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News Archive 2013

Apr 18 2013   Department Social Development Visit

The Department of Social Development (DSD) have a partnership in place with an organisation from Japan named JICA. These two organisations are looking at the best way to go about mainstreaming people with disabilities in South Africa. A meeting was held at the head office of the Western Cape DSD to discuss the way forward. In the next few months people with disabilities from the community will be consulted as well people from organisations for people with disabilities such as QAWC.

One of the aspects that the team is looking into is the best way to provide accommodation for people with disabilities. The DSD and the Western Cape believe the self-help centre system that the QuadPara Association has to be the best practice model. With this in mind, at the conclusion of the morning session the team travelled through to Durbanville where they were shown around The Andries Olivier Durbanville Quadriplegic Centre. The Centre has room for 12 permanent residents as well as two guests and has been operating successfully on its current premises since August 2001.

Residents of The Centre sat around the table discussing various aspects of running a self-help centre as well as the benefits of living in the centre of this nature with the team. The discussion was frank and honest and highlighted the benefits as well as the negatives of living in a self-help centre. Time was taken to go over the way that the self-help centre is run and the team had many questions. At the conclusion of the meeting, the team from the DSD & JICA expressed their admiration for the way in which the residents of The Centre have taken control of their lives and get on with living in spite of having a severe disability.

Apr 18th 2013

Somerset Hospital Visit

The QAWC project manager was invited to speak to existing staff, students and volunteers of the Somerset Hospital situated very near to the V & A waterfront in Cape Town. In total Anthony spoke to 4 groups of approximately 30-35 people. Anthony shared his own personal story with the group and then went on to highlight some of the challenges faced by people using wheelchairs when staying in a hospital or other healthcare facility.

Some of the challenges that Anthony pointed out were the lack of staff able/willing to turn people with spinal cord injuries three hourly, see to all of their pressure care needs, maintaining their bowel and bladder routines etc. And he also pointed out that it is vitally important that the staff learn the correct lifting techniques to ensure that they do not injure themselves when dealing with people with spinal cord injuries.

Anthony also pointed out that people with spinal cord injuries are extremely vulnerable and totally dependent on the staff of a hospital during their stay. Anthony placed emphasis on the fact that wheelchair users are able to make their own decisions and aware of how they want things done. The importance of maintaining the bladder and bowel routine of the spinal cord injured individual was also discussed. In total approximately 120 people attended the lecture and all the feedback that was received was extremely positive.

Apr 18 2013

Polystyrene Packaging Council AGM

The QAWC secretary, Esme, represented the QuadPara Association at the Annual General Meeting of the Polystyrene Packaging Council. The purpose of the QuadPara Association being represented at this forum was to highlight the “Bread Tags for Wheelchairs” campaign which both the Polystyrene Packaging Council and the QuadPara Association are involved in.

This exciting initiative, which sees people connecting the little polystyrene tanks used to close the packets of bread, has gone from strength to strength, with many people with disabilities receiving wheelchairs as a result. These bread tanks are collected and then sold to the polystyrene packaging Council who then recycle the bread tags. The proceeds from these bread tags are then used to purchase wheelchairs for people unable to afford their own. This project not only promotes recycling but also provides needy people with vital assistant devices. To find out how to get involved in this project please contact the QAWC office.