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MSWA Bulletin Magazine Winter 2021

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  • Bulletin
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  • Neurological
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MSWA Volunteer Luncheon | Our new respiratory | Physiotherapy service | Our m contribution to research | Pain and pain management series


MSWA CLIENT IMAGINE Sometimes I like to imagine a world that was designed for people with disability. Can you imagine that? Imagine if every public toilet had grab rails and room for wheelchairs. Imagine if every private house was accessible for everyone. Imagine if there were things to touch which helped guide those with visual impairments. And voice activated instructions. Imagine if there were written guides for those with hearing impairments. Imagine if there was a raft of helpful people everywhere for those with cognitive issues. You’re dreaming, I hear you say. That will never happen. And I know you are right. There are too many people who think that those with disability are a negligible minority who do not need that much help. It’s not too many years ago that people with disability were expected to stay at home. Out of sight, out of mind. When I was growing up on a farm in the southwest of WA, we knew a family whose son was born around the time I was. Unfortunately, he was born with disability, both cognitive and physical. I was horrified one day when we visited, and the son was tied up to the kitchen table and sitting underneath it. This was explained as a way of keeping him safe while the parents were out working on their farm. In subsequent years he attended what in those days was called a ‘special school’. I hope he achieved some happiness in his life. Nevertheless, I like to imagine a different world. In a world that was designed with more thought for people with disability, there would be no barriers to stop anyone from doing whatever they wanted or needed in order to live a fulfilling life. Over the years since I first started struggling to walk because of my MS, I have done my best to encourage others to make changes wherever they could to make life easier for people like us. I have written and published reviews of restaurants that explain their accessibility or lack thereof. And spoken up when I’ve been in venues with problems. I have told my personal stories many times both in writing and in oral form when given the chance. I have joined organisations that work towards improving the situation for people with disability. I remember going to a restaurant many years ago which did have a wheelchair accessible bathroom. However, when I tried to go in, I discovered it was being used to store excess chairs. There was barely room for an able-bodied person to move in there, let alone someone in a wheelchair. What the h…? When I went to the management and pointed this out, they were apologetic and removed the chairs. I can only hope they never put them back again. Of course, things are better these days than they were even a mere twenty years ago. Efforts have been made. Most public buildings have access for people with disability. Even buses are able to be lowered to kerb level with a drop down ramp, meaning I, and others, can access them. There are tactile ridges in pavements near bus stops so that people with visual impairments can tell where the bus stop is. Mind you, for someone in a wheelchair those ridges are quite annoying, but I’m glad they are there nevertheless. Well, I will go on imagining and dreaming, and doing my little bit to improve the world for people with disability. ROS HARMAN MSWA CLIENT If you would like to know more about disability rights and advocacy, People with Disabilities WA (PWdWA) has some great projects, campaigns and resources. Visit: 16

COMMUNTY SUPPORT COMMUNITY SUPPORT IN FOCUS: OUR ROLE AT MSWA In this winter’s edition of Bulletin, we are shining a light on one of the most critical and diverse teams at MSWA – the Community Support team. Our team supports people living with a neurological condition by coordinating in-home care services that range from personal care to meal preparation and domestic assistance to social support. In-home care is an integral part of the support provided to MSWA Clients by ensuring they can live well and at home while managing their neurological condition. The benefits of in-home care to people living with a disability cannot be downplayed, cultivating a strong sense of independence for our Clients while also assisting their families. Community Support currently manages over 400 support workers across metropolitan Perth and the South West. We provide an average of 29,907 hours of services per month to more than 650 Clients living with a neurological condition – numbers that are both challenging to manage from a logistical perspective, but also highlight the scale of the work we do in the community and the breadth of services provided on a daily basis. Like so many other care-related services, since the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), we are experiencing an ongoing need for support workers. We value skilled, patient, confident, approachable and, of course, compassionate qualities in our team of support workers to ensure Client-centred care is provided. Just like our Clients’ needs are diverse and individualised, we aim to provide our team with the support they need, acknowledging that the role of the support worker is a rewarding, but sometimes challenging one. Now more than ever with the advent of the pandemic, we know that we are all in this together! For the rest of 2021, the Community Support team continues to be driven by our goal of improving our Clients’ lives and providing quality support services. In the next edition of Bulletin, we hope to feature some of our valued support workers, so you can get to know them better. DENISE VOGELS COMMUNITY TEAM LEADER OUR NEW REGIONAL OPERATIONS MANAGER As MSWA continues to extend its services throughout the South West and Great Southern regions, we have appointed Jane Booth as Regional Operations Manager. This newly created role will offer leadership and support to our teams throughout the regions. Jane brings a range of managerial experience in both the community service and training sectors. A long-term resident of the South West, Jane has also served the local community for several years as a St John’s volunteer ambulance officer. Keen to promote a positive workplace culture with a focus on safety and wellness, Jane looks forward to working with the team at MSWA. 17