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MSWA Bulletin Magazine Spring 2021

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What is assistive technology and how can it help you? | Good health monitoring practices | Pain and pain management series: Part 2 | Farewell Marcus Stafford


VOLUNTEERING, CAMPS & RECREATION VOLUNTEERS AND CAMPS UPDATE NEW MANDATORY REQUIREMENTS FOR VOLUNTEERS Over the past few months, I have been working closely with our volunteers to provide them with information regarding the NDIS and its mandatory requirements for anyone working closely with NDIS Clients. Many of our volunteers have been with us for over five years and although their roles have not changed, these new requirements have resulted in additional training and security checks. All staff and volunteers working with Clients must now complete the mandatory NDIS Worker Screening Check and the NDIS Worker Orientation Module. The online Module, which takes about 90 minutes to complete, ensures that we all have a sound understanding of the NDIS principles and the rights of the Clients we work with. The NDIS Worker Screening Check replaces the police clearance that has previously been required. Identification documents are verified at the Department of Transport for document verification before the NDIS can begin its screening process, and it is then valid for five years. Existing volunteers need to apply for their NDIS Screening Check, but have a bit more time, depending on the currency of their police clearance. To help with the process, we are providing access to a computer or laptop to allow our volunteers to start their NDIS Screening application and work through the NDIS Online Orientation Module, should they need it. So, if you have not done this yet, or if you have problems logging on, please speak with your supervisor or you can call me direct. Is the effort worth it? Yes. Our volunteers are an important asset to the MSWA community. They complement the work of our staff, supporting them where there is a need. And, after meeting with several of our volunteers, I can also see what volunteering really means to them; it creates a great sense of community and an opportunity to give back. To build on our existing volunteer program, a survey was sent out to all Client Services and Residential Options-based volunteers to help us determine how they feel about their roles, training, and the level of support they receive from us. The results are being analysed as we speak, and we hope to share them with you in time. I am also pleased to say that the MSWA Volunteers brochure has been refreshed and will soon be distributed across WA volunteer centres. We have a number of positions to fill, and this brochure will help to extend our reach to a wider audience. CAMPS We have, once again, applied to Lotterywest for support with our camp program. However, due to them redirecting their funding during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions we all faced during and after lockdowns, our program has been impacted temporarily. Fingers crossed, camps will return in 2022. Tentative bookings have been made for the Carers Camps at a quiet retreat in Safety Bay in March. I am sure by then there will be much joy to be able to get away again. Dates will be posted at our Outreach Centres, and in Bulletin, and previous attendees will be contacted with more information. More good news. MSWA Readathon funding has been made available for the Family Camp in October this year. I look forward to my first-ever camp, meeting the families and giving their children a fun-filled experience, flying fox and all! For more information on volunteering and camps, call me, Mala Padmanathan on 6454 3184 or email MALA PADMANATHAN COORDINATOR CAMPS & VOLUNTEERS 26

PHYSIOTHERAPY Q&A WITH BOB MASEK, CHAIR PING INVENTOR Have you witnessed a game of ‘Chair Ping’ taking place in an Outreach Centre near you? The modified equipment is the invention of MSWA Client Bob Masek and his wife Maria. We asked Bob all about this adapted form of table tennis. How did the idea for Chair Ping come about? My home visiting physiotherapist James Beckett brought with him a badminton set. The idea of how to practice eye-hand coordination was good, but the unpredictable wind in the backyard toyed with the badminton ball like a cat with a mouse. James suggested that ping pong might be a better idea. I bought a ping pong table, but it turned out that the table was much too big. A player sitting on a wheelchair in one spot is unable to return a ball that is placed out of his bat reach. I had parallel bars stored in the shed, and a melamine board laying on the floor in the corner – it was the perfect dimension, measuring 1200x2400mm. It was love at first sight. I married the bars with the melamine board and CHAIR PING was born. I solved the table tennis disadvantage by shortening and narrowing the Chair Ping table by 34.00cm and 32.50cm respectively. For a better measure, I also extended the length of the standard butterfly bat by 16cm. Scotty my social worker lent his woodworking knowledge, and my wife of 46 years and full-time carer Maria made three chair ping tables from scratch to finish by herself. They are now installed in three different MSWA Outreach Centres. Can you explain the rules in a nutshell? The rules of Chair Ping are exactly the same as for table tennis. The only difference is that the player does not move around the table, but plays while sitting on a wheelchair or chair. Getting up from the chair during the game in an attempt to return the ball to the opponent is penalised by losing one point. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us? The game of Chair Ping is a secret weapon that has the miraculous ability to cultivate honesty, respect, a sense of fair play, and create in the body ‘happy hormones’ such as dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins. Many thanks for your questions and especially your interest in Chair Ping and spreading the word about it. 27