working. The Medical Supply Bank is a “give and take” with members who have excess medical supplies of equipment in good condition encouraged to donate these to the QAWC Medical Supply Bank so that these supplies or equipment can be passed on to members in need. Should you require medical supplies or have supplies/equipment that you would like to pass on to assist others, please contact Esme in the QAWC office to make the necessary arrangements.

RAF CSI Wellness Day

On the 18th of March QAWC, in partnership with the Road Accident Fund, hosted a Wellness Day for 20 wheelchair users. Held at the Andries Olivier Durbanville Quadriplegic Centre, those who attended were treated to an eventWellness Day which focused on promoting the overall wellness of wheelchair users as the world emerges from a period in which many people have been adversely affected both physically and mentally by the pandemic. The event started with a 20 minute workout for wheelchair users hosted by QAWC’s very own member and Work Readiness Program graduate, Marco Pietrowski. Marco put those present through their paces with a workout especially designed for wheelchair users. With their heart rates elevated, attendees sat back and listened to the motivational words of Wellness DayBrandon Beack, wheelchair athlete and founder of the Walking with Brandon Foundation. Brandon provided insight into his own personal journey and also shared tips and insight on how to take care of one’s mental and physical well-being before highlighting the groundbreaking work which the Walking with Brandon Foundation does. A good meal was enjoyed by all while the musical talents of a band called Harmonies Band hailing from Mitchell’s Plain entertained the audience, with impromptu wheelchair dancing spontaneously taking place. Before going home, everyone was treated to a head and shoulder massage by Jerome Koetan Massage and Fitness which was a great relaxing way to round off a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining morning. Those who attended left feeling rejuvenated, motivated and ready to tackle life post pandemic head on.

WCRC Facility Board

The Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre is a facility which many of QAWC’s members access for support of their health-care requirements. As such, the smooth functioning and effectiveness of the WCRC is a priority to ourWestern Cape Rehabilitation Centre members. Over the years QAWC has been represented on the Facility Board of the WCRC, the organization which fulfils an oversight role of the facility. A new WCRC Facility Board was recently appointed by the Western Cape MEC for Health and we are pleased to share with you that Anthony Ghillino, our General Manager, has been appointed to represent the needs of members of QAWC on this Board. Members are encouraged to share their experiences, whether they are positive or negative, when accessing services at the WCRC with Anthony so that he can ensure that these in turn are brought to the attention of the WCRC management team. Please send any WCRC related comments to Anthony via e-mail on gm@qawc.org

Casual Day

Casual DayCasual Day will be held on Friday the 2nd September this year and we look forward to all our members getting into the spirit of the campaign. Stickers will sell for R20.00 and members will be allowed to keep R7.00 per sticker.  You can contact your local schools, your church, your workplace or anywhere else you can think of and get them on board for Casual Day.  The theme for this year is #ICelebrate SA with Persons with Disabilities

Train Trip

Engaging with the appropriate authorities around the need for and implementation of an integrated fully accessible Train Trippublic transport system continues to be a focus of QAWC’s lobbying and advocacy efforts. On 29 April, through our involvement in the Western Cape Network on Disability, our General Manager joined a small group of persons with impairments and other interested parties on a trip on the new trains from Cape Town Station to Retreat Station. With the Western Cape leadership of PRASA failing to make good on their promise to take the Network team through the universal design features of the new trains, the Network decided to take matters into their own hands andTrain Trip arrived at Cape Town Station unannounced to try the new trains for themselves. Our General Manager, Anthony, was one of 3 wheelchair users who joined the Network team and when approaching the train next to the platform at Cape Town Station, the first obstacle the team needed to overcome was evident to all. The trains are approximately 30 cm higher than the platform and there is a gap between the platform and the train which makes it impossible for a wheelchair user to safety and independently board the trains. This alone immediately means that the new trains are not accessible for wheelchair users. The Network Team were aware that this would be a problem andTrain Trip had a set of portable ramps on hand to allow the wheelchair users in the team to access the train. However, even this was a challenge and one of the wheelchair users experienced severe difficulty, almost toppling over, when disembarking from the train. Once inside, the trains are relatively accessible and there are allocated stations for wheelchair users to position themselves when using the train. In addition to this, there are other useful improvements which improve access for people with other impairments. However, the fact remains that as wheelchair users cannot get on and off the train safety and independently, using trains on a regular basis remains a pipe dream for wheelchair users. The outing on the train raised valuable awareness about the lack of access on the trains and dialogue between the Network and the authorities continues. However, while 4 stations are due to be upgraded to ensure that the built environment allows wheelchair users to get on to the trains, it is going to be a long time before wheelchair users can make full use of the railway system.

To watch the trip through the eyes of Alan Downey, QAWC member and the founder of DiSA click on the link below

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – DiSA Train Trip 2022: