Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Found one "missing" TrailRider!

Kunayi (AKA Mt Wellington) - soon to have its own TrailRider
I have just come to the end of a phone conversation with Robert Armstrong at Hobart City Council.

The motorised TrailRider chair that they have bought will soon be available at Kunayi (AKA Mt Wellington)

As soon as the details are decided I will post and make a new entry in the Directory.

Sunday, October 8, 2017


"Like being rocked in the womb" Ros' first experience of
TrailRiding i the Grampians training  volunteer sherpas
This post is all about me - not.

Three times in the past year my wife, Ros, has saved my life. Twice I had seizures at home and she did CPR. That led to the decision that it was no longer safe for me to live at home. That agonising re-arrangement of our lives led to me spending almost two months in a shared Rehab ward waiting for a single room to become available in Ellery House, the high needs nursing home.

The Monday before last she saved my life for the third time. The shared ward faced North and caught the sun, the day was warm and the heating still thought it was winter. Overheated (37 degrees) I was weak as a kitten and begged Ros to rescue me. 

She spoke to all the right people, emphasising the seriousness of my plight, and the next day, magically, I was offered a room. Now I can talk to my phone, use it on Speaker and watch TV without headphones. It is great.

On Tuesday I am being set up with my own NBN (National Broadband Network) connection and I will have 50 cent Gigabytes again - $4 at the moment.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Where are all the TrailRiders?

An original working drawing of the Black Diamond design 
The Directory lists those I know of - there are 19. Last night I had a long talk with Stephen Hunter at the Sam Sullivan Disability Foundation who sell this beautiful piece of engineering and his email this morning confirms that they have sold 31 to the Australian distributors - 29 to GMS Rehab and two to Mobility Plus who are still in the throes of upgrading their website.

Two of the missing chairs I know about - one is in my shed and the other, which I just found out about is in Mt Field national park in (near!) Hobart.

But that leaves ten

My next phone call is to GMS. I just spoke to Mobility Plus and they sold the Hobart chair and one to another Parks organisation in a State that they will confirm by email.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Guest post from Kate Hood

Once again this is not about the TrailRider. Instead we are paying attention to theatre, theatre that casts disabled actors as readily as able bodied ones - what I choose to call cripple blind casting.

Following on with the cripple word that is really only alright for a disabled person to use (who has reclaimed the word nigger or queer?) Kate Hood has founded a production company named Raspberry Ripple which is Cockney rhyming slang for cripple. 

The mandate of RR is to propel actors, of all abilities, toward the stage. Not least Kate, who like me, is wheelchair bound.

Again we see a way that the world is shifting its axis toward that of the disabled. TrailRider, public housing, theatre. All on the same page.

The recording is Kate's open audition for the Bell Shakespeare Company and it was a rendition of To be or not to be 

Like the Raspberry Ripple Facebook page

Sunday, September 10, 2017

An up"lift"ing tale (not)

Elena Gorodeskti - click to hear her interviewed
This post has nothing to do with the TrailRider but is simply my way of bragging about my relative, George Deutsch's efforts and, along the way, pass on an amusing tale that shows how far we have come regarding a world that accepts disability.

George went to record this interview to the Melbourne public housing apartment of  Elena Gorodestki who is one of the few survivors of the Babi Yar massacre in which the Nazis shot more than 33,000 Jews in a single day. Listen.

Elena lives far up the tower block. There is a lift to her apartment. But only from the third floor!

The sixties designers of the building did not want to seem to be favouring tenants there over those in the three storey blocks who, of course, had no lifts. Go figure.

Read the Sunday Age article here

Read the Limelight review of the concert here

If you are reading from outside Australia I'd be interested to know if the ABC link works .

Saturday, September 9, 2017

ABC Lateline for Have Wheelchair Will Travel

Slowly, surely, the message is getting out there about disability not holding you back from life in all its glory. We have spoken here before about Julie Jones and HWWT (Have Wheelchair Will Travel) - incidentally now at 12,242 Likes on Facebook.

This Lateline segment about HWWT, which includes a snippet of BJ in a TrailRider, is a sign of the word spreading.

Like the HWWT Facebook Page.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

YVR Rocks

If you have dabbled in the airline world you might recognise YVR as the three letter code for Vancouver International Airport. YVR rocks because of their partnership with BCMOS (British Columbia Mobile Opportunity Society) to provide accessible hiking experiences to everyone.

The Vancouver Airport people have gone above and beyond in supporting and sustaining the Mobile Opportunity Society including the production of this video.