City of Charles Sturt Accessible Beach Day, 4 February 2017 – Henley Beach
The City of Charles Sturt prides itself on its 12 kilometres of natural coastline and pristine beaches. Beach going is an Australian way of life, and is something that most of us take for granted; it is a space where we build bonds with family, friends, and nature, while recharging our minds and our bodies.
However, for a large number of people in our community, particularly those who experience mobility impairment; access and inclusion at the beach can pose significant difficulties. They require assistance in their day to day lives due to disability or frail age and would find the beach to be inaccessible. At best they would be separated from their groups due to being bound to hard surfaces.
The City of Charles wanted to address inaccessibility and to be a leader in this field. Beach matting is a relatively new innovation that aims to address the inequities in access and inclusion at Australia’s beaches. Essentially, beach matting consists of a long, sturdy ‘mat’ which can be rolled out over the top of soft sand, to enable wheeled mobility aids (and those who have difficulty walking) to traverse over the soft sand to reach the water’s edge.
We decided to trial a beach mat that has never been in South Australia before and also a few different types of wheelchairs that could go into the ocean. That way we could be up to date with the best products for our community through direct feedback from those trialled that day.
We organised a beach access event day with Push Mobility and Accessible Beaches for Saturday 4 February 2017. It developed into the largest national beach event of its kind- to date. The event was super successful and enjoyed by all who attended. We made national media coverage that day. Within three days there were well over 350,000 hits on social media, nationally and globally with thousands of comments praising the event and urging council to make the access mat permanent.
Flowing on from the success of this event, council has a budget bid in for 2017/18 to purchase a permanent beach mat would lead to Henley Beach becoming the 12th permanently accessible beach in Australia. We are proud to have facilitated an event that has allowed members of our community to enter the water after years or in some instances decades of isolation and exclusion.
The City of Charles Sturt would like to thank Push Mobility, Henley Surf Lifesaving Club, Accessible Beaches, Dignity for Disability, John Nieddu Photography, Push Adventures and all volunteers and attendees for making this event such a success.
This is a five-minute video capsule scripted and narrated by Henry Desboilles. The capsule follows Henry as he tries to enjoy the terraces in the Gay Village in Montreal. St-Catherine Street, which goes all the way through the village, is pedestrianized during summer months and is quite popular for both locals and tourists who would like to enjoy the open-air restaurants, cafes, and street entertainments. In the capsule, we witness Henry’s experience of the street as a disabled person. Henry begins with drawing attention to the first barrier to entering the village, the metro station, which is not accessible. Then he goes on to show how most of the terraces do not accommodate people in wheelchairs. In some cases, they have a step, which Henry cannot surmount in his chair. In others, they have ramps that are either too steep or that do not have the appropriate width, slope, and texture that warrant the user’s safety.
People with disabilities are among the most discriminated against in Bolivia. Fed up of being ignored, a group of them marched across the Andes to the seat of the Government in La Paz, asking to speak with President Evo Morales. They are met with riot police, barricades, tear gas and water cannons.
Headed by a group of determined leaders such as; Rose Mery, Marcelo, Feliza and Miguel, the protestors set camp in the streets, a block from the main Plaza where the Government palace is located. For the first time in Bolivia’s history, the police erect 3m high barricades, station tanks and hundreds of riot police to stop the protestors in wheelchairs from entering the plaza.
Violent confrontations flare up between police and the people with disabilities, including the use of pepper spray and water cannon on the protestors. The government refuses to discuss their request for a pension of $70 a month and the protestors suspend themselves from the city's bridges in their wheelchairs.
As public pressure grows, can Rose Mery and her fellow wheelchair-bound protestors win their fight?
Directors, producers and editors: Violeta Ayala and Dan Fallshaw
Co-producers: Fernando Barbosa and Andrea Monasterios
Executive producers for the Guardian: Charlie Phillips, Lindsay Poulton and Laurence Topham
This video is produced in collaboration with the Sundance Institute Short Documentary Fund supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
This is the story of Everton da Silva, an inspiring young Brazilian who was born with a disability that left him unable to walk. Because he is poor and cannot afford a wheelchair, Everton has been confined to his home for many years. Despite this lack of mobility, Everton remains incredibly upbeat, and dreams of the day when he can move about more freely and experience life to its fullest. This video is presented by Da Terra Brasil Foundation (http://www.daterrabrasil.org) whose "Brasil on Wheels" program provides wheelchairs to the neediest cases in Brazil. Celebrate your birthday by participating in “Birthday For Wheels,” helping Everton and many others in the same situation.
For 15 years Metro-Davidson County Detention Facility has partnered with Wheels for the World, a ministry of the Joni and Friends International Disability Center, to provide wheelchairs to people with disabilities. Since then, over 6,000 refurbished wheelchairs have been donated to children and adults affected by disability worldwide. The program has been a source of inspiration for participating inmates, who are given the opportunity to learn trade skills while gaining a sense of purpose from helping those in need.