Have Cane Will Travel – Disabled Travel in Australia

Award-winning comedy writer, Ian Heydon (Kingswood Country, How Green Was My Cactus, The Samuel Pepys Show, The Year My Country Broke) recently took out an unexpected award – for writing about travelling with a disability.

In 2010 Ian was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. That led to the question – what does a writer who has a disability and who loves to travel write about? The answer was pretty obvious. Because Ian uses a cane for mobility assistance, he built a website called Cane & Able Travel and that site won the inaugural Business disAbility Award for Business Innovation in 2012.

Back in 2003, Ian had a travel book on Australia published called The Small Guide to A Big Country (Explore) and he subsequently bought a travel agent’s licence (Small Guide Travel). Much of Ian’s research for that book is still valid. As Ian says, “They haven’t moved the Sydney Opera House or most of Australia’s main attractions, so all I really needed to do was update where necessary and add the accessibility and disability facility information. It’s a bonus that the Small Guide Travel consultants can assist with itinerary advice and bookings.”

When Ian travels these days he uses both a cane and a wheelchair for getting around. “Before my diagnosis with MS I guess I felt a bit of pity when I saw other people in wheelchairs. I didn’t realise that wheelchairs give a person with a disability so much freedom. Mine allows me to get around much better at airports, especially when the boarding gate can be a fair distance from check-in, and it makes art galleries, museums and theatre so much more accessible and enjoyable.”

Ian first took his wheelchair on a trip to Dubai, London and Paris in 2012. While there are websites with attractions and disability information for those destinations in the pipeline, Ian’s first priority is writing about Australia. In late 2012 he visited Cairns and road-tested attractions like Skyrail and Quicksilver’s Great Barrier Reef as well as disabled-friendly accommodation. From this came the destination specific website, Cairns Disabled Travel.

The next cab of the rank was Canberra. According to Ian, Canberra is arguably Australia’s most rewarding destination for travellers with a disability. “There are flights from all other major cities and centres, they have an excellent public transport and wheelchair-assisted taxi system and all the major attractions are accessible, with many of them free. There’s excellent accommodation, terrific restaurants and bars and so much to see and do. It really is a fabulous tourist destination. Sure, after a couple of weeks there might be some thumb twiddling but for a few days away it is fabulous.” Ian visited Canberra in 2011 and 2013 to research accessible accommodation and attractions and the Canberra Disabled Travel website is now live.

Ian has a multi-destination itinerary on the drawing board for all Australian capital cities and major regional centres so you could see him soon in your part of the country. But the Kingswood? No, he won’t be taking the Kingswood!

Innovations From Newsagency Shopfitters

For many retail companies, the way you arrange your store can determine just how much sales each storefront can do in a given amount of time. It can be welcoming to shoppers, or it may drive them away. How you fit your storefront says a lot about the underlying philosophy of your business model. This guide will cover some of the basic techniques that newsagency shopfitters use to provide a facelift to businesses. Though some agencies such as Revolution Retail provide similar services to other stores, the scope of this report will be limited.

Making the most of what you’ve got:

One of the most challenging aspects of any business is how you’ll get all of your wares into one store. Since real estate may be expensive, especially in larger cities, nearly every business wants to make efficient use of the store area that they are fortunate enough to have. For newsagencies, this may be complicated because they have such a wide array of products to sell to their customers. These shopfitters can give you guidance on how to stock shelves and arrange pathways that allow your storefront to give solid visual displays for their wares.

For some retailers, buying additional shelving may be prohibitively expensive and add to their overhead costs. This can cut into profit margins, and cause other deleterious effects on the revenues of a store. Shopfitters can help reduce this cost by simply giving advice on how to change the positioning of your current shelving.

One typical piece of advice is to buy interchangeable and flexible metal shelving. The primary reason for this is that the shelving can be changed out for larger or smaller products on display. Additionally, metal shelves are more durable and won’t break down easily. Though it may be a large initial investment, it will be one that pays off in the long run.

Improve the customer shopping experience:

Though the bottom line for many retailers are sales figures, any good owner knows that it is important to keep their customers happy with the way the store looks. Sometimes it can be difficult to understand what makes a good arrangement that is inviting for customers. But for newsagencies, an experienced shopfit has a variety of tools that have been proven to make customers feel welcome in your store.

A popular tactic is to change the layout of a retailer’s shelving to give clear lines of sight to customers while they are shopping. Many shoppers want to find the one product they’re looking for as quickly as possible. For large retailers, that is difficult because of the sheer volume of different things that they stock. But creating aligned shelving with clear glass exterior windows allows the shoppers to find their products much quicker. They can simply walk into to store and potentially see their desired product from almost anywhere that they’re standing.

Understanding the mindset of consumers is one aspect of newsagency shopfitters that retailers love to hire. Though retail shopping trends may change over time, a good shopfit can keep managers informed and up to date on how best to arrange their stores. If it provides the expected boost in sales, it will have been a worthwhile investment to make.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Options

Plantar fasciitis is extremely common affecting around 10% of the adult population at some time in life. Commonly plantar fasciitis is associated with heel spurs however on x-ray only 50% of patients with plantar fasciitis have evidence of calcification through the heel (DiMarcangelo, 1997).

Commonly plantar fasciitis symptoms start as an awareness or ache in the morning. Relief treatment can be quite simple at this time however if it is left, these symptoms will often slowly progress to pain that significantly impacts quality of life.

When targeting plantar fasciitis symptoms your practitioner will guide you through the best strategy or combination of strategies to help relieve and control your individual pain. At Body Leadership Australia we recommend a multimodal approach utilising a number of different treatment options.

Soft Tissue Release
Tightness of the muscles surrounding the foot have been found to pull hard enough on the bones that they alter the natural shape of the foot and ankle often leading to plantar fasciitis pain. Accordingly, release techniques and stretching of the lower limb muscles can have an effect on decreasing symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis.

Stretching
Strategic stretching of the calf muscles and Achilles tendon or on the plantar fascia itself can decrease pain associated with plantar fasciitis. You should get a program tailored to your individual needs.

Orthotics
Orthotics can help to relieve the effects of plantar fasciitis. Changing the weight load through the foot can allow the inflammatory response to settle by supporting the foot appropriately.

Night Splints (Strassburg Sock)
The use of a night splint can reduce recovery time compared to the same protocol utilising standing stretches through the calf.

Cortisone
Cortisone was always a last resort due to potential complications and pain post injection. Now with ultrasound guidance outcomes have improved and we see them used more effectively. Cortisone options can be discussed with your health care professional.

Surgery
A number of studies found 75% to 95% of patients had long term improvement as measured by various criteria. Up to 27% of patients still had significant pain, up to 20% had some activity restriction, and up to 12% had moderate pain that impaired function (Brown et al., 1999; Davies et al., 1999; Fishco et al., 2000). Surgical options are always a last resort.

Once your pain is treated and controlled it is important to understand your individual factors that predispose you to plantar fasciitis which can be explained by your physiotherapist. You can then be taught a home program to release tension, particularly through the calf as well as the foot to nip problems in the bud. This can also be optimised using home exercises to improve strength for better control of your biomechanics long term.

If you, your friend or family member suffer from plantar fasciitis please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly Brisbane sports physiotherapists on 07 3847 8040. Our Brisbane sports physios can also provide treatment from our Brisbane Sports Physiotherapy practice.

Tattoo Removal in Brisbane – How to Choose

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Aussie Rules for Dummies

Football is one of the most entertaining and popular sports around the globe. However, it usually has many variations from one country to another. Australian Rules football is the most popular sport in the country. It is also known as AFL, footy or Aussie rules. It is a unique and fast game and has a great following throughout the country.

How Aussie Rules is played
Australian football is played by a team of 18 players on either side. It is usually played on a custom Australian football ground, a cricket field that has been modified to accommodate football playing or another venue that resembles the two. The Australian Football league is responsible for setting rules for the game. In playing Aussie Rules, the goal of the players is usually to move the ball across the field and kick it between the goal posts of the opponent’s team. The team that scores the highest number of goals by the time the game ends usually wins the game. However if the teams score an equal number of goals, a draw could be declared or they might be forced to use a tie break.

Positioning of the players
When the game is under way on, players can place themselves anywhere in the field. A game usually lasts four quarters of 20 minutes each. They are also allowed to use any part of their body to kick the ball. The most common methods used in handling the ball include: Kicking, Handballing and Running with the ball. If running, the player must bounce the ball at least once every fifteen metres.

In addition to those general playing techniques, players are expected to follow the rules set by the Australian Football League when they are in the field.

When running with the ball, they are supposed to bounce it or touch it on the ground from time to time. They are not allowed to throw the ball to one another. The players are also not supposed to be caught holding the ball.

Ball possession is always in dispute unless a free kick mark is paid. If a player catches the ball from a kick at any point in the field, they are automatically awarded a mark and allowed possession.

Those are just a few of the rules that are followed when playing Aussie Rules. It is important to note that Australian football is a contact sport and players are allowed to use their hands to tackle opponents or their whole body to obstruct an opponent from making a move against them. However, physical contact that is rough or dangerous in not allowed in the sport. For instance, players are not allowed to push one another in the back or slow play. Such events are usually discouraged by imposing penalties such as suspension, or distance penalties.

The origin of the game is a little bit of a mystery. However, it is known that Aussie Rules tournaments were being held in the country as early as 1859. It is one of the major spectator and participation sports in the country.

Australian Football League and its role in Australian football
AFL is the national football governing body in Australia. The body is usually tasked with the responsibility of organising tournaments during the football season. Normally, the football season runs from March to September. During this period, they are supposed to put together match fixtures, settle disputes and also announce the tournament winners.

Australian Football League has been in operation since 1989. It was previously known as VFL or the Victoria football league. The AFL currently has 18 clubs as its members. Since the emergence of AFL, the presence of smaller and semi-professional football governing bodies in the country has somehow reduced.

Aussie football internationally
Australian football is played well beyond the country. There are over 50 countries that play the game at an amateur level. The game has been featured in the Euro cup and the International cup. In both cases, Australian players were prohibited from taking part.

That is Australian football or Aussie Rules at a glance. It is one of the most entertaining sports to watch. The football season in Australia is usually packed with a lot of excitement and fun. Aussie Rules has such importance in the Australian culture, Federal Election dates are planned around the date of the Grand Final.

It is a game that is gradually gaining popularity all over the world. There are many variants of football around the world, and Australian football is definitely one of the games that you would not want to miss. The next time you want to watch a game online, opt for Footy. Why not enjoy it even more and follow your own AFL Dream Team 2013 ?