CamFind is a free and easy to use phone application that allows you to identify objects by taking photos. CamFind can be a helpful tool, especially for a person without sight. BrailleTouch is a program that allows you to type on an iPhone touch screen, using a Braille keyboard. While I found this application a bit frustrating to use, I like the idea of it.
Many characters with disabilities appeared in major films last year. They were in films like “The Theory of Everything”, “Still Alice”, “Gone Girl” and “American Sniper”. But just about all those characters were played by actors who did not have the character’s disability. Characters with disabilities are rarely seen in Australian movies and on television. Australian actress Kate Hood says not enough scripts are being written by writers with disabilities about people with disabilities. Casting agencies find it hard to get roles for people with disabilities. Actors Equity wants more characters with disabilities played by actors with disabilities.
Finding work and actually keeping the work has been difficult for me. It was especially difficult in the lead up to being diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 27. At work I would either overdo or under do things. Part of the problem was also the lack of judgment from employment professionals who were supposedly trying to help me. They either overestimated or underestimated my ability to work. Finally in later life I found both good professionals and good disability support agencies that got my work capability and readiness right. Being given the appropriate doses of medication for my illness also helped.
The welfare system in Australia has been under review. The final report of this review has been released. It makes many suggestions for changing the system. This includes reducing the number of payments. Eligibility rules will also change. Five payment types are recommended. They include a Carer Payment and a Supported Living Pension. There are some good ideas in the report. But not everyone receiving welfare needs more encouragement to find work. Often the problem is that there are not enough available and accessible jobs. It is now up to the Australian Government to decide what changes it will make to the welfare system.
Bobby Bajram has had severe Multiple Sclerosis (MS) since he was 15 years old. Over the years it's been his strength of will that refuses to give way, despite relapses of the auto-immune disease. Last year Bobby climbed to the top of Nepal's Kaa Pattar peak. It was the result of his attitude, strength and training. When he was 20, Bobby was an MS ambassador for two years. Now aged 46, he is preparing for Mount Everest, his biggest challenge yet. The haul to the top is a test for him in both mind and body.
“Still Alice” is a recently-released movie about a woman diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It tells the story of university professor Dr Alice Howland. The disease causes memory and thinking problems. Alice is ashamed of the effects the disease has on her. The movie is based on a novel by Lisa Genova, whose grandmother had dementia. Alice is realistically portrayed by Julianne Moore who has won many awards for her performance, including an Oscar. “Still Alice” is a sad movie that offers little hope to those with Alzheimer’s.