[bactttoma] Re: [DBAust] Funds bid for those in a dark and silent world

  • From: steven taylor <steven_taylor10@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: bactttoma@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 3 May 2010 10:55:58 +1000

An inspirational story here.

On 03/05/2010, at 10:47 AM, Di and John wrote:

> Funds bid for those in a dark and silent world
> May 3, 2010
> Heather Lawson uses sign language with interpreter Dennis Whitcombe. Photo: 
> Angela Wylie
> HEATHER Lawson lives in a world that is dark and silent. Born with Usher 
> syndrome, she was deaf at birth and her vision has since deteriorated to the 
> point where she is completely blind. She communicates through tactile sign 
> language. She softly covers the hands of an interpreter as they sign, then 
> responds with her own sign language.
> Initially struck with grief and anger and fear when she completely lost her 
> vision at 28, she hasn't allowed living with deafblindness to stop her from 
> skydiving, jet-skiing, rock climbing, snow skiing and abseiling. She is also 
> determined to maintain her independence, living on her own and using a 
> communication book to help her get around on public transport.
> ''I was adventurous but as my sight got worse and worse my other senses were 
> heightened,'' she said.
> But Ms Lawson, 51, and others living with deafblindness need help for the 
> day-to-day things others take for granted. Activities such as shopping, 
> paying bills and going to the doctor all require the help of support workers 
> and family. ''Without a support worker, I'd be sitting at home alone, and 
> that would be frustrating,'' she said.
> Ms Lawson is spirited and positive, with a dry sense of humour. But many 
> people living with deafblindness are isolated and suffering from depression.
> Ahead of tomorrow's state budget, people working in this sector are hoping 
> for more funds.
> State manager of National Disability Services, Rhonda Lawson Street, said 
> the sector has long been underfunded.
> ''The funding isn't going far enough for individuals, particularly with 
> complex needs, to be able to purchase a range of services they require to 
> fully participate,'' she said. ''Services are stretched to breaking point 
> because they've been underfunded for years on end.''
> Opposition community services spokeswoman Mary Wooldridge said the 
> government's own advice more than a year ago was that an increase in funding 
> was needed to maintain the level of services. ''People with disabilities are 
> not getting the level or quality of services they need due to the Brumby 
> government's chronic underfunding of the disability sector,'' she said.
> Ms Lawson gets funding from the Department of Human Services to pay for time 
> with a support worker to help her with an activity of her choosing, and she 
> has to carefully budget that time.
> She worries that others are waiting too long to get help: ''It's truly sad. 
> I think the government sweeps us under the carpet .''
> She gets support from Able Australia, an organisation that helps people with 
> multiple disabilities. Chief executive Celestine Hare said deafblindness was 
> a little-known disability. ''We hear a lot about the single sensory, a 
> person being deaf or blind, but to even envisage that people are both, along 
> with an intellectual disability, is just incomprehensible.''
> Some people with disabilities get their funding directly from the 
> department, like Ms Lawson, which enables them to decide how they spend 
> their money with different agencies. The amount of money they get depends on 
> their needs.
> But this is still being rolled out and other people with disabilities still 
> do not get their funding directly.
> A Department of Human Services spokesman said there were 1200 people on the 
> disability support register - the method the department uses to register 
> need and provide help.
> ''We have shifted to self-directed support, giving people with a disability 
> the power to choose the support they want to receive, where they want to 
> live, what day programs they want to participate in,'' he said.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
> __._,_.___
> Reply to sender | Reply to group | Reply via web post | Start a New Topic
> Messages in this topic (1)
>       • New Members 1
> Visit Your Group
> Switch to: Text-Only, Daily Digest • Unsubscribe • Terms of Use
> .
> __,_._,___

To Leave bactttoma send an email to:
With "unsubscribe" in the subject or body of the message (without the quotes).  
Use "subscribe"
instead if you want to re-subscribe to bactttoma.  Use "info" to get your 
welcome message again or
use "faq" to get the FAQ with the list guidelines in detail.  These requests 
will give you more
information on other commands like setting digest and vacation modes.

To post to bactttoma, send email to:
Replies to emails on this list will go to the  whole list  by default.

General information about bactttoma, ways to join, leave and set options is at:

To contact the bactttoma moderators, send email to:

Other related posts:

  • » [bactttoma] Re: [DBAust] Funds bid for those in a dark and silent world - steven taylor