CoffeeHead II is an exciting new cafe in Frankston, not far from the beach. The cafe is part of the Quest tower building. It has good coffee and delicious food that is not too expensive. The menu includes meals from different countries like Japan, as well as Australian food. I recently enjoyed a tasty breakfast there of salmon and eggs on English muffins. The cafe has a wheelchair friendly side entrance and toilets nearby. The staff were helpful and welcoming.
I love going out. I love movies, nightclubs and concerts. The Companion Card has been great for me. The card lets some people with a disability get a free entry ticket for a companion. I used to split the cost of tickets with my friends. The card saved us a lot of money. It let me have a good social life. But I have decided not to get a new card. I want to be more independent. I have learned new skills. I think there are other people with a disability who need the card more than me.
People with a disability need to have a say. We need to be heard about the National Disability Insurance Scheme. We need to be heard about changes to the Disability Support Pension. One way to be heard is by the use of advocates. But their advocacy needs to be effective. To ensure it is effective, advocates and people with disabilities should meet and exchange ideas. Such a meeting is happening in Melbourne on 4 August. The meeting is called the Strengthening Disability Advocacy Conference, Champions of Change.
Emma Norton is a young actress and member of the BoilOver Inclusive Theatre Ensemble. The Melbourne-based theatre group is made up of people with a disability who love to perform. Emma has enjoyed acting since she was a child. She is also studying an acting course at NMIT. This week Emma will perform in her fourth play for BoilOver, called Innermost. In February, Emma spoke at a meeting in Canberra about the NDIS. She spoke about the great things she has done in her life.
My friend Pete has just been told his vision has deteriorated to the stage where it is no longer safe for him to drive. For many people like Pete, having to give up driving is usually the first step into a world of disability. It can feel like a world of limitations and challenges. Taking this step causes all sorts of emotional reactions throwing even the most reasonable and responsible people into denial and despair. And as both John and Lindsay found out, stepping out of the driver's seat came with a fear of what the future might bring.