Posted in Accommodation, Vacations, Wheelchair friendly

VACATIONS-Wheelchair friendly ?

Vacations or a need for wheelchair friendly accommodation! Frustrating it can be!

In the last 4 years I’ve had to find wheelchair friendly affordable accommodation in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. It starts with me scanning the available wheelchair accessible accommodation online. I then run through to find the affordable rooms, one with 2 separate beds, a bed for me and the other for my carer. I then search for pictures they may have of the room and most importantly of the bathroom. Just because they advertise wheelchair accessible rooms, check check and triple check before you book your room.

I don’t book a room through the internet. I call, I speak with someone and ask questions. Firstly – if they say wheelchair accessible, I ask if the bathroom is an open planned wet area, no screens, no bath and can I wheel a shower chair into the shower area. My next question is how may beds are in the room. I’ve stayed in a few places that only have a king size bed in the room. Some beds can be split apart to make 2 singles and some don’t. I think some places think that only disable couples like to go on vactions, not us singles and not us singles who need the help of a carer. Times are changing people. Single people with carers are getting out there too. Our government is all about community access for us wheelies.

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I recently stayed at the Meriton Southport on the Gold Coast. I didn’t stay in an accessible room, I chose the 55th floor over the only accessible room which was on the 5th floor. So you can see my dilemma,  55th floor over 5th floor! …. hard choice …. NOT ….Seriously before I made the decision to take the view over bathroom, I actually viewed the room first to make sure I could use the bathroom and get in and out of my bed from my wheelchair okay. It worked for me.

My room had a Queen side bed with plenty of access to both sides of the bed. I could transfer using my slide board with very little effort. The bathroom wasn’t an open planned wet area, although it had ample space for me to use my shower/toilet commode.  The couple of things it didn’t have was grab rails in the shower or near the toilet and the mirror was too high up to use. Remembering though this was NOT a wheelchair accessible room.

I’ve been in rooms that are wheelchair accessible and still can’t use the mirror, this is why I travel with a mirror. I have other things I don’t leave home without.

  • My slide board – a MUST
  • Portable Mirror – a MUST
  • An extension lead (small) and a power board – a MUST
  • A plastic shower caddy that hangs in the shower – makes it easy to reach your shower toiletries
  • Wire ties – come in handy for all kinds of things

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Oh and did I mention a slide board …. lol  My slide board gets me out of a lot of sticky situations. For example … when I CAN see in the mirror and all that is around me is just a sink, which is pretty much all you get in a wheelchair friendly bathroom, no bench to put stuff on, well this is where my slide board comes in handy. I place it across the sink and use it to hold my makeup,  brushes for blow drying my hair, its even somewhere to rest my straightner on while doing my hair. There’s no compromising just because I’m in a wheelchair. Hair and face must be done before we take to the outside world … lol

I hope this helps you when deciding to take a vacation.  Its not that hard and I’ve never had a problem,  just be friendly and don’t forget to ask questions before you book.

Don’t forget live life like there’s no tomorrow …….💜💜💜

You can make a donation at

https://give.everydayhero.com/au/tracey-jackson-5#/?_k=wyu1ap

You can also find me on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/KeepTraceyIndependentFundraisingPage/

Posted in Passion, Uncategorized

4 Years on the Fundraising Carousel

I WILL NOT GIVE UP until I have reach my target of $150,000. What on earth could possibly cost that much? you ask ! …. A Van ! Yes you read it right A Van. A Volkswagen Comfortline people mover.

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Your still asking WHY, HOW, WHAT …..

  • WHY HOW WHAT
  • Volkswagen Comfortline approximately $50,000 (must have the remote sliding doors from factory)
  • The fit out which includes – removal of the entire interior, drop the floor level from the last row of seats in the rear of the vehicle right through to the front of vehicle.  Addition of passenger seat that is removable and on wheel tracks so it can be place in the drivers position for able body drivers. Remote control ramp to be installed on passenger side of vehicle.  Safety pin placed on driver side for wheelchair driver to lock into while in wheelchair. Handcontrols to be added to suit my needs as a driver. I will NOT be using the steering wheel to drive.
  • There are other details and items that will be added too … $100,000

Now let me just say, that $150,000 is a figure given to me a few years ago. As you can imagine and I’m almost certain of, the longer it takes me to reach my target of $150,000, the more the price will rise. You can now understand my frustration.

The government will kindly give me $10,000 towards the finally costs of my vehicle.

I have so many people question the costs of this type of vehicle.  They don’t understand that this vehicle is designed around my needs, so I’m able to drive for another 10 years. It’s not something you can just go and purchase off the shelf so to speak. Think about what I said at the beginning,  I will NOT be using the steering wheel to drive, it will be a joystick and a few other buttons added so I don’t have to lift my arms while driving. This is the case for the accelerator too, yep joysticks, a bit like playing Playstation …. lol

I have finally reached the half way mark, just another 75,000 to go. I pray I have the strength to keep going. This Van is my independence.  A friend asked me the other day “what will I do when there’s no more fundraising? ” I replied “Honestly I haven’t a clue”  What I want to do once I have my Van is something to help others out there who would love to travel but don’t think they can. I want a job traveling the state or Australia and find the real accessible rooms and apartments in holiday accommodations around our country.  I’ve stayed in a few places that say wheelchair accessible,  yet haven’t a clue what that really means.

That’s another story for another day.

Don’t forget,  live your life like there is no tomorrow … 💜💜💜

You can make a donation at

https://give.everydayhero.com/au/tracey-jackson-5#/?_k=wyu1ap

You can also find me on Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/KeepTraceyIndependentFundraisingPage/

Posted in Uncategorized

Dumped in Doha Airport

Dumped by my porta in the middle of Doha Airport.

The Aussie para-shooting team, including myself were on a long flight from Australia to Zagreb Croatia for an International Shoot in Osijek. We had to change planes a number of times during a long long long non stop trip. We disembarked after landing in Doha and were ushered off rather quickly so we could catch our connecting flight that was actually waiting on us. Every wheelie team member acquired themselves a porta (its all part of the service) to get us to the other end of the airport to board our next flight. The AB’s (able bodes) all jumped on one of those people vehicles they have in all airports (to save their legs). Meanwhile the whole time we’re speed walking/rolling to catch our next flight with our porta in toe, all our equipment and luggage was being swapped from one plane to the other, so we had a little time but not much really.

I was the last off the plane, picked up by my porta and off we go at a fast pass trying to catch up to the other wheelie. Fortunately for me he knew where he was going, ME … not a clue. So me being me tried to initiate a conversation with my porta ( I talk a lot when I’m nervous) and I was nervous because I couldn’t see any of my team.  We travel in our team  uniform which attracts loads of people wanting to know what kind of shooting we all do etc. My porta was no different, we chatted about where we were heading and why. I made a comment on how often he had to walk the airport and how it must have been great exercise for him, small talk right. He started to slow the quick speed walking to a casual stroll, it was then that I started to become very concerned, we were falling way behind the others, I caught a glimpse of the last wheelie turning a corner, that’s it… lost sight of them all except Matt. Our team physio, Matt was the only AB with us, the others had been whisked off on the people mover and probably already at the terminal gate sorting out the boarding passes.

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Lucky for me Matt still had me in sight, JUST … I was trying to catch his attention, I was trying to hand signal him to stop, hold up and wait for me. Mean time I’m still trying to make conversation with my porta because he’d gone quiet. Alarm bell are going off in my head, my heart rate was gathering speed, I thought I would just jokingly mention how I’ve lost sight of my team mate and how I hoped he knew what gate I need to be at. Then it HAPPENED he spoke again and said “oh look 6 o’clock, I finish now, goodbye, good luck” and that was it …. I got dumped, he just left me in the middle of the airport. His shift was finish and so was he.

Luck was on my side. Like I said before I was hand signalling our physio Matt and luckily he stopped, he waited for me before going around the corner with all the other aussie wheelies. Me, well I’m just sitting there stunned, I had just been left sitting in the middle of this foreign airport, in a foreign wheelchair that I couldn’t wheel it very far on my own and NO PORTA !!! , our physio look back over his shoulder just at that time when my porta walked off. Matt’s face said it all and so did mine, I’m sure of that. Matt’s  hand signalling me “WHAT THA”  I’m hand signalling him back, buggered if I know …HELP!!! COME GET ME!!!

Thank god for Matt, I was rescued. We made our connecting flight, the plane was waiting on us. It took them a long time to get us all boarded, some of us toileted too because the plane we just boarded didn’t have an on board wheelchair. So we were going to have to hold it for another 6 hours …. pffft … NOT!!!   The trip to the toilet is another story for another time.

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I can look back now and have a good old belly laugh, it was funny at the time. Tried, hungry and busting to go to the loo, definitely not funny but I really wouldn’t change anything. Yes my porta dumped me but I was rescued by Matt and all was good in the end. Besides I wouldn’t have these little stories to share with you all now would I ???

Remember – Live like there’s no tomorrow, because you never know what might be around the corner.

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Please click on links below to view my fundraising pages

https://give.everydayhero.com/au/tracey-jackson-5#/?_k=wyu1ap

https://www.facebook.com/KeepTraceyIndependentFundraisingPage/

Posted in Uncategorized

A Documentary about ME …

Yes you read it right …. I have had a Documentary film made about me “how cool is that?”…. they filmed my journey to qualify for the 2016  Paralympic Shooting Team. I’ve had my very own film crew following me around for about 2 years.

http://www.shootingforgoldfilm.com

It all started on a train ride home from a day in town (Brisbane City). I was in the city attending an independent living expo, where I spent most of my time stuck in one  spot with a flat tyre on my powerchair.  By the time I had it repaired it was time to go home.

I did learn something that day …. don’t leave home without a spare tube in case of a flat and if you ever do get stuck with a flat tyre, “CALL RACQ” They will come out and fix it for you “FREE OF CHARGE

My ride home is when I met a “STRANGER ON THE TRAIN“. One of the best days of my life, though I didn’t know yet. I met an amazing young man studying Film Making at Southbanks Griffith University of Film.

Lachlan James Morton has since graduated and is now on an adventure himself. First stop is Berlin.  Wolfe ( short film documentry Lachlan worked on) will be having its World Premiere at the 67th annual Berlinale, in the Generation 14plus category! .

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https://www.facebook.com/WolfeDocumentary/

 

So proud of this young man. I had an opportunity to view a short version of my own documentary and WOW !!! I can’t wait to see the full version.

Click on the above link to “WOLFE” the documentary facebook page and follow Lachlan and his crew members in Berlin. Wish them Luck  – “break a leg” isn’t that film talk for luck?

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Go out there and live your life to the fullest,  live life like there’s no tomorrow …

Please click on links below to view my fundraising pages

https://give.everydayhero.com/au/tracey-jackson-5#/?_k=wyu1ap

https://www.facebook.com/KeepTraceyIndependentFundraisingPage/

Posted in Uncategorized

Its My Life Now or Never

I use wheels in place of legs …. yep it sux BUT you can choose to embrace life and just live in the moment.  Live in the moment I do. My inability to do things like able bodes (AB’s we call you) doesn’t stop me. One thing you should never say to me is “you can’t do that”!!! Pffft.

Watch me !!!!

Okay ! so there are things, loads of things I can’t do and probably never be able too either but it doesn’t stop me from trying.

What make my life anymore unique than yours you may ask ??? Nothing absolutely nothing. Everyone’s life is unique to themselves. I’m no-one special,  I just love my life and I would love to share with you all just how I live my life with a disability.

My passions are 10m Air Rife Shooting, Photography, fundraising and helping (inspiring) others to enjoy life NOW because you never know whats around the corner.

The above photo is one of the best days in 2016 …. ME and Drag racing. My good friends allowed me to be a passenger and take to the strip once again. OMG !!! It all came rushing back to me.

Below are 3 face book links to my passions. My fundraising,  My Shooting and My Photography. By all means check them out. I hope you’ll enjoy my blogs. I have loads to share. My next blog will be about my last adventure. Until then ” live like there is no tomorrow ” 💜💜💜

https://www.facebook.com/KeepTraceyIndependentFundraisingPage/

https://www.facebook.com/traceyshooting4gold/

https://www.facebook.com/aimpointshoot/

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Please click on links below to view my fundraising page

https://give.everydayhero.com/au/tracey-jackson-5#/?_k=wyu1ap