Kate Richards is a Melbourne writer. Her first book is called "Madness: A Memoir". It is about her experience with mental illness. Parts of the book are disturbing. It contains descriptions of depression, psychosis and self-harm. But there are moments of beauty too. Kate's book has won several awards. It is very well written and has had a positive response from readers. In the end, it is an important and uplifting story.
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.
Audio description allows a person with a vision impairment to follow the action in the film. After a film is made, a professional narrator records a description of what is happening on the screen. The narration is added to the film and can be heard by a person using a radio and headset in the cinema. If there is a fight or a love scene, a good describer tells the listener exactly what is happening. For example, "Jack punches Fred in the chest". Cinema chains are setting up more screens with the special equipment needed for audio description. But there is still a fair way to go before every movie has audio description.
Talkback radio and some newspapers seem to have it in for disability pensioners. They claim the number of disability pensioners is spiralling out of control. They say this is because there are too many 'bludgers' getting the Disability Support Pension (DSP). But the evidence says otherwise. The growth rate of people receiving the DSP has decreased over the past decade. This is despite Australia having one of the lowest employment rates for people with disabilities. And our population is increasing and getting older so there will be more people with disabilities. Convictions for defrauding the DSP are also rare.
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