Written by Robert Wise – PDA VIC Associate Director
This is the first of my series of blogs on assisted technology that has been funded by the NDIS to enable me to enjoy my freedom, to get out and about and, most importantly, to achieve my goals.
For those who don’t know me, I am an above knee amputee with a type of amputation known as Hip disarticulation where part of the hip is also removed. I live in Melbourne, Victoria and am PDA’s Victorian Associate Director. I always been passionate about exploring the outdoors and nature and used to do a lot of hiking before my amputation.
Today I am going to tell you about my Adaptive Trike known as a Jee-Trike supplied by Living Concepts Australia and funded by the NDIS. It is built from imported parts and assembled at Melrose Wheelchairs in Oakleigh, Victoria. It has been fully customised to suit me and my needs. You can view their range of equipment at https://melrosewheelchairs.com.au/. With my Jee-Trike I can now get back to my bush exploring, but from a different point of view.
Image: My Jee-Trike
The Jee-Trike is known as an off-road, hand-powered cycle with an upright seating position and rear-wheel drive – which is a bonus as many other hand cycles are front-wheel drive which can be difficult to use with some forms of physical disabilities. It can be used by many people with different types of physical disabilities including those with quadriplegia. The Jee-Trike can be custom built to suit the user and can include options such as power assist to enable easier pedalling and brakes that can be operated by the elbow. Whilst the Jee-Trike is not suited to all physical disabilities, it can be adapted in several configurations.
There are many Hand Cycles available on the market. I chose the Jee-Trike as it was personally best suited and easy to modifiy for my needs. I have included a short video where I walk you through my custom-built option (please click on the link at the bottom of this blog to view). Special thanks to my support worker from Sonder Care Group for helping me film this video. Sonder Care Group is a support agency providing support workers to accompany you 1:1 (or other support ratios) and who make outdoor pursuits such as adventure camps, 4-wheel driving, mountain biking, snow and water activities and much more possible. With their help, choosing to attend events such as music festivals, cultural events and anything else that you might be interested in is in your control. Sonder Care Group will do their best to match you with the right support worker and the activities you like to do. Check them out at https://sondercaregroup.com.au/. It was with their help that I was able to visit and ride a section of the Great Southern Rail Trail in Gippsland Victoria – something I’d always wanted to do. We rode the section from Loch to Korumburra. I have included a slideshow of this ride at the end of this blog’s video. Most of the video was taken whilst on our most recent ride.
My support worker and I did the ride together and she had the right transport to carry the bikes.
Without the NDIS and assistance from my support worker, achieving these goals would not have been easy to achieve. I like to encourage people to get out there and explore your passions. With the right equipment, support and determination, your goals can be achieved. None of this would have been possible without the assisted technology and pushing myself. This may not be suited to everybody as each person’s needs are different. In a future blog, I will show you some of the other items that have made a huge difference to my life – including my everyday wheelchair. Watch this space.
I encourage you to subscribe to PDA’s YouTube channel whilst you’re checking out my video so that you don’t miss Part 2 of my blog and the many other exciting PDA videos in the pipeline.