Disability Equipment Grant recipient Adam White shared his experiences with Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Disability Services Mr Reece Whitby MLA today when he visited the Independent Living Centre WA (ILC) in Nedlands to present a $2,674,838 Lotterywest certificate for the continuation of the grants program.
48-year-old Adam is a stay at home dad to 16-year-old daughter Jasmine.
Adam has Hereditary Spastic Paralysis, an inherited disorder that is characterised by progressive weakness and stiffness of the legs.
As a result, Adam is unable to use his legs to drive his car, an important part of his independence and essential in enabling him to take his daughter to school, sport and other activities.
Thanks to a Disability Equipment Grant Adam was able to obtain funding assistance to purchase modified driving controls, including a push-pull hand control (to brake and accelerate using his right hand) and spinner knob with switches (to steer and control other functions such as the indicators, windscreen wipers and headlights with the left hand).
“The grant has made a huge difference not only to my life, but also to my wife’s life, “ said Adam.
“When I was unable to drive, my wife, who works full time, was responsible for driving my daughter around to her activities as well as drivng me around. Now that I’m able to drive my daughter around, my wife has some free time back so she can take care of herself.
“I would like to thank the ILC and Lotterywest for the impact these grants have made not just on my family but on the broader community, which has been significant.”
In acknowledging Mr Whitby for the grants presentation, ILC Chief Executive Officer Steve Glew said assistive equipment and technology can help a person to maintain their independence so these grants have a significant impact on the quality of people’s lives.
“Driving is such an important part of Adam’s independence. It enables him to get out and about in the community, to take his daughter to school and other activities, to undertake volunteer work as well as catch up with friends. This grant has helped towards enabling Adam to drive his car and importantly to continue to do the things in life that he enjoys.
“This is what the Disability Equipment Grant program is all about,” said Mr Glew.
“I would like to thank Lotterywest for supporting this important grants program and for making a difference to the lives of many Western Australians with disability.”
The DEG program aims to assist Western Australians with disability to obtain specific items of equipment they cannot afford and that are unavailable through other funding.
The ILC has administered the DEG program since 2003 and over that period it has helped thousands of people with disability to obtain vehicle modifications, specialised assistive technology and other essential independence equipment.
During 2017-18, more than 490 grants were provided to assist Western Australians with disability to obtain equipment through the DEG program.
The ILC supports people with disability to live full and independent lives through the provision of allied health and assistive technology solutions.
For more information about the Disability Equipment Grant program visit our funding page or phone (08) 9381 0600.
Pictured is DEG Recipient Adam White with (left to right) Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Disability Services Mr Reece Whitby MLA, ILC Occupational Therapist Andrew Browton, Lotterywest representative Linda Pomare and ILC CEO Steve Glew.