Carl Thompson

A portrait photo of Carl Thompson
Carl Thompson

I am in my early 20s and live with severe spinal scoliosis and mild cerebral palsy. I use an electric wheelchair and aim to one day soon purchase and live in independent accommodation. I am nearing the completion of a Bachelor of Business studying marketing at Latrobe University. I am passionate about the study of consumer behaviour and its effects on society as a whole.


I hope to reveal the inequities faced by those with a disability in an informative and entertaining manner. I prefer not to solely dwell on the negatives. I wish to also write about the often-forgotten positives.




Carl Thompson's articles

A ceiling hoist.
ceiling hoist

A ceiling hoist was the best solution.

For many years my parents lifted me to and from my wheelchair. They could do this because I wasn't heavy. But when I got older lifting me became risky to their health. So we got a portable hoist. It took me a long time to get in and out of my wheelchair. I decided I would lose weight so my parents could carry me again. But this was dangerous to my health as I wasn't eating enough food. We then decided to buy an electronic ceiling hoist. It is easy to use and my parents don't have to worry about hurting themselves.
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Grassy countryside landscape.
country fields

Keep your property trim and tidy.

Country Victoria has a high bushfire risk. It is important for people who live in bushfire areas to have a fire plan. They must leave their homes early on fire danger days. They should leave their homes before a code red day. A code red day describes an extremely high fire-danger day. They must also prepare their homes from fire. Garry lives in the country and was a firefighter. He is a wheelchair user. Garry says people with disabilities should know fire-safety information. They should be organised. The Australian Red Cross has a fire plan to stay safe during bushfires.
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A close up image of a joystick controller and buttons from an electric wheelchair
Electric wheelchair controller

I can go fast on my electric wheelchair.

Electric wheelchairs give me independence. But I also have fun with them. I give my friends a ride on the back of my wheelchair. I have another electric wheelchair. Sometimes my able-bodied friends use it. Together we have fun. Car drivers stop to let us pass. Or we receive free gifts. Some people can be rude to a person who uses a wheelchair. But my friends and I have a plan. When a person is rude, my friend stands up and gives them a handshake. The rude person is always surprised. Electric wheelchairs are expensive. So make sure you don't break them.
1 comment - on 02/02/2012
Man using a headset on a computer
man with headset on a computer

Games can feature graphics that appear almost photorealistic

A team of independent developers is making a video game without graphics. People with a vision impairment will be able to enjoy the game. It will rely on people using their hearing and imagination. The developers want to give players a new experience. Early feedback has been very positive. Gamers like 19-year-old James are looking forward to playing. The team uses two microphones at once to record sounds. The technique allows them to create sound with the perception of space and depth. People can then navigate the 3D world using just their hearing.
1 comment - on 29/11/2011
A knife and fork placed in a napkin on a table
A knife and fork placed in a napkin on a table

The best plan of action is a combination of resourcefulness and practice

I want to be more independent. This includes feeding myself. But I have difficulty using a knife and fork. There is special cutlery I can use. But it can still take me a long time to feed myself. It can be easier to ask someone to help. But what if I want to live alone? What about when I am on a date? I need to practice. I need to strengthen my arms. I also need to be resourceful. And I should not be ashamed to ask for help when I need it.
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Andrew Follows is crounching down on a beach looking into a camera mounted on a tripod
Andrew Follows is crounching down on a beach looking into a camera mounted on a tripod

Andrew Follows: his interest in photography grew into a passion

Andrew Follows is a photographer with a difference. He is blind. Andrew's eyesight started to get a lot worse four years ago. It was then that his interest in photography grew into a passion. Andrew now takes as many photos as he can. He loves capturing a moment in time that will never happen again. Andrew uses computer software to examine his photos. He is often excited by what they contain. Andrew wants to travel to the United Kingdom to share what he has learned.
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A man using a wheelchair is chatting to another man in a mobility scooter as they drive down the footpath in front of Southern Cross Station in Melbourne

Travelling in the city can be difficult

An electric wheelchair is the only form of independent transport available to many people. But electric wheelchairs can sometimes frighten other pedestrians. It would be easier to travel safely if other people were less frightened. Sometimes other people's movements are unpredictable. It can increase the chance of an accident. Some people also say rude things. I get upset when people in shops think I am going to knock things over. I also find it embarrassing when cars stop for me. I know how to cross a road safely.
1 comment - on 06/09/2011
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A black smart phone with an image of a man using sign language on the screen
Auslan phone

The phone plays a pre-recorded Auslan video with captions

Many museum exhibitions now offer audio tours. The tours use headphones. They let visitors explore exhibitions at their own pace. But they are not accessible to some people. People who are Deaf or have a hearing impairment need information using Australian sign language. New technology can now offer information about exhibits on a mobile phone. The tours are available now at the National Sports Museum. The museum is at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Users can scan special codes. The codes start a sign language video that people can watch. The system means people do not miss out on any information.
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A close up image of a joystick controller and buttons from an electric wheelchair
Electric wheelchair controller

My electric wheelchair wasn't turning on

It is frightening when your electric wheelchair stops working. It would stop me from doing the things I love. Last week my wheelchair was not turning on. There was a problem with the battery. I was worried I would get stuck. It reminded me of being back at school. There was one day when I used up the chair's battery. I had to travel home by myself. The chair kept stopping. I got very worried. It even stopped in the middle of a road. I was lucky to finally get home.
2 comments - last comment on 27/05/2011
A close-up of two people's hands using gaming controllers
close up of two people's hands using gaming controllers

Unlike films, there is currently no R18+ rating for video games.

I am an adult. I have been playing video games for a long time. But I cannot play some video games made for adults. This is because they are banned in Australia. They get banned because there is no R18+ rating for games like there is for films. Adults should not have their choices limited by the ratings system. Children should also be better protected by the introduction of an R18+ rating. It would send a stronger message to parents that not all games should be played by children. The Federal Government also wants to introduce an R18+ rating.
2 comments - last comment on 12/04/2011