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Reading is a wonderful hobby and very inexpensive, it provides many benefits and is an activity that can still be enjoyed despite having a Mobility Impairment. With the assistance of various Reading Aids which are available in South Africa, books & reading can still be enjoyed, even with a severe disability.
Reading is not only enjoyable, but very important, the act of reading improves your ability to absorb and comprehend written information, helping you in virtually any career path. There are very few jobs today that don't incorporate written information or instructions, and the more you read, the easier it is for you to absorb that information and execute your job better. Reading can be surprisingly social, too, with book clubs turning books into a truly social event.
There are a wide variety of different types Books & Publications which are available in South Africa & can be acquired from orgnisations such as the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) or from your local library or for practically nothing at used bookstores, as well as on-line. Books can be read in small pieces when you have a five minute gap or in large chunks when you have a lazy afternoon. Most books are also incredibly portable & can provide you with many hours of entertainment. There are also various Reading Aids that can assist you if you are unable to hold a book or turn pages. Many of these Reading Aids are available to be purchased from various companies around South Africa, while some orgnisations such as the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) can also supply various types of Assistive Devices through the Neville Cohen Sport Fund.
The QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA): (QASA) is a non-profit organisation (NPO 000-881) of Quadriplegics and Paraplegics in South Africa. QASA’s mission is to be an effective “co-ordinating, policy-making and supporting organisation striving to prevent spinal cord injury and to improve the lives of quadriplegics and paraplegics by securing resources to advocate, educate, capacitate, support and mobilise.”
QASA now has six regions and has provincial organizations within QASA, which are able to assist it's members in a particular province. The six Regional Associations which are affiliated to QASA are: Gauteng South, Gauteng North, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, North West and KwaZulu-Natal. The QASA Management Board is made up of representatives of each Regional Association.
QASA runs a number of Projects and Services which include various Publications and the distribution of information on disability rights & Providing sport and hobby activities & Assistive Devices. Read the article below to find out more about these Publications that QASA provide & the Neville Cohen Sport Fund who supply Assistive Devices & funding for different Sports, Activities & Hobbies, or visit our Organizations - QASA Page to find out more about the other Projects & Services that QASA provide to assist persons with Mobility Impairments.
Types of Books
There are a wide variety of different types of Publications & Books available out there which include information about anything you can imagine, including ones that supply knowledge or enlightenment, or some that are inspirational, educational or just for pure entertainment, this includes cartoons such as "A Laugh At Life", which are cartoons which have been created by Alan Downey. Some books which are extremely informative include those who have been written by persons with disabilities who may have been famous before their injury, such as: Christopher Reeve - Still Me & Nothing Is Impossible: Reflections on a New Life & Michael J Fox - Lucky Man: A Memoir & A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future: Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned.
While other books have been written by non famous people who have Mobility Impairments & they become well known or famous after the book is published such as: My Left Foot - 1954 autobiography of Christy Brown & Jody - A Step Forward.
There are also a variety of Publications which are supplied by organizations such as QASA who have a number of very good quality publications which:
- Introduces the reader to all disabilities and can be used as an effective sensitization tool.
- Have informative articles, product comparisons and news relevant to wheelchair users.
- Explains the laws and policies that are relevant to people living with disabilities. It is very simple and explains the policies and rights of people living disabilities in terms that are easy to understand.
- Addresses the issue of sexuality with sensitivity and highlights the various options available to people who have suffered spinal-cord injuries.
Whatever it is that you enjoy, there is a book or publication that should interest you. These publications from QASA are extremely informative & include:
Rolling Inspiration: A bi-monthly glossy magazine by subscription and distribution, pitched as ”a lifestyle magazine for people with mobility impairments “. The only such publication on the continent, with a distribution of 5500. Providing professional information, by expert columnists, to develop the capacity of people with disabilities and health professionals. QASA enjoys a revenue stream from the advertising.
A-Z Guide: Is a glossy insert to Rolling Inspiration magazine providing information about all products and suppliers in the disability sector. This annual insert is a valuable resource for all people with disabilities and connected to the disability sector. Providing up-to-date information about equipment and supplies. Providing a revenue stream for QASA.
Automobility: Is a glossy insert to Rolling Inspiration magazine providing information about vehicles and vehicle adaptations. This magazine covers all elements of driving. To encourage members who have the ability and agility, to investigate options of driving. The publication has a revenue stream for QASA.
Sawubona Disability: Is a publication in five languages (English, Afrikaans, Sotho, Xhosa, Zulu), covering the myths, manners, dos and don’ts about disability. It is a sensitisation booklet explaining and befriending disability. To provide a source of information for people to be sensitised about disability. QASA enjoys a revenue stream from this publication.
Sexuality and Sex Options for Spinal Cord Injured: Is a publication presenting the opportunities for sexual options and sexuality issues, also covering issues of HIV/AIDS. To provide material which will develop knowledge and opportunity for members.
SCI for Illiterate Persons: This publication explains spinal cord injury in pictorial form to assist people who are illiterate. To develop capacity of people who are illiterate, to understand all lifestyle issues of spinal cord injury. To ensure that all people with spinal cord injuries have a good understanding.
SCI Information Booklet: This publication, explains spinal cord injury for all to understand. To ensure that all people with spinal cord injury and their families have a good understanding of the condition. To ensure they have as much knowledge to keep them as healthy as possible.
There are also various other Publications available from QASA, Click on the link below to find out more.
"Laughter is the best medicine" - Living with a disability can be difficult and can sometimes lead to depression. Disability is a serious matter, but it sometimes helps to see the lighter side of our disabilities and the people who don't understand them. For 6 years, from 2008 to 2014 Cartoons by Alan Downey were part of the bi-monthly Rolling Inspiration Magazine listed above.
These cartoons (pictured right - click to enlarge) were produced by Alan Downey who is a C5 Quadriplegic of 25 years from a diving accident in 1994. Some of these cartoons are true & based on real events while some of them are not so true but are funny stories involving pesons with disabilities. These Cartoons have been created to send a message about a range of topics including Access; Accessible Transport Services & the way some people see & treat persons with disabilities.
These Cartoons are not currently published in any books, but they are available to be viewed on the DISA Website, please visit our "Cartoons - A Laugh At Life" page to enjoy the Cartoons.
Please Note: These cartoons are the property of Alan Downey & The Rolling Inspiration Magazine, who commissioned & published them. They are not to be downloaded or printed without the permission of Alan Downey. Please Contact Us via email or on 084 504 9176 to commission a Cartoon, or to get permission to use any of these Cartoons.
Many people with physical disabilities find it difficult or impossible to perform tasks like holding books or turning pages, due to their disability. With the assistance of variety of Assistive Devices, these tasks become possible so that the hobby of reading is possible, no matter what your disability. Reading Aids are Assistive Devices that enable a person with a Disability to be able to enjoy books & the hobby of reading again. There are a variety of different types of Reading Aids available for persons with Mobility Impairments & elderly, so that they can still enjoy books. These products include:
- Audio Books - although this is not technically a Reading Aid, but it can be used to enjoy books or information in books.
- Book Holders - one of the difficulties people with severe disabilities have when reading, is the need to hold a book in an appropriate position to be able to read. There are a variety of different types of book holders to solve this problem.
- Page Turners - one of the difficulties people with severe disabilities have when reading, is the need to turn pages. Manual & Automatic Page Turners can solve this problem.
- Books Available On Computers - whether it be online books or e-books, both solve many of the problems that people with severe physical disabilities encounter when reading. These include:
- Holding A Book
- Turning Pages
- Acquiring Books
- Traveling With Books
Various types of this & other equipment listed above is available to purchase from different companies & organisations in South Africa, some organisations such as the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) can also supply some of this equipment free of charge, or relatively cheaper to its members through the QASA - Neville Cohen Sport Fund.
QASA Sports & Activities Fund - Neville Cohen Sport Fund
The QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) is a non-profit organisation (NPO 000-881) of Quadriplegics and Paraplegics living in South Africa. QASA’s mission is to be an effective “co-ordinating, policy-making and supporting organisation striving to prevent spinal cord injury and to improve the lives of quadriplegics and paraplegics by securing resources to advocate, educate, capacitate, support and mobilise.” QASA now has six regions and has provincial organizations within QASA, which are able to assist it's members in a particular province. QASA runs a number of Projects and Services which include: Providing sport, hobby activities & assistive devices to it's members through the Neville Cohen Sport Fund.
(QASA) staunchly supports all disabled sports initiatives in South Africa. To this end, (QASA) has set up Neville Cohen Sport Fund, to which any (QASA) member can apply for financial assistance for a sporting activity. The Sports Fund has also supported participants in quadriplegic rugby, the SABAT Power Wheelchair Race, the Outeniqua Challenge Wheelchair Race, Table Tennis, Dancing and Darts. Any (QASA) member who wishes to access funding from the (QASA) Sports Fund must first apply to their regional association for approval, from where the application will be referred to the (QASA) National Office. Please note that ALL Applications are required to be submitted through your Regional Association and only those applications will be considered.
You can visit the QASA Website to find out more about the Neville Cohen Sport Fund and to:
- Apply for a bursary from the Neville Cohen Education Fund.
- Download the Criteria and Conditions for the Sports Fund
- Download the application form Sports Fund Assistance Form
Click the link below to find out more about the Neville Cohen Sport Fund or click on the Mobility Impairments: Organizations Page- QASA link, to find out more about (QASA) and the other Products & Services that they provide, or visit their website at www.qasa.co.za.
To find out more about these Reading Aids that could assist you, visit our page on Reading Aids or click here.