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Minister for Disability Services Andrew Constance has officially launched Spinal Injuries Awareness Week with the help of the Wheels for a Day race event hosted by ParaQuad NSW.
The Wheels for a Day – Wheelie Amazing Race involves a number of corporate teams navigating a race route from Central Station’s Grand Concourse area around the city for a 90 minute test of skill.
“The event is designed to provide a unique insight into the every day challenges faced by people who use wheelchairs and highlight the valuable work carried out by ParaQuad,” Mr Constance said.
“Spinal Injuries Awareness Week is a national campaign involving an alliance of spinal cord injury agencies working together to highlight the issue in the community.”
“The campaign raises community awareness about what it means to have a spinal cord injury, what can be done to prevent it and accessibility issues,” Mr Constance said.
This year, the campaign will feature a television community service announcement and a dedicated website:
“About 12,000 people in Australia have a spinal cord injury and there are up to 400 new cases recorded each year. The most at risk age group is people 15-24 years of age and the highest prevalence of incidents are transport-related,” Mr Constance said.
To further address and strengthen supports for people with a spinal cord injury, the O’Farrell Government is focussing on three key areas:

  • Introduction of person-centred approaches;
  • A lifespan focus, and;
  • Building capacity within the disability service system.

In 2011-12, ParaQuad will receive over $8 million in recurrent funding from the NSW Government to provide a wide range of disability services to people with a permanent spinal cord injury and complex physical health needs.
These services include attendant care, community engagement, community living programs, therapy and intervention services and advocacy and information activities.
“I commend the valuable work conducted by ParaQuad NSW in raising public awareness on this important issue and also the vital support services they deliver to our communities,” Mr Constance said.

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