There seems no end to the number of men who love tinkering with machines and gadgets. And that is one of the reasons many find themselves volunteering at Technical Aid to the Disabled SA (TADSA).
“Most of our volunteers come to us via their wives,” said publicity officer Ian Beaton. “The husband retires, the couple goes on their big holiday around Australia and then back home the husband starts getting under the wife’s feet.
“At that point the wife will invariably see an ad or story about TADSA and say to her husband, ‘You should do that’.”
The charity has about 50 volunteers, most of them seniors, and has operated statewide for 38 years.
It aims to help seniors and people with disabilities overcome problems by designing and building or modifying devices where there is no other solution commercially available.
The devices built by inventive volunteers improve the quality of life for clients whether they are in care or live independently. TADSA also helps clients enter or return to work, study, recreation or sport through the equipment it builds. It provides one-off solutions to one-off problems.
This is because people with exactly the same disability or condition might have very different needs in terms of equipment or devices. And that’s where the volunteers come into their own – they will invent a unique device to solve a unique problem.
One project, completed for a client who had a stroke, was modifications to a walker. The volunteer had to invent a system to operate both sets of the walker’s brakes using the brake lever of the unaffected hand.
No referral is necessary to use the group’s services. Clients, carers, disability support workers andorganisations, and allied health professionals can all contact it direct.
TADSA 8261-2922, tadsa.org.au