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Inform issue 24 – Autumn 2018

  • Text
  • Survivors
  • Rehabilitation
  • Continence
  • Chronic
  • Autumn
  • Ndis
  • Inform
  • Disability
  • Australia
  • Polio
In this issue of Inform, we celebrate achievements. We follow Independence Australia's residential client Peter as he looks back on some of the adventures he has had along the way of 50 years as a wheelchair user.

Travel Most airlines

Travel Most airlines have a greater baggage weight limit for mobility aids and medical supplies, and only a few of the budget airlines will charge extra. For health and safety reasons there may be a limit on individual item weight and dimensions, so you could face difficulties if you have a heavier wheelchair that can't be taken apart. Shipping the wheelchair as freight is an alternative option, as is hiring one at your destination. Tip: Some passengers have been able to take their own collapsible wheelchairs on board the new Qantas A380 Airbus. Assistance dogs Assistance dogs are generally allowed to travel on the floor of the cabin on domestic flights. International flights may be trickier because of quarantine laws and airport rules in the country you're travelling to. You'll also need to consider the quarantine requirements when returning to Australia. Tip: Speak to the airline well in advance and be sure that you have the necessary paperwork from an accredited animal training organisation. Airport security If you have a wheelchair or mobility aid and you're unable to pass through the metal detector without it, staff may search you with a handheld device. If they opt to do a physical search, you have the right to ask for a private room. Security staff might also search inside mobility aids. Try not to take it personally as smuggling does happen: last year a man was caught at Madrid airport hiding a kilogram of cocaine inside his prosthetic leg. Hearing aids There's no need to take off a hearing aid before passing through security it's too small to set off the metal detector, and X-rays and scanners won't damage it. The rule about switching off electronic devices during take-off and landing doesn't apply to hearing aids or cochlear implants. It's important that all passengers can hear announcements. Tips for flying with a disability: • Different airlines have different policies. Do your research first on the airline's website. • Speak to airline staff well in advance to be sure they can meet your needs. • Call to confirm plans on the day before your flight. • Allow plenty of time for checking in, boarding and meeting connecting flights. • If you have a stopover, consider what your needs will be you may not have access to your mobility aid. • If you're travelling with a carer, they may be eligible for a 'Companion Card' discount from the airline. 24 Independence Australia

polioperspectives Auspiced by Independence Australia Inform Spring 2017 25