ATUBI at Little Eden

Little Eden Society is a home for children with severe physical and intellectual disabilities. Domitilla Rota Hyam and her family founded this little paradise in 1967, a beautiful farm where the children can experience and, where possible, take part in various farming activities. Life in Little Eden is made possible by donations and public support. In December they received fifteen Atubi transfer seats.

The Atubi is a strap-in seat to easily move patients to a bed, car, floor, wheelchair and up or down stairs. Transfers are comfortable, safe, quick and easy and risk of injury to either caregiver or patient is greatly reduced. The Atubi is strong and robust and made of waterproof material. Three sets of handles on either side of the Atubi afford asafe grip, even for larger patients. It can easily take up to 160kg and hasbeen SABS tested to take a load of 300kg!

The Atubi can also be used in emergency evacuations, with one or more persons on either side to evacuate the user. In extreme cases a single person can drag the user out with the aid of adrag-handle situated behind the neck.

Back at Little Eden, it is good to see how well they make use of contributions. The children enjoy a happy, stimulating, space and each child is developed to their own full potential. Hats off to a loving, caring, willing staff!

Breaking NEWS!!


The QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) has joined OUTA in the application to halt the e-tolls. People with mobility impairment in SouthAfrica, especially wheelchair users, have not been consulted since the inception of this programme.

QASA made submission for concession on a number of occasions with no response. There is no alternative accessible and affordable, safe public transport for wheelchair users in Johannesburg and Pretoria and this is the case throughout South Africa. People with mobility impairment, who have always used the road for their routing, are now - without alternatives - going to be paralysed by the pricing and the programme.

According to QASA, the few people who have the opportunity and privilege to drive themselves using a vehicle with adaptions should be exempted from paying the prescribed toll fee. However, this does not solve the problem for the majority of wheelchair users in the greater Gauteng area as most wheelchair users do not have their own vehicles. They rely on the goodwill of the community, and family, in order to get around within the city.

There is no solution to exempt this constituency from paying the toll and QASA is calling for the removal of the system. The South African Disability Alliance (SADA) has unanimously agreed to support QASA's position in the interest of equitable solutions with people with disabilities in SouthAfrica.

2012 Budget Speech

The Minister very kindly announced that, with effect from April 2012:

  • The monthly state old age pension and the disability and care dependency grants will rise by R60 a month to R1,200 orR1,220 for pensioners over the age of 75
  • Foster Care grants will rise by R30 to R770
  • Child support grants will rise to R280.


Certain SARS branches have incorrectly informed taxpayers that the ITR-DD (Confirmation of Diagnosis of Disability form) must be renewed annually.

SARS define disability as: a moderate to severe limitation of a person's ability to function or perform daily activities as a result of a physical, sensory, communication, intellectual or mental impairment, if the limitation:

  •  has lasted, or has a prognosis of lasting, morethan a year; and
  • is diagnosed by a duly registered medical practitioner in accordance with criteria prescribed by the Commissioner.

For persons with a temporary disability (expected to last for less than five years) the form must be renewed every year.

People with a permanent disability, must renew the form after five (5) years.

SARS further reminded taxpayers with disabilities that proof of all medical claims must be retained for a period offive years after the date of submission of the Income Tax Return (ITR12).

Karate for the disabled

In 1995 I was in a car accident and broke my back (T9 and 10). Karate is my passion and I battled to find someone willing to continue my training because of the wheelchair. Eventually I started training with Shihan Hans Haupt in 2005. A year later I achieved my first Dan, in Japan. I also participated in the World Championship, againstable-bodies, and became World Champion.

The World Karate Federation (WKF) has a disability division and many countries teach karate in their rehab centres as karate helps withbalance, hand eye co-ordination and breathing. It also improves self-image.

WKF classifications include: amputee, visually impaired, CP,wheelchair user, intellectual impairment and hearing impaired.

If you are interested in joining this growing sport please contact Sensei Dirk van der Merwe,

SASOL Art Competition

SASOL's new Signatures art competition is open to artists who are 18 and older and have not held a solo exhibition (20 works displayed ina commercial gallery) other than for academic purposes. Prizes include R60,000 to the overall winner plus an exhibition at the Pretoria Art Museum, R20,000 to the runner up and five merit winners shall receive R5,000 each.

One or two artworks may be submitted at a number ofcollection points between 3 and 4 July 2012. Visit or contact Nandi Hilliard (012-346-3100, 083-288-5117, for more information.

World Head Injury Day

Says RI reader, Derick Brummer, "A brain injury gives you two injuries for the price of one! Not only do you get cognitive slowness, but you also get physical problems thrown in for free!"

I had a motorbike accident in my matric year (1986). During the lengthy recovery, I went from being in a wheelchair,  to a walking ring, to two crutches, to one crutch. I now walk unaided. Swimming helped a lot in regaining my balance- due to the support the water offers. 

"Whilst re-learning how to walk independently, I achieved six university qualifications. I'm sure that my academic prowess had a reciprocal influence on my physical achievements (and vice-versa)."