Australian of the Year Dylan Alcott said, “My purpose is changing perceptions so people with disability, people like me can get out there and live the lives that they deserve to live.”
Imagine the world without barriers where people in wheelchairs or parents with strollers can get around without obstacles.
Imagine the world without barriers where blind people can use their canes to walk down the street without having their canes get tangled up among tables and chairs or advertising signage.
Imagine the world without barriers where people with disability can work at their full capacity and fully contribute to the society.
Imagine where all websites are fully accessible so that there is no information barrier for people with disabilities such as vision loss or hearing impairment.
Imagine the world where I can reassure Lindy that I am dodging obstacles and not just taking a detour to check out yummy food during our walks.
Lindy has been very passionate about accessibility for everyone. I have taken Lindy to the National Portrait Gallery and also the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Australia recently to help with their access audits. It is wonderful that many of Canberra’s Cultural Institutions are keen to have accessible venues.
Lindy is even more passionate about having accessible information, in particular accessible websites. That is one of the main reasons that Lindy is undertaking the Professional Certificate in Web Accessibility course. Once Lindy has completed the course, we will be in a better position to promote Accessible Websites. The Guideline does not cover making websites accessible for Guide Dogs so I will just work as Lindy’s assistant!
Paralympics Australia Towards 2032
Lindy and I were invited to attend the Paralympics Australia Alumni Round Table and Award evening in Sydney last month. This was the first Paralympic event that Lindy & I had attended in many years. Aunty Polly drove us to Darling Harbour and looked after me when Lindy attended the conference in the afternoon.
The lead-up to the 2032 Paralympic Games will be a wonderful opportunity to change society’s attitudes towards people with disability through Paralympic Sports. The Alumni who attended the Round Table gave their personal experience about their Paralympic journeys. Many suggestions were made to increase participation and inclusion for people with disability.
The awards cocktail evening celebrated the achievements of Paralympians of both summer and winter games. The evening also acknowledged the contributions that past Paralympians made to the sports over many years.
Art and Culture
Lindy and I went to the opening of our friend Simone’s ‘Desired Lines’ Art Exhibition along with many other Females in Training friends. Then Simone did a private descriptive tour for Lindy and a few other vision impaired friends including us as well. Simone not only described the paintings, she also gave an enlightening talk about the ideas behind her art works. Simone’s family portrait was certainly one that Lindy enjoyed the description on the most. This portrait was of a typical Covid 19 lockdown afternoon when the family lay around in front of the TV in their natural state. I can certainly relate to the two Great Danes joining their family as I also love laying around in the loungeroom.
National Gallery of Australia – monthly descriptive tour
Guide Dog Zeke and I went to the National Gallery of Australia for their monthly descriptive tour about the Aboriginal Memorial which was relocated to the first level of the Gallery last month. This Memorial was commissioned in 1987 and is an installation of 200 coffins made from hollow logs from Central Arnhem Land. It commemorates all the Indigenous people who since 1788 have lost their lives defending their land.
The NGA staff gave a respectful and insightful description of the art. They described the history of the artwork, the setting, geography and landscape of the area. Various paintings on the hollow logs show creatures from the ocean to the inland river. The accessibility and inclusion team members from the Gallery who joined us even closed their eyes during the tour to experience what vision impaired people ‘see’ through the description. This was certainly an eye-opener for them. In the meantime, Zeke and I took every opportunity to lie down and close our eyes whenever the group stopped for the description.
When we leave behind our bias perception, we are open to greater possibilities.
This is the tail of Lindy’s Comet