This annual disability showcase is so much more than an Expo! Yes, all of the movers and shakers are there, and yes, the conference has become an essential tool in fighting for the rights of people with disabilities - but it is so much more!! It also provides a space for old friends to meet up and discuss, in an informalsetting, how the wheels of disability are rolling.
To pof many peoples' must-see list this year was the Driving Ambitions display. This joint venture, between Rolling Inspiration's Caroline Rule, QASA and AVIS, to get people mobile again has proved itself many times over - and ACSA Expo wasno different. Hopefully we will soon see a lot more people freeing themselves of the shackles of inaccessible public transport!!
It was exciting to see so many of Rolling Inspiration's loyal advertisers involved in this annual initiative, and encouraging to see new players such as Otto Bock and Ossur supporting the local arena. Expo favourite, Sister Jenny Jen-Til wasthere with her creams. She had a long queue of sore shoulders looking for someTLC at the end of the sporting events. It was especially good to see Wheelchair Tennis SA (WTSA) featuring in the sports programme. WTSA recently saw their strong association with ACSA paying dividends as South Africa's top sporting awards for people with a disability went to wheelchair tennis players.
Andy Smith was there to get new and innovative ideas. Hanging on the back of his wheelchair was his latest invention - portable ramps!! Yes, these sturdy but extremely lightweight ramps are so light that you can take them with you wherever you go - steps, pavements and other irritating obstructions are no longer an obstacle!! Mail Andy at email@example.com for more information.
Tujay Harmoniquez is an up and coming musician with muscular dystrophy (MD) we met at the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation of South Africa stand. Since 2000 he and Tha Cutt, a cameraman, editor and turntableist (has won the DMC championship twice) who also has MD, have been collaborating with Brain, who has cerebral palsy, and produces for artists like Abdus.
Tujay is planning the shooting of a music video to raise disability awareness.
International Children's Peace Prize Winner 2011
At the end of November Rolling Inspiration youth page anchor, Michaela (Chaeli) Mycroft, was in the Hague to receive the 2011 International Children's Peace Prize for the work she does through her project: the Chaeli Campaign (www.chaelicampaign.co.za). This is only the 7th time that the Dutch organization, KidsRights, has presented their annual award - to an exceptional child, whose courageous or otherwise remarkable acts and thoughts have made a difference in countering problems, which affect children around the world."
Accepting her award Chaeli said, "Hope is what keeps us going. It's what keeps us striving for the lives we deserve. I have hope for myself, but I also have hope for all other children with disabilities. I hope that my actions as an ability activist will leave the world more accepting and more accommodating for all people and not just people with disabilities, because we are all different and we all have the need to be accepted regardless of having adisability or not."
Take a Bow!!
At the 2011 Quad Para Association SA (QASA) AGM in Cape Town, Word For Word Media cc, the publishers of Rolling Inspiration, presented acheque for R415,347.08 to QASA.
The Centre for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (CAAC) at the University of Pretoria hosted the Second African AAC Conference in August.
175 delegates the USA, Australia, Israel, Scotland, Sweden, Ghana and South Africa shared their passion for people with disabilities and, in particular, individuals with little or no functional speech.