Category Archives: The ‘mod’ squad

NAIDOC week ’09

NAIDOC celebrations are held around Australia in July each year to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.  All schools have celebrations and events planned – this year’s theme was Honouring Our Elders, Nurturing Our Youth.  

Our school had a ‘doing things together’ day planned for the Thursday.  The kids were encouraged to dress in Red/Yellow/Black clothing to represent the colours on the Aboriginal flag.  That bit was easy, black skinny jeans, red raben shoes, yellow’n’red hoodie & a red vest… sorted (although we really should have sent Mac to school upside down in his chair as his colour scheme was the wrong way round for the flag).

However, while Mac’s wheelchair wheel covers are very cool – they represent the SIOUX indian tribe.  It seemed odd to have indigenous north american symbolism on his wheels during NAIDOC week. 

The solution… new temporary wheel covers.  

New Wheels

Dad and Pa were tasked with undertaking the transformation (I was away in Sydney) – they did a great job.  We had found Aboriginal Art wrapping paper which was then cut and covered in clear contact and attached to the wheels.

A huge success – apparently lots of the kids wished “they could have a wheelchair too so they could change the wheels”… ah, funny what you think is desirable when you are a kid.

We have retained the covers for the time being – they do look good.  I am sure I will be told by Mac’s peers when it is time for a change.

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“pen” de résistance

Unshackle the artist within…

How does a child who has no independent or purposeful movement draw or colour-in on his own?  

How does a child who is unable to grasp or hold things draw on his own?

How does a child with significant vision impairment draw on his own?

It was one of my biggest concerns.  I wanted Mac to have the luxury of being in control of some of his art – I wanted him to draw on his own…

I have been harassing Mac’s Pa for a few years to make him a ‘remote control texta’ (among other things).

I didn’t need to.  Thankfully in 2007 Gwen, from RC Art, did it for us.  

Mac received his Color Bug for Christmas this year.  I haven’t been able to find them in Australia, but a friend sent it over from the USA for us.

We have modified Mac’s remote control by putting a single bar across the two levers.  This allows him to use exactly the same drive action (differential drive) as his modified electric car.  It is much easier for him to learn to use one style of switch for the same action (makes it easier for us to drive too). 

This is Mac’s Remote Controller and Color Bug

The 'bug' and the 'controller'and this is his first artwork he and his Dad did in collaboration.  Mac was in control of blue and orange, and Daddy, the green.

 To find out more about the Color Bug (or for us Aussies… “Colour” Bug) visit www.rcarttoys.com and watch the video.

We LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the ‘bug’

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Filed under The 'mod' squad, What's in my Pencil Case