News & Views

Universal  Accessibility

At last it seems that government are finally paying attention to Universal Design and understand the importance for stakeholders and government to work together.

At the Dept of Tourism’s Accessibility Consultative Stakeholder Workshop Aneme Malan (Nat. Dept of Tourism) opened and invited the stakeholders. to use the opportunity to share ideas and develop and establish a national forum and reference group. The tone of the meeting was set and it was decided that an equitable tourism experience, which is the same for all tourists is essential. 

Bekithemba Langaliabele of the Nat. Dept of Tourism gave the background to the projects and unveiled guidelines and brochures, that have thus far been developed, in association with SADA and the Presidency.

“Stakeholders need to construct a suite of tourism products and services in which Universal Access is achieved”, said Phillip Thompson, “so that all people benefit from Universal Design. Service Excellence is more than addressing the needs of the average traveller. It must address diversity of the tourist throughout their entire life cycle.”

The age old problems with the Grading Council were raised yet again: implementation, assesssor accreditation, inadequate definitions,  communication, access to information as well as industry commitment, perceived compliance costs and lack of reliable statistics.

TGCSA’s ops manager and master assessor, Nivashnee Govender, said that only 5 of 7000 establishments met the criteria but that UA Grading is now part of the mainstream accommodation grading criteria: “This is being finalised. The HILG members have committed to getting their establishments UA graded and will be better when star grading becomes mandatory. It is still voluntary at this point in time” she said.

An action plan is obviously required and the stakeholders are working on this. Rolling Inspiration will keep our readers informed. 

ISPO SA

SA healthcare professionals  involved in any of the rehabilitation fields, are invited to join the national member society of ISPO, co-ordinated by SAOPA, the South African Orthotic & Prosthetic Association.

ISPO SA has the highest membership of any new ISPO society, with one institution and 130 individuals, mainly comprised of Medical Orthotists & Prosthetists (O&P’s) but also including a pharmacist, a physiotherapist and Tshwane University of Technology, (TUT), the only O&P training school in the country.

The primary objective, according to ISPO SA founding chairman, Mike Barkley, is to obtain  members from all rehabilitation fields and disciplines, as ISPO is a society for everyone involved in patient rehabilitation.  “We are calling on all medical professionals involved in rehabilitation, such as surgeons, physio’s, OT’s, biokineticians, pharmacists, and related fields, to sign up. SA healthcare professionals are amongst the best in the world and we want to publicise and expand on what our professionals can do for patients. Together with other medical professions, we can make a difference.”

ISPO SA serves as an international, impartial, non-political, co-ordinating, correlating and advisory body on prosthetics, orthotics, rehabilitation engineering and other matters related to the neuromuscular and skeletal system, in close collaboration with other national and international bodies. 

ISPO effects a scientific exchange amongst its members, and others, by the collecting and disseminating of information through publications, correspondence, exhibits, regional or international courses, seminars, and conferences. ISPO will encourage, promote and assist in efforts by co-ordinating - or guiding - research, development, and evaluation activities related to prosthetics and orthotics and encourage, guide, and support the efforts of all those responsible for care of patients involved in these important fields and when requested, correlate these activities throughout the world. 

For an annual membership fee of R550 members receive monthly email updates, quarterly ISPO journals and huge discounts at all ISPO events, including the ISPO Congress in Leipzig, Germany, from 10th to 15th May this year.

Wet Toes!

 Southbroom is a village on the South Coast of KZN near Margate and last year an accessibility ramp from the main road at the top down to the beach and tidal pool was installed. 

This year, thanks to David Holt-Biddle, an  environmental journalist who lives on the lower South Coast of KZN, and Ari Seirlis, they have added a beach wheelchair. 

David can be contacted via email at biddle@iafrica.com. 

MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY FOUNDATION OF SOUTH AFRICA   

Muscular dystrophy (MD) describes a disorder that affects the muscles, resulting in wasting and weakness of the muscle. 

It might be you or a family member, a neighbour or a friend and can happen at any stage in life.

You can help by telling family members and friends affected by muscular dystrophy or neuro-muscular conditions about our organisation and supporting our fundraising efforts.

 

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