Discrimination’: Woman’s struggle with pool’s disability access

| 21st Mar 2017 1:01 PM – The Observer –

The article below which appeared in the Gladstone Observer talks about a similar problem spoken about here in Brisbane and the Redlands.    Not good enough.

UNFAIR: Leah Felsmah can't swim at the Gladstone Aquatic Centre because there is no pool access for people with disability.
UNFAIR: Leah Felsmah can’t swim at the Gladstone Aquatic Centre because there is no pool access for people with disability.Emily Pidgeon.

IT’S a fact that swimming lightens the load for many people recovering from surgery and helps accelerate their recovery.  But for people who have a mobility disability, it can be a struggle swimming for recovery at Gladstone Aquatic Centre, Leah Felsmah claims.

Ms Felsmah had been swimming about 40 laps four times a week to help with her recovery from her bilateral knee replacement.  However, this became a problem when she moved from Perth to Gladstone and realised she wasn’t able to access the main pool to swim laps.

“It’s just rungs, a ladder type … there are plenty of other people, with knee injuries from sport and other reasons, who can’t get up and down those rungs,” Ms Felsmah said.  “It’s discrimination, they have to provide for people with disability.”

Ms Felsmah said she called the Gladstone Aquatic Centre and the Gladstone Regional Council more than 20 times before moving to the region, with concerns about the lack of access people with disability had to the pool.

“They said they did have an old hoist and it wasn’t working,” she said.  “It’s all wrong … they said they would replace it and it just hasn’t happened.  “They need to be doing something about it.”

Although Gladstone Aquatic Centre has a 25m pool with access for people with disability, Ms Felsmah said it was often crowded.  “The heated indoor pool with ramp access is always crowded … you can’t swim in the lanes because they’re always full up,” she said.  “I understand it’s an old pool but putting a set of stairs in isn’t as physical as you think.  “It’s all about money to be honest.”

Gladstone Regional Council spokesperson said the 25m indoor pool was popular because of the built in ramp giving access for those with disabilities.   “Council is aware of the community’s request for mobility access to the 50m outdoor pool and will consider it along with the other needs of the community in the next financial year budget,” council spokespersons said.

Ms Felsmah said she had a bilateral knee replacement 13 weeks ago and has been forced to swim at Calliope Swimming Pool four times a week for recovery.  “It’ll be closed by the end of the month because it closes for winter,” she said.  “I’m a bit stymied.”

Gladstone Aquatic Centre declined to comment.

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Federal Government accused of holding National Disability Insurance Scheme hostage

The West Australian Newspaper

Treasurer Scott Morrison.
Treasurer Scott Morrison.

The Federal Government has been accused of holding the National Disability Insurance Scheme hostage over billions of dollars in welfare cuts that face being blocked by a hostile Senate.

In a move that angered disability advocates yesterday, the Government announced $3 billion in leftover savings from its welfare omnibus Bill would be quarantined for future contributions to the NDIS.

Treasurer Scott Morrison warned that should the Senate block the Bill, the NDIS could be underfunded.

“The balance of the savings achieved through that Bill will be provided and debited into the NDIS special account,” Mr Morrison said.

“The NDIS account will be poorer for it, if the Bill is not passed.”

The legislation, introduced into Parliament last week, already ties the Government’s long-stalled $1.6 billion childcare reforms to previously rejected welfare measures, many of which have languished in parliamentary limbo since the 2014 Budget.

In making the funding for the NDIS contingent on the cuts being passed, the Government has piled more pressure on the Senate crossbench to pass the Bill.

Social Services Minister Christian Porter last year set up an NDIS special account to help make up a $4 billion shortfall in funding predicted for 2020.

Mr Porter said the Government would much prefer the NDIS not be funded by debt or tax

Labor and the Greens remain opposed to the Bill and key cross bencher Nick Xenophon, who controls three votes in the Senate, has publicly opposed measures affecting young people that would make the newly unemployed wait a month for income support.

Shadow families minister Jenny Macklin, who insists the NDIS was fully funded under Labor, said the threat was a “disgraceful political game of brinkmanship”.

“The Turnbull Government is now holding the NDIS hostage over its $5.6 billion in cuts to families, new mums, pensioners, people with disability, carers and young jobseekers,” Ms Macklin said.

“People with disability do not deserve to be treated with such contempt.”

Australian Council of Social Service chief executive Cassandra Goldie rejected the linking of welfare cuts to the NDIS. “This is robbing Peter to pay Paul,” Dr Goldie said.

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Disability Awareness & Post School Options Expo’16

Expo_Video_1Only a month away from the 8th Disability Awareness & Post School Options Expo, which will be held at the Sleeman Sports Complex, Theatre & Arena on 14th September 2016.    Over 60 Service providers, Guest Speakers and NDIS updates with Q&A.

Ideal opportunity also for those children leaving school to find out what opportunities are available to them.

Open from 10am with Official opening at 10.15 am by the Deputy Mayor Cr.Adrian Schrinner, followed at 10.30 am by the Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland, Hon Coralee O’Rourke MP.  More information available on SpecialCare Central Inc website.

Event Schedule is available to download here. SCC-DisabilityAwarenessExpo.

All visitors FREE entry.   Plenty of Free parking and Bus to venue.

Posted in Expos, NDIS updates, Parents & Carers, People with disability | Tagged , , | Leave a comment