We all know life wasn’t meant to be easy, but what can you do when even the simplest things become a challenge? For people living with disability and age-related challenges, the difficulty in independently carrying out routine daily activities can be disheartening. Enter the creative volunteers from Technology for Ageing and Disability SA Inc (TADSA).
People with skills ranging from electronics to fitting and turning and almost everything in between are on standby in their backyard sheds, ready to apply their problem-solving skills to any request. Their motto, ‘one off solutions to one off problems’, has inspired members to build all manner of helpful gadgets, equipment, devices and more over the 44 years since the organisation was officially formed. TADSA calls on the volunteer skills of retired tradesmen and women, engineers, and other professionals to create unique aids to help people enjoy their lives more fully and independently. Some of the current projects occupying workbenches around Adelaide include a multi-user wheelchair swing, a music table to encourage sound expression, all-terrain modifications to mobility equipment to name just a few.
Project Manager, Ralph Drage says projects range from a simple modification to an existing piece of equipment to a whole new design. “We won’t make up equipment that’s readily available,” he explains, but we do respond to the need for customising or fine tuning to suit a person’s individual requirements. The cost of materials used in the production are covered by the client or government agency and all the work is donated.
Volunteer John Stevens is a retired Fitter and Turner with half a century of work experience in fitting and machining, metal fabrication and hydraulics and he says it was a ‘no-brainer’ to hook-up with TADSA. “It is a win-win. I get to spend time in my shed, I achieve a great sense of satisfaction knowing that I am contributing to someone’s quality of life. It is a meaningful and practical way to continue to be a part of my community.”
TADSA currently has 45 active volunteers across metropolitan Adelaide but with demand from country areas growing we are looking to expand our volunteer base accordingly.
TADSA Volunteers assess, design, make and or modify equipment to assist people disabilities and the aged to live independently. These are called ‘Projects’.
Throughout a project the volunteer is supported by and works with the Volunteer Project Manager and/or the client’s therapist to provide an individualised solution to the client’s expressed problem.
Key Duties & Responsibilities
Volunteering is not onerous. Time commitment is flexible and there is no specific day and time for this role.
If you would like to know more watch our short video (https://bit.ly/38EfNiG) about volunteering at TADSA or to talk to a current volunteer about the role please contact Ralph Drage, Volunteer Project Manager 08 8261 2922 or email email@example.com.