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Petitioning for Change

Have you signed a petition lately? There seem to be a lot of them around. Many of them are about disability issues. Alexandria Lancaster wants tactile markings on banknotes for the vision impaired. Lucy Haslam wants cannabis decriminalised for medical use by the terminally ill. Petitions can be in the traditional paper form or online. Change.org and gopetition.com are online petition services. They both have Australian pages that list a number of petitions on disability issues. A petition can help get an issue into the media. Once the media is onside, change can become irresistible.

More information about Petitioning for Change

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Graham Clements

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Skiing with a vision impairment

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The Vision Impaired Blind and Everyone (VIBE) Ski club is based at Mount Baw Baw in Victoria. The club promotes opportunities for people who are blind or vision-impaired to ski. Peggy is vision-impaired and has been involved in the club for many years. Peggy skis with a sighted guide who wears a high-visibility vest. Her guide gives her verbal directions. If the weather is good and Peggy can see enough, she follows her guide. When visibility is poor, Peggy skies beside her guide and holds onto the guide's ski pole.

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Survivors telling their stories

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A royal commission is a public inquiry that investigates important matters. In 2012 a national royal commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was started. In Melbourne the royal commission will hold private sessions until November to encourage victims to talk about what happened to them. Through private sessions survivors can talk about abuse directly to a commissioner. The royal commission has found children with a disability are more vulnerable to sexual abuse. If victims of sexual abuse want to tell their stories support is available. The royal commission can provide interpreters, communication support workers and counsellor.

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Looking at OCD with humour

A burned roof and chimney.

I suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder. It means that I worry a lot. I worry I will lose my home and precious possessions in a huge fire or robbery. I also worry that if I don't vacuum enough I will find a mouse in my home. But recently I have been learning to try and use humour to combat my worries and fears. In a group therapy session I learn to take the excessive worry and disaster stories to such an extreme that they become funny. In a strange sort of way I can have a laugh and hope to beat the obsessive compulsive disorder.

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Life cycles

Ray with a big smile riding a bike by a beach.

Ray Losionek sees his achievements in life as a result of a can do attitude. Initially he wanted to walk again after becoming a double amputee at the age of eight. The next stage was learning to ride a tricycle to improve his mobility. After marrying, owning his own business and raising four boys, Ray's love of cycling continues in his retirement. However, it's now about challenging himself, keeping fit and encouraging others in less fortunate countries.

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