Disability Expo - Jolly Good Show

The 2007 ACSA Nedbank Disability Expo attracted hordes of visitors on the first two days, but surprisingly, numbers declined on the final Saturday. (Picture: Ndiphiwe Ntuli opened the conference and discussed ACSA’s involvement in Wheelchair Tennis and the distribution of wheelchairs.)

The Expo opened on Thursday 1 November at Gallagher Estate in Midrand, with Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) and Nedbank as the main sponsors. Running alongside the Expo was the annual Disability Conference. (Picture: Deiter Marzinger with the "Freedom Bike" portrait of Madiba that he painted.)

Ndiphiwe Tuli, Group Specialist for Stakeholder Management at ACSA, opened the conference with an exploration of ACSA’s role in the provision of mobility. ACSA have become involved in sponsoring Wheelchair Tennis in South Africa as part of their social responsibility efforts. ACSA has spent millions of rands supporting WC tennis tournaments and players around the country and in neighbouring states. ACSA also distributes custom-made wheelchairs to needy disabled people in communities around their airports.

The various conference speakers covered a wide variety of disability topics such as the UN Charter on disabled persons, health, accessibility, sport, transport, poverty, education, employment and taxation.





Several medical supply companies from Taiwan displayed their products at the show.

Solutions Medical had their latest products on show, including some new wheelchair models.

Skyjacks displayed their new 500kg lift and also the roof-mounted wheelchair hoist, plus numerous other products including tie-downs.

Taiwanese companies Perfect Medical, Valentine International, MaxHealth and Taiwan Stanch displayed a wide variety of products such as catheters, sterile tubing, ventilators, gas valves, wheelchairs, shower chairs, commodes, etc. Newcomers to the local market, IceXpress displayed their electronic (bionic) prosthetic knees and ankles which allow users to climb up and down stairs.

Sitwell displayed a prototype wheelchair, the Will-Go, that uses levers to propel the chair forward; it has disk brakes and an anti-rollback feature. Presta had a brand-new beach and pool wheelchair for transferring people into and out of the surf or the pool without any effort. (Pictures: IceXpress SA produces some of the most advanced bionic prostheses around, including the RHEO Electronic Knee, the Power Knee which traverse stairs, and the ProPrio foot with its electronic ankle.)

Sport demonstrations
Wheelchair Tennis SA hosted a demonstration of WC Tennis and invited show visitors to take part. The first volunteer was multiple gold medal Paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius! He found it a little difficult to push a chair with a racquet in one hand! Four young Boccia players played a demonstration match of this bowls game for severely disabled athletes.

One of the star attractions was Deiter Marzinger, the quadriplegic mouth painter, who painted a portrait of Mandela on the fuel tank of a Harley Davidson. He hopes to have Madiba sign it, after which it will be auctioned, with the profits donated to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.





Some young Boccia players give a demonstration match.

Conference delegates enjoyed two days of disability-related presentations.

Avis demonstrated their hand-control adapted Nissan Tiida auto

Truck tail lift maker Skyjacks showed off their new double arm wheelchair lift fitted to a Mercedes Benz Vito and rated to lift 500kg! Another lift manufacturer at the show was JSJ Trucking, with a lift fitted to a Peugeot Boxer van. AVIS Car Hire had an adapted Nissan Tiida automatic on their stand, which attracted a lot of attention.

And of course the Rolling Inspiration stand was always busy; Sandra, Karen and Caroline worked in shifts to occupy the stand and handle subscription sales and enquiries.

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