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EXPO: ACSA's Disability Trade & Lifestyle Expo and Conference


Recent Gauteng Business News

Now in its sixth year, this year’s ACSA Disability Trade and Lifestyle Expo will showcase products, services and organisations involved in the treatment, rehabilitation and life enhancement of people with disabilities. Between 10 and 15 percent of the world’s population suffers from a disability of some kind, whether it’s as a result of a birth defect such as Down’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy or Autism, or through an accident resulting in spinal injury (paraplegia and quadriplegia) or a brain injury causing intellectual incapacity. The event takes place from 16 to 18 September at Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand.

This year’s event includes a dedicated conference on the theme; “Alleviating Poverty – Solutions and Resolutions”. The event is being organised in association with the SA Disability Alliance. Targeted at the public and private sectors, disability organisations and other disability stakeholders, the conference will highlight a range of solutions aimed at empowering people with disabilities.

“Exhibitors at the ACSA Disability show comprise suppliers of a vast range of products and services,” says Bette McNaughton, a director at Fair Consultants, organisers of the event. “These are all designed to make the lives and lifestyles of people with disabilities – and their care givers – easier, simpler, more comfortable, more productive and more rewarding. Visitors can expect to see the latest products and services available to people with disabilities.”

One of the newest exhibitors at the expo is Segway. The company’s Segway PT is a two-wheeled, self-balancing electric vehicle invented by Dean Kamen. An increasing number of disabled people use Segways to enhance their limited mobility. Among these users are people with multiple sclerosis or arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and even amputees, in particular a growing group of war veterans.
Blind SA’s role in the disability sector is to do whatever is necessary or conducive to improve the quality of life of blind South Africans so that they in turn may play their full part in the socio-economic life of the country. They offer bursaries as well as many resources for members such as assistive devices, free braille magazines, free braille instruction, magnifiers, braille slates, folding canes, pill and medicine dispensers, talking alarm clocks and alarm clocks, braille watches and dozens more blind-friendly products. Four publications are available; Blind SA News, Braillorama, Braillorette and Braille Trumpet. The organisation’s Braille Services is the only producer of Braille in all eleven official languages in South Africa.
Fastpulse Trading imports and manufactures wheelchairs, standing wheelchairs, walkers, scooters and motorised wheelchairs.

The Association for the Physically Disabled (APD) is a registered non-profit organisation helping people with most forms of physical disability. The Association provides various services at grassroots level including social work services to assist people with disabilities and their families to resolve their personal problems - both psychological and physical – and empower them to develop an independent lifestyle.

Their Barrier Breakers programme (BB) uses public awareness campaigns designed to break down barriers between people with disabilities and able-bodied individuals of all ages. It also assists employers with all aspects of diversity and sensitisation training and facilitation or accommodation issues pertinent to people with disabilities.
Chairman Industries specialises in the manufacture and supply of mobility equipment such as wheelchairs custom made to fit the user. All products manufactured are designed and developed in-house, and the company offers consulting services on disability products and accessibility. Seminars and training on wheelchair selection, seating and pressure-care are presented regularly. Products include custom-built lightweight everyday wheelchairs, basketball wheelchairs, sky chairs for aircraft and train access, standing frames and wheelchairs, grab rails, hand controls and other vehicle conversions for disabled drivers, pressure-care cushions and access ramps.

Ice Express is a division of a leading Icelandic prosthetics company specialising in high tech advanced prosthetic solutions, bionics, high definition silicone and rehabilitation. Its products serve a broad variety of clients including amputees from preschool kids to Paralympics athletes.

Solutions Medical offers a wide range of mobility products such as discounted wheelchairs, hoists and transfers, hospital appliances, hospital beds and furniture,
pressure care products, rental equipment, spares and accessories, therapy equipment, used equipment, walkers and ambulation products.
The South African National Council for the Blind is a non-government organisation (NGO) striving to meet the needs of all blind and partially sighted people in South Africa. Services include rehabilitation, education and training, the provision of assistive devices, social and economic development and programmes promoting the prevention of blindness and the restoration of sight.
Sitwell Technologies supplies wheelchairs, seating technology, assessments and training in mobility. The company also stocks a range of belts, harnesses and powerchair components, systems for seat and back support and rehabilitation equipment, bath and shower chairs, support stations, dynamic standers and pacer gait trainers, solo lifts, tricycles, and technical aids and appliances for children, young people and adults. Products are designed to improve mobility and assist with activities of daily living.
The South African Federation for Mental Health is a national, not for profit, non-governmental organisation that aims to co-ordinate, monitor and promote services for persons with intellectual disabilities, psychiatric disabilities,as well as promote mental health and well-being.
JessenDakile offers a wide range of fixed and mobile lifting and handling equipment, such as various types of ramps that afford easy movement in and out of buildings, aircraft and trains. The company is well known for its custom-designed bathrooms that make it possible for many mobility impaired persons to take full charge of their personal hygiene.

Sheer Ocean Trading offers a range of manual wheelchairs from standard to featherweight, power wheelchairs, pressure care products including gel cushions and mattress overlays as well as alternating pressure mattress systems, patient lifters, compact foldable aluminium ramps and hi low beds.

Progression offers a professional consulting service that affords people with disabilities the opportunity to be successfully integrated into the workplace. The company partners with businesses to plan, implement and shape a total disability equity management strategy aligned to all relevant disability legislation, codes and guidelines.

“The ACSA Disability Trade and Lifestyle expo showcases products and services available to people with disabilities of all types – physical, mental, sensory and psychiatric,” says McNaughton. “The show provides an opportunity for employers and the community at large to learn about what tools and information are available to facilitate access of people with disabilities into the workplace and mainstream society.”

A number of events will be hosted at the show, all aimed at showcasing the various lifestyle choices for people with disabilities. These include wheelchair tennis and wheelchair basketball.

ACSA Disability runs alongside Pan African Health, the premier event for the broad healthcare community in Southern Africa. Pan African Health will allow manufacturers and distributors of medical equipment and technology to showcase their products with healthcare professionals in attendance, thereby giving an indication of how much the industry has progressed. The 2010 Pan African Health Expo promises to be a comprehensive event encompassing preventative, promotive, curative and rehabilitative healthcare.

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