Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Guest post from Julie Jones

The way things used to be - there comes a time though when
the child is just too heavy
I was thrilled to be asked by David to write a post for TrailRider Tales.  

I love David’s passion, drive and determination to bring TrailRider to Australia so others can enjoy the thrill of accessing areas that would otherwise be inaccessible.

One of the nicest things about having our website, Have Wheelchair Will Travel and the Facebook page is the people we “meet.”  I am constantly inspired by people like David who persevere and bring about change.

Our website and Facebook page started as a very small idea of sharing information about a particular trip we undertook with our son who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair.  My background as a travel consultant gave me the advantage of being able to research our holiday thoroughly and when it was a success I wanted to share that information to give others the confidence to travel.  

That simple idea has now grown and we share equipment tips and finds, our travels and other information we feel may help others.  We have only one rule on our page and that is that the stories must be positive and can-do.  We want people to visit our page and always be able to find something positive and uplifting; a story of what can be achieved despite a disability.
An easier way to  do it!

The unexpected gift which has come from having the website and using my background in travel is being able to inform tourism providers of little things which would help someone travelling with a wheelchair.  Whether it is a change to a layout of a hotel room, displaying adequate signage or providing wider disabled parking spaces, all these small things make a difference to guests visiting after us - if adopted.  We find most operators are very open to change and often it is a lack of understanding or knowledge which has prevented it happening before.

Last year we were asked by Dina Bullivant from National Parks Service NSW if we would like to trial the TrailRider and give our feedback. 

We are always up for an adventure and love trying something new, so we jumped at the opportunity.  Doing bushwalks was something we had done before we had children and an activity we always imagined we would share with our children when they came along.  You could say we took it for granted. 

When our son was born with cerebral palsy we imagined this would not be the case once he outgrew a hiking back carrier.  Once he was using a wheelchair we didn’t dwell on the fact; we just did our best to find accessible tracks to give the children a taste of bushwalking.  It wasn’t the same but that was just another modification to our lifestyle.
  
We were so delighted to take the kids out on a “proper” bush walk with the TrailRider.  We felt exhilarated and it was definitely a liberating feeling at the end of the walk.

We say that we try and find our way around “tricky” situations so our son can experience a wide range of things in life. The TrailRider definitely provides a great way for us to navigate the access difficulties of the bush.

I regularly share on our Facebook page the theory that one person’s idea can bring about change.    It may take many to put the idea into place but it takes that initial person to have the idea, the drive and determination to see it through.
We certainly thank David and all the people that then helped bring the TrailRider to Australia.
We share our travels at www.havewheelchairwilltravel.net and post daily at www.facebook.com/havewheelchairwilltravel.


2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this Dave. We already follow Have Wheelchair will Travel. What you're both doing is heart-warming. The therapeutic benefits of being out in nature for families, friend and even strangers - if you take the volunteer sherpas into the mix - is so rewarding. Look forward to more guest stories doing what you love - CC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so excited to meet Julie - I think we will get up to lots of stuff.
      Watch this space!

      Delete

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