Novita is proud of our history of supporting people with cerebral palsy (CP), which began back in 1944.
On 6 March 1946, we opened the first school for kids living with CP at the Adelaide Children’s Hospital, along with a clinic. Today, Novita supports more than 500 clients living with cerebral palsy and their families.
One of our clients, Brodie, is also a member of the retail team at our NovitaTech assistive technology store in Hindmarsh. Brodie lives with cerebral palsy and is an accomplished wheelchair athlete, having competed at the national level in wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby and wheelchair AFL. Playing at the national level means that Brodie travels around the country. Brodie shares his thoughts about accessibility and the assistive technology that supports him with this and daily life.
“As someone living with physical disability that affects all four limbs, the use of different assistive technology is often the difference between being independent or carer-dependent when performing daily tasks.
As assistive technology continues to progress, it supports people living with disability to live more independently and enables kids living with disabilities to dream of who they want to be within society.
What was once deemed impossible, or highly improbable, is now moving towards certainly possible. It’s fantastic to see the advancements in assistive technology.
As a member of the disabled community, I will continue to work towards eliminating the mindset of ‘I can’t’, as within today’s world it’s now more a matter of ‘how’; how can we use assistive technology in a situation to make it easier, accessible or do-able.
Accessibility to Brodie
Accessibility means being able to access something – that’s the first priority – and being able to do it by myself, supporting independence and making my disability invisible in that situation.
In terms of people being aware of what a wheelchair user can do, I think there is a way to go but people asking what I need rather than making assumptions about what I need is definitely becoming more common. But there is still a way to go with the availability of accessible equipment and facilities.
When I travel, I take certain things with me so I don’t have to rely on the facilities in a hotel, for instance. A shower buddy that folds down into a travel case is an example of this. Being able to declare such equipment as medical equipment with the airlines when you are travelling – and not having to pay a fee – definitely helps as well.”
World Cerebral Palsy Day on 6 October was created by the Cerebral Palsy Alliance in 2012 and now brings together people living with cerebral palsy, their families, allies, supporters and organisations across more than 100 countries. The aim is to ensure a future in which children and adults with cerebral palsy have the same rights, access and opportunities as anyone else in our society. You can learn more about World Cerebral Palsy Day at their website.