We’ve always been lucky in having my handy Dad living next door. He built much of BJ’s therapy equipment for us which meant no waiting lists and saved us a fortune. Hubby’s also pretty clever and the two of them have skills that compliment each other, solving many small equipment issues. Despite not using the services of Technical Aid to the Disabled, we’ve always been aware of the great service they offer and we’ve seen the clever solutions they have come up with for friends. Today we have Opal from TADQ (Technical Aid to the Disabled Queensland) guest blogging and sharing a bit more about the work the organisation does.
BJ’s corner seats were made by my Dad
Having a background in Community Development but being relatively new to the disability services sector, I am so thrilled by the sense of community and sharing attitude of families, carers and service providers. TADQ is no exception to this and the core essence of the organisation is connecting people and providing solutions.
Some families have great support network close by that may consist of a handy dad, grandad or grandma, who can put their hand to anything to help…. adjust a bed rail, build a ramp, modify a wheelchair. But what about those families who don’t have that that handy person to help with those every day challenges or perhaps they don’t have the tools, space or skills.
Well, 45 years ago that very concept was developed by a small group of volunteers in NSW who saw a need, had the skills and a can-do attitude and created what we know as TAD (Technical Aid to the Disabled). Then 15 years later TAD expanded to Queensland and became TADQ – a not for profit organisation that provides modified and handcrafted items for adults and children with a disability and people in their senior years. We have almost 50 volunteers based all around Queensland who have outstanding skills, knowledge, time and willingness to help. They are the backbone to the organisation, the reason we exist. As each person is unique in their right, have their own abilities and strengths, as do our volunteers and our projects.
We had one mum contact us who has a little boy Lincoln who has Cerebral Palsy. Lincoln uses an adjustable chair to support him while sitting, which is awesome but not very helpful when trying to sit at a table for different activities. Mum had tried various places to find what she needed but to no avail, and so came to us to provide something just for him. One of our skilled volunteers handcrafted a cut out desk, perfect for Lincoln to fit in snuggly and the adjustable legs means it will grow with him.
Or another customer, Thomas, who has 1P36 Deletion Syndrome and has never ridden a bike before until TADQ were able to supply him his very own Freedom Wheel bike (see photo above) which his family picked up on the way to his birthday party. It was so wonderful to see face as he rode round and round with the help of dad.
Working out of an office in Brisbane, we hear many stories like Lincolns and Thomas’ and some of the more unusual ones too including modifications to gaming controllers. Our Occupational Therapists are always on hand to help and work with the customer and volunteers closely and being a small team we are able to provide personalised customer service. We even have a team of volunteers called the Innovations Team who meet regularly to discuss the more complex project request… perfect for the minds of the volunteers with an engineering background. You can almost hear the cogs turning in their minds, it’s great to watch and see them so enthusiastic.
So I guess, if you do have a challenge that you are struggling with, give us a call… the only limit is your imagination!
A big thanks to Opal for sharing the TADQ story.
I would love to hear about other organisations that exist around the world that do similar work. It may just help another family if you share.