Maroondah’s Mobility Expo, as part of the International Day for People with Disabilities attracted over 300 attendees demonstrating that the community has an overwhelming interest in mobility issues.
The Expo provided a full day program that included:
- Free scooter and wheelchair safety checks;
- Trials of a low-floor bus;
- Information sessions on topics such as:
- Accessing public transport safely;
- Road rules for motorised scooters and pedestrians;
- Advice from occupational therapists;
- Scooter etiquette to ensure safe usage of motorised scooters and wheelchairs;
A number of vendors were also available allowing participants to try various motorised scooters and accessibility aids.Maroondah’s Mobility Expo succeeded in its aim in promoting equity and assisting people with mobility aids to participate in society with confidence.
The Mobility Expo was made possible due to the work of Maroondah’s MetroAccess worker, Katie Goodrope, Trisha Matthes who was assisting Katie, and the Scoot Wheel ‘N’ Move working group, which consisted of community volunteers dedicated to raising awareness and improving accessibility within Maroondah.
In addition, the booklet Maintaining Your Mobility in Maroondah was launched the Expo. This booklet which provides advice on using mobility aids such as scooters and wheelchairs, was created by the Scoot Wheel ‘N’ Move working and reflects the first hand experiences of members within the group. The booklet was launched by Angela Fitzpatrick, a long time community volunteer, who was awarded a Deakin Community Australia Day Award in 2006.
On behalf of the Scoot Wheel ‘N’ Move working group I was invited to officially launch the Expo and MC the proceedings.
My opening speech was as follows:
I would like to thank everyone for their attendance today and would like to take this opportunity to welcome fellow councillors, Cr. Natalie Thomas of Clocktower Ward and Cr. Jo-anne Taylor of Mullum Ward, as well as newly elected State Parliamentary Member for Bayswater, Ms. Heidi Victoria.
Today’s expo will provide you with a unique opportunity to meet independent living providers and support organisations and to discover a wealth of information designed to ensure that people with mobility aids will be able to enjoy their life to its fullest.
As a sneak preview we have:
- Free Scooter and Wheelchair Safety checks in the court yard at 10.30 am and 1.30 pm, provided generously by Victorian Home Health Equipment and Mobile Repairs.
- Information sessions, which will provide details on topics such as Scooter Etiquette, Road Rules and Access to Public Transport will take place in rooms four and five.
- In the courtyard we have equipment available for people to try, including a low floor bus that will be available at 1.15pm.
- Adapted vehicles and wheelchairs cars will be on display out the front of Federation Estate within the car park area.
- Plus as an added bonus today’s expo is fully catered with morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea to be be provided.
Further details on the upcoming events will be provided throughout the day.Attendant care support will be available throughout the day and are available for anyone that may need assistance. Attendant Care Support Staff can be identified by a blue coloured nametag.
Ultimately, today’s proceedings would not have been possible without the dedicated support of the members within Maroondah’s Scoot Wheel ‘N’ Move Working Group. This group comprises of local residents who not only passionate volunteers but also people dedicated to improving mobility within Maroondah.
I have attended some of the Scoot Wheel ‘N’ Move Working Group meetings and have been awestruck by the dedication presented by the members of the working group. The members of Scoot Wheel ‘N’ Move have successfully worked with Maroondah City Council to raise awareness of accessibility issues within Maroondah and to ensure that information is available to assist people within the community.
Scoot Wheel ‘N’ Move has for the past twelve months met on a monthly basis and have in conjunction with Maroondah City Council busily been preparing for today’s expo.
Today’s expo also marks the launch of the booklet ‘Maintaining Your Mobility in Maroondah’; this booklet contains valuable information for the users of motorised scooters and electric wheelchairs.
To launch this booklet I would like to introduce Angela Fitzpatrick. Angela a local Ringwood East resident, has used a motorised scooter, known as Herbie, since 1998 and was awarded a Deakin Community Australia Day Award in 2006 due to her tireless and dedicated community involvement.
This involvement includes but is certainly not limited to:
- The Eastern Access Community Health;
- The Consumer Reference Group of the Outer East Health & Community Support Alliance;
- The Maroondah Half Way House;
- And of course Scoot Wheel ‘N’ Move.
Without further adieu can we please all welcome Angela Fitzpatrick.
There is no better time to launch today’s expo given that the 3rd of December marked the International Day for People with Disabilities. The aim of today’s expo is to ensure that all members of the Maroondah community can participate confidently and fully in society and to enjoy equity within the community.
I would like to officially open today’s expo with that goal in mind.
Please enjoy today’s expo and please do not hesitate to speak to us of one if we can be of assistance.