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Travelling Safely

As a TAD Volunteer, Davy’s skills in electronics have often been in demand. He has been called on to modify motorised tricycles for young children with disabilities and more recently to design a set of safety lights for Kathy.

Kathy has cerebral palsy and tetraplegia and needed to be able to travel safely in her powered wheelchair at night.

Kathy had asked the makers of her wheelchair to install lights so that she could remain visible on her night journeys to her mother’s house a few streets away from her Winston Hills home.

They suggested contacting an auto electrician who wasn’t able to comply with Kathy’s request. After a less than successful trial with bike lights, which kept falling off when she went over bumps, Kathy turned to TAD and Davy to solve the problem.

Using eight red LED lights for the back and eight white lights for the front, managed by a control fixed to the right hand side of the chair, Kathy can now be seen coming and going when she goes out at night.

“I can now cross the road at night in my black wheelchair and not worry about being collected by a car coming around the corner,” she says.

Davy was “fabulous” according to Kathy, listening patiently to her request over the phone, then spending nearly five hours installing the lighting solution on her wheelchair which runs off the chair battery power.

“The new lights system worked straightaway and was simple to use – easy peasy,” says Kathy.

Davy loves his work, happy in the knowledge “the little bit I do makes a difference.” It certainly has made a difference to the life of Kathy, who is willing to sing his praises.

“A lovely guy,” says Kathy, “he just seems to know what you want.”

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TAD acknowledges the traditional owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures and to elders past, present and emerging.