An Example of TADACT customised aids and equipment

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Michelle Smith is all smiles with her new wheelchair with Graham Waite from TADACT, Doug Mitchell, Tim Brown and Keith Edmonds from Queanbeyan Rotary and Rose McClure from Aboriginal Ability Links. Photo and article by Ron Aggs of The Queanbeyan Age

DISABLED Tourette syndrome sufferer and Queanbeyan woman Michelle Smith has become mobile in a motorised wheelchair, saying "now I've got a life".

The mid-40s Warroo Place resident has been comparatively house-bound or dependent on others to help her at home or take her other places. Rose McClure from Aboriginal Ability Links Queanbeyan reflected Michelle's delight that the wheelchair would "immensely improve my life".

"Previously Michelle relied on a walking stick, she couldn't move independently, was imbalanced and walked unsteadily," Ms McClure said. For a decade Ms Smith has suffered her condition, which also causes nerve pain.

Ms Smith can use the chair at the shops if someone can take her to and fro, and without assistance is confident she'll be able to make it to the chemist across the street from her apartment.

She is on her new wheels thanks to a joint effort between non-profit Technical Aids for the Disabled run by volunteers to provide mobility aids, Queanbeyan Rotary and Ability Links, a new NSW government service. "Now Michelle has the opportunity to do more of what she wants with her life, she can get out and about," Rotary president Doug Mitchell said. Mr Mitchell hoped the added mobility will help Michelle plan for the future, build on her strengths and skills and develop contacts in her community.

Ability Links is a new service for people with disabilities, their families and carers who do not access the traditional disability service system, to enable them to still find help in their local communities. Individuals literally called "linkers" do just that - put people in need of a service aged between nine and 64-years-old in contact with the businesses or service providers most capable of providing what is required. There are 47 linkers for indigenous services around NSW and 260 non-indigenous. Proof of diagnosis or a referral is not required and there are no assessments or eligibility requirements.