QASA- Thanks YOU

Many years ago Peter Buteux had the vision of a glossy magazine to inspire people with mobility impairments. I remember meeting with Peter in a hotel receptionin Johannesburg, to discuss whether such a product would be sustainable.

Peter decided he was going to go for it. QASA agreed to support the initiative. Primedia took ownership of the magazine and Rolling Inspiration was born. Unfortunately, after only five issues, Primedia decided the publication was unsustainable but QASA still wanted to publish, and circulate inspirational, informative and advocacy content within our constituency of people with mobility impairments. We approached Primedia to buy the title and went to see Robin Emslie, of M&M publications, and the deal was done.

I will never forget signing the champagne cork at the Town Lodge, Grayston Drive,with the new team and agreeing to QASAâ' underwriting of any losses during the first year.

M&M really made it happen, and it was only the first issue that needed to be supported financially. The magazine absolutely blossomed.

Robin retired to the beautiful Wilderness area and Karen, who had worked on the magazine for M&M, asked to publish for us.

It'sabsolutely amazing to be publishing the 50th issue of Rolling Inspiration and, obviously,we need to thank our advertisers who make this product sustainable.

Huge thanks also to the contributors, who provide such interesting articles, and to the team - who are so motivated and committed to this publication.

Thank you to the QASA board, who believed in the concept and gave me carte blanche regarding the management of the magazine and its content.

Thank you to YOU, the subscribers, who want to receive the magazine. It is YOU, our readers, who have supported this publication and shown us ways of improving.

Oh yes! We can improve - and we shall . We have some great ideas for the futureand are motivated, after having spent some time together at a teambuilding exercise last month.

QASA is the very proud owner of the only glossy lifestyle magazine for the mobility impaired sector on the African continent.

We are here to stay, we are also here to listen, and we hope that this magazine has influenced the lives, and lifestyles, of people with mobility impairment.

A word from the publisher

Just five issues of Rolling Inspiration had been published when I was offered the opportunity to get involved. M&M Publication's, Robin Emslie, left a copy of the magazine on my desk and asked me what I thought of it. I picked it up and, without any hesitation said, "When do we do the first issue? I want to do this!"

My questions rained down on Robin but he just smiled and said I should meet Ari Seirlis, the National Director of QASA. When we met I realised how appropriate the title was, aptlynamed by Peter Buteux who also initiated the first discussions with the mediahouse.

Sandra de Oliveira and I have worked together on Rolling Inspiration for eight years. When M&M Publications closed we were delighted that QASA were happy to keep our winning team together - and Word for Word Media was formed.

Rolling Inspiration is a team effort, our contributors help us enormously with the content, and together we have fun! Ari Seirlis, the Managing Editor, guides us with his expertise and wisdom and his opinions are highly regarded. Since joining the team over four years ago, Heather Pansegrouw has added her own flair as copy-editor and, more recently, Mumsy Ngoepe added her delightful ways, managing our subscriptions database and the office. The readers continue to inspire us and we thank our advertisers for their loyal support.

Rolling Inspiration has added a new dimension to my life. Being part of a meaningful publication is what makes me get up in the morning. Having been involved with 45 of the 50 issues, I am pleased to have made this small contribution the sector.

I am often asked what got me involved in disability and my answer is always the same ... it's the people! - Karen Joseph

QASA AGM and Art Exhibition

The QASA annual general meeting will be held at the Gateway Hotel, Umhlanga, on Saturday, 22 September 2012.

There will also be an art exhibition for mouth painters organized by QAK and QASA. QASA has received funding from the national lottery, which was earmarked for 2011 activity, to fund this activity. If any of your members would be interested in participating in this mouth painting exhibition, please will you contact the QASA office and we will start engaging with the individuals interested.

We are also looking to develop opportunities for quadriplegics who would like to participate in mouth painting, and this could be an opportunity for their first exhibition.

Thank you and we look forward to any suggestions, or contributions that will make this event unique and interesting.

Empty Printer Cartridges

What do you do with your empty printer cartridges? Empty cartridges have a momentary value and, rather than throwing them away, they can be used to raise funds for QASA.

QASA is pleased to have a partnership with green OFFICE, a company that, amongst other environmentally responsible initiatives, collects empty printer cartridges for recycling. For each cartridge, green OFFICE pays a donation to QASA, based on the monetary value of the cartridge (which depends on thecondition of the cartridge).

Your empty printer cartridges can empower persons with disabilities and help the environment.

Digital Village offers skills for People with Disabilities in Cape Town

A new digital training centre was launched in Durbanville, Cape Town on 29 June. This is the third centre to be opened by QASA. QASA has provided free computer training skills to 700 people with disabilities over the last five years at the existing centres in Pinetown and Pretoria. The Digital Village project  was started in association with Microsoft.

Australia's Agency for International Development, AusAID is funding the first year of operations at the Durbanville digital village.

Ari Seirlis, CEO of QASA said: "Together with our partners, Microsoft andAusAID, we're investing in the lives of people with disabilities through our DigitalVillage computer training centres. Our Association focuses on offering ITskills and valuable opportunities to people with disabilities, so they canenter mainstream employment."

Trainees can subscribe to a one-week computer training course which gives them a basic understanding of Microsoft Office programs. In addition, they receive an e-mail address, internet browsing experience and they learn how to formulate their own CVs. Training also includes a simulation of a job interview.

"QASA offers many opportunities in the form of projects and services, not only for quadriplegics and paraplegics, but for all people with disabilities. These include a driver training programme, road safety initiatives, learnerships and assistive devices and publications, all supported by strong lobby and advocacy for the rights of people with disabilities" Seirlis explained.

QASA has also introduced awareness about HIV and AIDS into the programme to supportthe QASA Rolling Positive project. Rolling Positive is an initiative run bypeople with disabilities for people with disabilities. Its primary aim is to train 450 disabled people to act as counsellors and trainers to spread themessage of a positive lifestyle to other people with mobility impairments.

Bread Tags for Wheelchairs

QASA recently joined forces with the Polystyrene Packaging Council who have been facilitatingthe famous BREAD TAGS FOR WHEELCHAIRS project

This exciting initiative recycles breadtags in return for wheelchairs. Bread tags arepurchased and re-processed, becoming seedling trays and picture frames. QASA qualifies wheelchair recipients and CE Mobility, South Africa's largest local manufacturer of wheelchairs, supply and fit the chairs. Kwik Lok Corporation and Sasko Bakeries are also on board and match us wheelchair for wheelchair as do CE MOBILITY. This means that one million bread tags (270kg) now equals FOURwheelchairs!

The idea that everyone can collect breadtags, and make a difference, has caught on like wildfire. Presently there are at least 500 collection points in strategic places: schools, shopping centres and churches throughout South Africa.

The Breadtags for Wheelchairs project is a wonderful opportunity to become involved with your community, and to play a part in making a positive contribution to someone whois unable to buy their own wheelchair.

Something so small really can make a big difference!