I now imagine returning home to find a mere cinder of a place.
I suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder. It means that I worry a lot. I worry I will lose my home and precious possessions in a huge fire or robbery. I also worry that if I don't vacuum enough I will find a mouse in my home. But recently I have been learning to try and use humour to combat my worries and fears. In a group therapy session I learn to take the excessive worry and disaster stories to such an extreme that they become funny. In a strange sort of way I can have a laugh and hope to beat the obsessive compulsive disorder.
Ray Losionek sees his achievements in life as a result of a "can do" attitude. Initially he wanted to walk again after becoming a double amputee at the age of eight. The next stage was learning to ride a tricycle to improve his mobility. After marrying, owning his own business and raising four boys, Ray's love of cycling continues in his retirement. However, it's now about challenging himself, keeping fit and encouraging others in less fortunate countries.
I had a wonderful experience with assistance getting into the surf to swim in Queensland recently. A lifeguard drove me to the water. I wondered if I could get this assistance at other beaches. I contacted Surf Life Saving Australia (SLSA) and learned there are different groups responsible for safety at every beach. The Beachsafe website had very helpful information on just about every beach in Australia. It has links to service providers for beaches. However, there is not accessibility or amenities information. Contacting the relevant Surf Life Saving Club, as I did, is probably the best place to start.
More often than not, clients don't even know I'm blind.
Bronwyn Davies is blind and has been running her own massage clinic for the past eight years. She set up a room at home as a clinic. She types up her client's case history on a laptop with screen reading software. Bronwyn has built a good rapport with a physiotherapy clinic and they refer most of her clients to her. Bronwyn says that being a masseuse is a rewarding career and encourages anyone interested in the field to go for it.
Saying goodbye to all the mental health workers who have helped and steered me on the road to recovery is hard. I have gotten very close to them. This is especially so with the workers who I see almost daily. Their departure feels like a big hole in my life. In many ways it is hard to start over and get used to a new mental health worker and to develop the same rapport. But I try to hang onto the good times and memories. And I also try to understand that they too, just like me, have to progress and move on.
Meetup is an online community where anyone can start a group and post events for people to meet face-to-face. It has hundreds of groups in Victoria, and for all kinds of interests. The site is easy to navigate and you can receive email notifications of events. Groups for people with disabilities in Melbourne include The Treehouse for people with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families, and the Melbourne Wheelchair, Disability & Friends Social Group. Through Meetup people have found groups to do activities with, made new friends and had positive experiences which may never have otherwise happened.
The Pierre Gorman Award helps libraries develop better services for people with a disability. The award honours the work of the late Dr Pierre Gorman. Gorman worked to improve education for people with disabilities. This year’s award went to the Campaspe Regional Library. The library received the award for its Being-Connected Libraries and Autism project. The library developed the project with local community support groups. Together they will put in place measures that make Campaspe’s libraries friendlier to people with disabilities.
Are people with disabilities more likely to be victims of crime?
Are people with disabilities more likely to be victims of crime? The Australian Bureau of Statistics has done some research into crime and disabilities. Their research suggests the majority of people with disabilities are no more likely to be victims of crime than the general population. But people with mental health disabilities appear more likely to experience violence and break-ins.
Riding Develops Ability (RDA) is a not-for-profit organisation that helps people with disabilities to develop their horse riding skills. There are 37 centres, 1200 riders and 800 volunteers in Victoria. Horse riding can have many benefits such as strengthening muscles, improving posture and boosting self-esteem. Ann McCluskey has been involved with the RDA in Doveton for more than 20 years. She says riders, coaches and volunteers all benefit from RDA.
I swore I'd stay on a bike track if I ever gave bike riding another go. People will always cheer you on with life's about moving forward . Tell that to someone who’s been in the wars with machinery or cars or bikes and has fears of having it happen all over again. As it turned out, it wasn't pain that was putting me off, the fear, or even taking things slowly. It was something far more basic; my bike. I've had some tricky moments out there, but I hate missing out.