by Nazim Erdem, AQA Practice Leader
On November 29 we were back at the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre for WOT day. Because of the pandemic, it’d been four years since the last event.
It was great for AQA to partner and present What’s Out There day with Austin Health, an expo which is an extremely important resource for people with physical disabilities. The idea is to network and hear from people with lived-experience, who share their knowledge, encouragement and motivation with those who have a recent injury or disability.
People from other rehab units were invited, and it was the biggest WOT day we’ve had yet. The day started with a panel discussion of people with years of lived-experience of disability. They shared their experiences on many dimensions of their lives post-injury, including hobbies, work, travel, families, home modifications, or transport, and they answered lots of questions.
We then had a BBQ lunch which was prepared by Lachie O’Brien who has a T2 SCI. Lachie, who is a qualified chef, did a great job with the help of some of the Royal Talbot staff. During lunch, patients, visitors, mentors, staff and family members had the opportunity to mingle and share experiences.
Following lunch, we spent time in small groups delving deeper into four subjects. People had the choice of joining each topic group, which included Camping & Outdoors, Travel, Carers & Independence in the Community, and Return to Work.
The day finished with an expo of equipment and services, with 20 or so organisations taking part. People got to see and try out wheelchairs, sporting equipment, health care products, leisure equipment, further rehab ideas, modified vehicles, and resources for travelling.
The insights and experiences shared by individuals who have navigated life with complex physical disability are invaluable for newcomers. They not only provide emotional support but also offer practical advice, inspiration, and a sense of community that can greatly contribute to someone’s rehabilitation journey.
- December 14, 2023