Dr Shetty Breaks Down Concerns Over The COVID Vaccine For People With SCI

Earlier this month, SpinalCure released a video with Dr Sachin Shetty, Director of the Spinal Injuries Unit at Royal Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney and SpinalCure Board Director, addressing the concerns and questions about the COVID vaccine for people with spinal cord injuries.

“My recommendations for people with a disability, particularly with Spinal Cord Injuries, where there is a risk of some degree of compromising respiratory system happening, is to take up any vaccine that is around. Be it flu vaccine or Pneumovax, as it would reduce the risk of complications from these conditions. The same principles apply, when you take the vaccine against Covid you reduce the risk...you actually significantly reduce the risk of any complications happening from coronavirus.”

In the video, Dr Shetty highlights:

  • The COVID-19 vaccine significantly reduces the risk of any complications happening from the Coronavirus
  • If you are unvaccinated you are subjecting yourself to very high risk
  • Any risk factors or complications from the vaccination are extremely rare
  • If you are recovering from a spinal cord injury it is more important that you get the vaccine
  • Make sure not only you are vaccinated, but that the people around you are too – this offers another degree of protection.

Watch the complete video:

https://vimeo.com/622960148

And for more information on Covid-19 vaccines visit: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/vaccination


Our SCI mystery

By Julie Halvorsen

Something happens as you grow older. You become aware that some see you as having certain wisdom to share, while others believe you are too old or forgetful to have anything of value to offer.

When it comes to journeying with Spinal Cord Injury over many years, what actually happens, is that despite many believing you have great wisdom and insight into this life and its complexities, in reality, that apparent ‘wisdom’ is thwarted by the mysteries: The things you don’t know, which just seem to deepen and increase!

Over time one thing has become clear to me: Each para or quad we have ever met in person or whose story we’ve read has a unique set of experiences and SCI conditions (although I concede there are a few which are common to most), but ALL have, at times, what I call incidences of the ‘mysteries of SCI’. If you happen to find you are completely clear on your partner or family members’ SCI and all it entails, maybe you have no need to read on.

From my perspective of 47 years of acting as an SCI mystery detective/investigator, I would have to say I find this the most frustrating and anxiety-inducing aspect of loving someone with SCI. Anders is 48 years post-injury. An injury that nearly took his life and resulted in T3 complete paraplegia. After five months of hospitalisation in 1973, with some of the legends of RNSH, Sydney’s medical finest, he was sent out into the world to live a new and different life.

MOVING FORWARD with SCI is always a challenge. At 23, he saw it as an adventure, and he set out to prove he could not only conquer this life but also live his best life. To a degree, he has been very successful in achieving these goals. Finding a wife within the next two years to join this adventure and being told it would be child-free with shortened life expectancy, we wanted to make each day, each year, count!

Fortunately, some predictions were way off the mark. Three children, ‘sort of’ naturally conceived (LOL), celebrating at 35 with a ‘half-dead’ party as he believed he would defeat the shortened life expectancy and make 70 .. and has, ticking that one off last year. At the same time, bladder/bowel challenges came our way, some more serious than others (bladder cancer and bowel abscess, all were ultimately successfully treated). Episodes of AD, the odd fracture of ankles, wear and tear on originally injured shoulders and the ongoing, often violent, spasms that he was convinced were good for his circulation became the norm.

Always lurking, however, with its agenda to rob and spoil life, was a nasty critter called ‘nerve pain’. Mysterious in its nature, we never know where it originates, why it moves around, how it’s triggered and why some days does it magically disappear only to roar back into life at the most inconvenient time. Often accompanied by its sidekick, ‘nausea’ / ‘feeling off’, there seems few answers for those who seek them, despite the caring concern of specialists and therapists.

I can’t tell you how often I’ve had to explain why I am attending a wedding alone or cancelling a dinner out. I eventually got into a habit of saying ‘no’ before 'yes’. Telling our children (when much younger) why the plans they have looked forward to now won’t include dad was always the hardest. Why can't dad make their formal, dance concert or school musical? Why do we find ourselves staying home for our anniversary, birthdays’ etc.?

Over the years, one moment really stands out. A few years ago, our daughter, with tears in her eyes, was begging God to make it a good health day so her dad could ‘wheel her down the aisle’. That this nasty critter, vaguely known as ‘nerve pain’ won’t spoil her special day.

“How is Anders today?” Mmm, anyone else tired of trying to answer that question. Or the fact that it is asked every day by most people, family, friends and work colleagues? “So what is wrong? Why is he not able to come?” Again, what can I say? I never know how much to explain, especially when all I want to do is cry because yet again, an explanation is impossible, I don’t know, he doesn’t know and watching on is the most helpless of experiences.

This ‘mystery’ is our primary ‘mystery’. While it may not rob the quality of life for all SCI persons, it does seem to offer a massive challenge for many, those who live with it, and also those caring professionals who attempt to treat it. Not to remain gloomy, though, as life must continue!

We are constantly choosing to embrace and live the good days to the full, choosing always to be thankful. We’re celebrating being alive in 2021, a time where so many, even those living with SCI, have much to contend against. So, whether you identify or not with our particular mystery, know you are not alone as you find a way to embrace and overcome; always grateful for those who seek answers to SCI and move this community forward in treatments and breakthroughs!


A month of care: Mental Health Month & National Carers Week

October is Mental Health Month in Australia. Here at ParaQuad we support mental health and wellbeing for all people in society. As part of this month’s newsletter, we will be touching on the different events and forums held nationwide - and many held virtually - by the Mental Health Foundation Australia (MHFA).

Mental Health Month

Mental Health Month is an initiative advocating for the awareness of the mental health and wellbeing of Australians, led by the Mental Health Foundation Australia (MHFA). This year’s campaign theme was ‘Mental Health: Post Pandemic Recovery, Challenges and Resilience’.

The campaign looked at ways individuals can deal with the challenges brought forward by the pandemic within the last year. This year it extends into inclusive events for a diverse range of communities and age groups such as multiple virtual symposiums and wellness workshops.

Here are a few statistics on mental health in Australia:
  • 1 in 5 Australians (21%) have taken time off work because they felt stressed, anxious or mentally unhealthy in the past 12 months.
  • 1 in 7 Australians will experience depression and a quarter of all Australians experiencing an anxiety condition in their lifetime.
  • Since March 2020, 86% of Australians took steps to manage their physical health and 67% took steps to manage their mental health.

Carers Week

October is also National Carers Week. This runs from the 10th to the 16th of October and is a time to recognise and celebrate carers who provide support and care to loved ones each day. Carers are a huge part of what we do at ParaQuad, and we love to celebrate the diversity of carers and their caring roles.

Carers Week is an opportunity to raise awareness for the 2.65 million carers across Australia who sometimes don’t get the recognition they deserve. There are diverse forms of care: from aged care to disability care and even caring for those who struggle with drug and alcohol related issues. Anyone can be a carer but it’s not an easy task. That is why this week provides the opportunity to recognise those who do it best.

According to Carers NSW Australia:
  • Over one-third of carers provide more than 40 hours of unpaid care each week.
  • 1 in 10 carers is under the age of 25.
  • Carers make up nearly 11% of the entire population, with over 800,000 working carers in NSW.
  • 1 in 3 carers is a primary carer, meaning they are the main person providing care to an individual.

There are countless rewards of being a carer; such as providing ongoing support in a person’s life, building strong relationships with individuals and being a part of a community that ultimately cares for others.

However, even though there are countless positives, caring comes with its own set of challenges. Caring can take up a lot of time, energy and resources. It is a role that often doesn’t come with scheduled work hours. You are there when you are needed and this can be exhausting and taxing on your physical and mental health.

As part of the 2020 National Carer Survey, nearly half of the respondents reported feeling high or very high levels of psychological distress. Highlighting the direct impact their role can have on their mental health and wellbeing. By spending so much time caring for another person, carers don’t often have the time to prioritise their own health, with 2 in 3 carers having a chronic health condition, in comparison to 1 in 3 Australians.

This is why it is important to recognise these everyday challenges and provide direct support and resources for carers in our society.

As part of Mental Health Month in Australia and coinciding with National Carers Week, MHFA held the Carers Mental Health Forum on October 15. The forum was a great way to bring together the community of carers and facilitate conversations about the importance of looking after your mental health as a carer. It focused on the resilience of the amazing carers and celebrated everything they do in our communities.

If you know a carer in your life, make sure you do something special for them this month to show your appreciation for everything they do. And, if you or someone you know are looking to make a significant difference in someone’s life, reach out to us at ParaQuad via heading to our careers page.

If you or someone you know are struggling with your mental health, please reach out and ask for help. You can call Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636

Resources:


Let’s celebrate our OT’s

OT Week is a time to celebrate our amazing Occupational Therapists and the work they do. It is also a time to educate the wider community on the benefits of OT in health and wellbeing. This year's theme of participation, inclusion and independence celebrates the role OTs play in supporting people of all abilities to engage in activities they find meaningful.

Occupational Therapy is such an important part of care and support at ParaQuad. We asked one of our OTs, Jason Lowe, about his experience working with clients and supporting individuals on their OT journey.

When it comes to your clients, what do you believe the benefits of active participation are? (Mentally, physically, emotionally?)

In my mind, the most central part of being an OT is to empower people to be an active participant in their own lives and to have control over what they do, how they do it and when they do it. Therefore, I don’t believe that I should be answering this for any of my clients.

As a father of 2 living an active life, I can only imagine what it’s like when I can assist someone with a spinal cord injury to be able to:

  • Sit without pain
  • Carry their baby
  • Chase their kids the park
  • Walk their dog
  • Support a young adult move out of their parent’s home
  • Go to the footy and order a drink at the bar
  • Change the channel on their TV
  • Play golf!
  • Represent their country playing the sport of their choice

These are all goals I’ve assisted people with an SCI achieve that they didn’t know was possible! I’ll let them tell you how that makes them feel!

Can you tell us about an experience where the ability to participate in engaging activities has boosted a client’s self-esteem and help reach their goals.

I have a client who had been using her first powered wheelchair for ten years. When it was time for a new wheelchair she didn’t want to change. However, in the ten years since acquiring her first wheelchair she had become a mother. With a toddler in tow, she needed more from her wheelchair including:

  • Chasing her child in the park on the grass
  • Going up steeper slopes
  • Raising the seat to better keep an eye on her child at the park
  • Giving her mum a hug from a height and look her in the eye
  • Rising to the national anthem and ordering a drink at the footy!

She didn’t know that she could do these things until it was suggested, assessed and successfully trialled and proven. They’re now things she says she can’t live without!

How important is an inclusive community in facilitating a sense of belonging in your clients? Could you share a time when you’ve experienced the positive influence of inclusion in a client’s journey.

So important! I’m currently working with a young person whose goal is to move out of home in the next 2-5 years. I’ve known her for 10 years in various capacities and it’s great to be supporting her on her journey. Our work currently includes, planning shopping, preparing meals and drinks, community transport and organising her carers to come at least a week in advance of when she needs them. She currently relies on her Mum to think of all of these things.

I saw this person in a previous role where I provided equipment for her as she was planning to start high school. Her needs at the time was for equipment to be able to use the toilet at school and get around the playground. Going from this to supporting her to develop skills to move out of home for the first time has been especially rewarding.

Independence varies from person to person and is often a non-linear process. What can a person’s journey of independence look like?

People are living for longer with an SCI. We now have people who have lived with an SCI for over 20, 30, 40 years. People who are independent, work, raise a family, or have raised a family. Some of these people would see themselves as independent, however, if getting in/out of their wheelchairs is becoming more difficult we might work towards a different way to continue to transfer safely as independently as possible with or without the use of equipment.


What do you think is the best way to support your clients' needs without taking away their autonomy? Perhaps you could share your / ParaQuad’s approach and ways to inform others who may be caring for someone in a similar situation.

I’ve said it before and it’s worth repeating….A million times if I have to. I feel that my role as an OT is to empower people to be an active participant in their own lives and to have control over what they do, how they do it and when they do it. I’ve been an OT for over 25 years and am still passionate about doing just this.

There are times where I think I know of an easier way that my clients can achieve their goals. For example, they might push their wheelchair 30 minutes to get to work, but end up fatigued for the rest of the day. I might suggest other ways they can achieve their aim of ‘get to work’ so we’d discuss, assess and suggest ways that this might be possible but allow them to be less fatigued, more effective, or be able to be more independent for longer. At the end of the day, the choice is theirs and my job is to help them find solutions to how they want to achieve their goals. I might be able to help them achieve these goals in a safer way, more quickly, more efficiently, and perhaps have more time or energy to spend on other things they’d like or need to do.

I might ask questions such as:

  • Have you considered…
  • Would you be open to doing this a different way if ….
  • Can we try doing this task in a different way?
  • If I told you that I have another client who ……

What advice would you give to those supporting a loved one living with Spinal Cord Injury?

May I put the question in another way again? Am I allowed to turn to their loved one with an SCI sitting next to them and ask: What would you like to do, and what can we do to allow that to happen?

We all have a right to agency, dignity and independence. As OTs if there is any way that we can facilitate this in our clients' lives, we’re doing something right.


Call for Board Members

ParaQuad NSW is moving forward into one of the most exciting and dynamic phases of its 60-year history, and with former directors stepping down, a rare opportunity has arisen for two passionate individuals to join our Board as non-executive directors in a volunteer role.

You will have the opportunity to help shape a forward-thinking organisation as it aligns with our strategy of helping the spinal cord community live their best life.

If you come from a finance, business, medical/clinic or other complementary professional background, this visionary role will allow you to share your expertise in a collaborative environment with a focus on making a real difference in people’s lives.

By demonstrating a strong understanding of the role of the board, executive and stakeholder partners in the strategic and commercial oversight of an organisation, you will become an ideal candidate.

These appointments are initially for a period of three years, with second and subsequent terms being subject to a Board vote.

If empowering others to fulfil their potential and making a mark in the community matters to you or someone you know, we encourage you to apply via email to board.applications@paraquad.org.au. Your application should include a cover letter and a copy of your CV.


SpinalCure research update

SpinalCure is pleased to announce our continued support over three years for this work, led by Associate Professor Marc Ruitenberg from the University of Queensland, into the inflammatory response and predicting outcomes of new spinal cord injuries — essential for progress towards a cure.

A/Prof Ruitenberg said, “This inability to predict outcomes currently is a major problem in the field of SCI research, hampering our ability to demonstrate the effectiveness of new experimental treatments.”

“Addressing this, if successful, would not just help with assessing new treatments given in the very early stages of an SCI, but potentially also much older injuries.”

In announcing the renewed funding, Kathryn Borkovic, SpinalCure’s CEO, commented, “SpinalCure is proud to have supported Marc’s research since 2011 when he was an early career researcher.

“Marc’s work is world-leading, with an anti-inflammatory drug trial recently completed for treatment of early injuries.

“This fantastic progress demonstrates how investment in a promising researcher early on can reap benefits,” added Ms Borkovic.

Dr Ruitenberg’s work will also help us better understand the ‘inflammatory phase’, which is usually a crucial part of healing and injury recovery. However, in spinal cord injuries, it appears that there is excessive, non-resolving inflammation and scar tissue formation that hinders repair, and the reason why this happens isn’t well understood.

“If we are to find a cure for SCI, we must address this knowledge gap, so we can make sure the inflammatory response helps to heal the spinal cord and doesn’t contribute to scarring and a failure to regenerate,” Ruitenberg said.

The funding will help support two components of Marc’s diagnostic research:

  • Imaging protocols for specialised MRI scans that will allow clinicians to visualise the impact of their work to see how the nerves in the spinal cord are changing. This will help focus and assess improvement during rehabilitation.
  • Using biomarkers in blood samples to help work out what movement and/or level of recovery you’ll get. This will give an indication of the expected trajectory recovery, including how this is improved with IVIG therapy (experimental anti-inflammatory drug) or any other intervention.

Further information about SpinalCure’s support of Associate Professor Ruitenberg’s work:


Paralympics, WeThe15 and Alcott’s wins

Well, here we are nearing the end of September, just a few weeks after the Tokyo Paralympics concluded, and boy was it a big one.

In case you missed it, the Tokyo Paralympic Games took place this August after a year-long delay due to the pandemic. Australia’s 179-strong team had a great Games, bringing home a total of 80 medals over the 12-days of competition.

Check out the final medal tally for Australia’s athletes. You can find the complete list of countries on the Tokyo 2020 website.

  • Gold: 21
  • Silver: 29
  • Bronze: 30
  • Total: 80

There were close finishes, brilliant performances and lots of emotion on display - and it wasn’t just the medallists who stood out this year.

Organisers also used the opening ceremony to fight for inclusivity and end discrimination towards people living with a disability. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) worked with a selection of international organisations - including UN Human Rights, UNESCO, Special Olympics, and The Valuable 500 - and launched the #WeThe15 campaign.

So, what is #WeThe15, and why should we care about it?

#WeThe15 has been hard to miss these past few weeks following the launch at the Paralympics. In a nutshell, the campaign aims to transform the lives of the world’s 1.2 billion persons with disabilities, who represent 15% of the global population.

Using the momentum of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, the campaign plans to initiate change over the next decade. The campaign showcases the biggest coalition ever of international organisations from the world of sports, human rights, policy, communications, business, arts and entertainment. There’s no surprise why we were interested!

#WeThe15 is led by the IPC and International Disability Alliance (IDA), which will engage the government, businesses, and the public over the next ten years to initiate change for this group. Check out their launch video below for a fantastic snapshot of the campaign.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVM9hhoSvYY&t=8s

Find out everything you need to know on their website: https://www.wethe15.org/.

Alcott made wheelchair tennis history.

It’s been hard to miss Alcott’s victorious few weeks. Let's take a step back to the Paralympics, where Australia's Dylan Alcott and Niels Vink of the Netherlands went at it in the semi-finals of the quad singles. The game was close and full of emotion.

When Alcott won, he let out a roar - equal parts joy and relief - and rounded the net to meet tVink. He put his arms around his crying opponent, and the pair hugged as the Australian told him what a brilliant match he had played. He went to pull away, but Vink held on, and the hug continued.

As a symbol of good sportsmanship, friendship and giving it your absolute all in the contest, this moment was hard to beat.

Alcott hardly had time to breathe before he went to the US to compete in the US Open, where he created wheelchair tennis history. On Sunday XX Aussie superstar, Alcott became the first man, in any form of tennis, to win the 'Golden Slam' by sweeping all four majors and the Paralympic title in one year.

The 30-year-old Melburnian looked close to tears as he admitted that this could have been his farewell to Flushing Meadows, where the US Open was held.

"Thanks for making the dreams of a young fat disabled kid with a really bad haircut come true because I can’t believe I just did it!" he told the Louis Armstrong Stadium crowd.

"I just can’t believe I just won the golden slam!"

After praising Vink for pushing him to a new level, Alcott told the crowd: "I used to hate myself so much, I hated my disability, I didn’t even want to be here any more and then I found tennis, and it changed and saved my life.

"And now I'm the only male in any form of tennis to win the golden slam, which is pretty cool."

We can’t wait to see what Alcott does next.


A life changing life

This month, The Australian Government launched a campaign called A Life Changing Life. The bold new campaign aims to generate interest in the care and support sector, including aged care, disability and veterans’ support.

The growth of the NDIS and Australia’s ageing population means the care and support sector will grow quickly over the coming years. Through the campaign and a range of additional workforce and sector initiatives, the government aims to attract around 140,000 people to the care and support sector by 2024.

We, at ParaQuad, are incredibly proud to support this campaign. We love the work we do, and we think you could too.

Here at ParaQuad, we can only offer high-quality support to our clients because of our committed, compassionate staff who make a difference every day. The Australian Government’s campaign, A Life Changing Life, aims to raise awareness of employment opportunities in the care and support sector.

It highlights a key part of why we do what we do – the warm and mutually beneficial relationships we have with the people we support. It shares the real stories of workers and the people they support and shows the diversity, value and impact of our work.

The campaign runs from 15 August, meaning many people will be thinking about care and support roles. It is a fantastic opportunity to recruit the new staff we need. We are looking for job seekers, people returning to the workforce, and people from diverse backgrounds – anyone interested in a life changing life. Do you know someone who would be a great fit?

You could:

  • Share current vacancies within ParaQuad with friends or family and encourage them to apply
  • Send a digital postcard to someone you think would be a good fit
  • Use your social media networks to tell people how much you enjoy your role in the care and support sector
  • Follow ParaQuad social media channels and ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ our posts promoting A Life Changing Life.

Check out more at the Vic gov website: https://www.careandsupportjobs.gov.au/


ParaQuad 2022 scholarships

Thinking of upskilling in a particular area - we’re here to help!

Here at ParaQuad NSW, we’re committed to supporting the career and life goals of people with spinal cord injury (SCI) and related neurological disabilities.

One of the ways we do this is to offer Scholarships to assist ParaQuad members engage in education and other programs and initiatives that enhance employability, life skills and meaningful community engagement.

We wholeheartedly believe that this leads to greater independence and quality of life.

Our 2022 scholarship applications open on October 11th

Ensure you stay up to date on important dates like this by following us on Facebook and Instagram to ensure you don’t miss a beat.
We’re proud to share the stories of some of our past scholarship winners:


Catherine:

‘When I was only 27, after the birth of my second child, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. MS is not common in Egypt, where I come from, and at the time, I felt that my life was destroyed by this disease, and I fell into a deep depression. I was a vet doctor in Egypt, but it was hard to continue with that field, so I changed my career to medical science and was accepted into Western Sydney University in 2019.

My life was a little bit harder than any student, but I wanted to make my life better and pass all my units with good grades. My ParaQuad scholarship helps me continue my studies into my third year of university. I want to thank ParaQuad for helping people move on with their life because I think that everyone has the right to achieve their goal in this life.’


Sergei:

‘ParaQuad has been incredibly supportive throughout the past three years. It is thanks to them I have been able to stay on top of my studies and have the tools to succeed in my International Business major. It has helped me go a long way in developing my career in Marketing, leading to a full-time job offer this year once I graduate. My deepest thanks to ParaQuad NSW for the opportunity.’


Emily:

‘I am currently completing a PhD with Western Sydney University in which I’m exploring the transition of young people with SCI from the paediatric to adult healthcare setting. I will be using my scholarship funds to update my assistive technology so that I can conduct my interviews, workshops and focus groups online and write up my thesis and articles a little easier’

‘I was excited to be chosen by ParaQuad to receive a scholarship as the funds will help me to work directly with young people with SCI to address the gaps in service provision when it comes to transitioning healthcare settings. Hopefully, we will be able to work together to co-design a tool, resource or program that will most suitably address their needs.’


Alex:

‘My scholarship is going towards my Bachelor of Business and Law. This double degree is one of the most expensive courses that UTS offers, so I was hesitant when deciding to go ahead with the course. However, thanks to this scholarship, studying a Bachelor of Business and Law has become a lot more accessible, enabling me to maximise my potential and get the best possible job.’

‘My ParaQuad scholarship has relieved a lot of pressure off my shoulders; It has enabled me to confidently engage myself in the course and focus more on my studies rather than thinking about the cost.’


Anas:

‘After receiving this generous ParaQuad scholarship, I will have the ability to purchase items which will increase my efficiency and productivity with my studies.

‘Since the majority of my studies are conducted online, I felt the need to upgrade from using a laptop to using a desktop which is way more ergonomic, especially considering the facts that I spend many hours studying every week, as well as the importance of maintaining a straight posture for someone who has a spinal cord injury and multiple fractured vertebrae.’


A few months ago, we profiled another one of our scholarship winners, Scott. Check out his article here.

Find out more about how to apply on our website.


Welcome summer adventures with Gecko Traxx

Ryan Tilley and Huy Nguyen are taking Australia by storm with Gecko Traxx - a portable polyurethane tyre that makes off-road accessible for manual wheelchairs.

With roadmaps being announced and restrictions looking to ease in most states, is it too soon to be thinking about their summer plans? We say, never!

Australia is renowned for its beautiful natural landscapes, but it can be difficult for manual wheelchair users to make the most of the great outdoors, as many of you will know. If you’re looking to head to the beach or other off-road terrains, then Gecko Traxx is a must. At a basic level, Gecko Traxx is a portable and affordable manual wheelchair accessory that fits most wheelchairs, enabling access to some of the most challenging terrains, including sand.

Gecko Traxx simply wraps around the on-road tyre of the wheelchair, allowing it to go across sand and other soft, off-road terrains. The profile of the Gecko Traxx tyre expands only when in contact with the ground, therefore just being wide where needed. While not in contact with the ground, the tyre returns to its thin profile to not impede the use of the hand rim or interfere with the chair’s frame.

Tyres can be fitted independently, even while still seated in the chair. Tyres can be fitted independently, even while still seated in the chair.

The idea came about after Ryan attended a Singapore study tour as part of his Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering degree. While in Singapore, Ryan was encouraged to explore challenges faced by people living with a disability. Huy Nguyen, a wheelchair user himself, was running the study tour. The two formed a strong friendship that led to the creation of the Gecko Traxx.

The combination of Ryan’s industrial design and mechanical engineering background with Huy’s social entrepreneurship and engineering experience formed a solid base for the business.

The problem to be solved: How to develop a wheelchair accessory that was portable and could adapt to different surfaces?

Their solution: The Gecko Traxx

Can you use your NDIS funding for Gecko Traxx?

You most certainly can! You have two options:

  1. Consumables
    Gecko Traxx is classified as a consumable like that of a wheelchair tyre. If you are self-managed, simply purchase the item online and claim back the purchase in your MyGov portal. If you’re plan managed, request an invoice from us to be sent off to your plan manager.
  2. Assistive technology
    Gecko Traxx also falls under low-cost, low-risk assistive technology. If you are self-managed, simply purchase the item online and claim back the purchase in your NDIS MyGov portal. If you’re plan managed, request an invoice from us to be sent off to your plan manager.

They are working towards being an NDIS registered provider; in the meantime, if you have any questions, you can always contact their team of experts!

Check out more about this incredible brand on their website.