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Not abnormal or a 'poor thing', just different

When people learn that I am vision impaired, more often than not I am greeted with annoying responses. Because I have challenges doesn't mean I'm abnormal or a poor thing. Moving forward after developing a vision impairment took lots of counselling. However, it has allowed me to be independent. Dealing with feelings and learning to adapt and adjust has enriched my life. And just because my journey is different, I now have to learn how to respond to and deal with inappropriate replies.

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Kate Giles

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Importance of accessible Pap tests

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Pap tests are part of good health care for women. They can help prevent cervical cancer. Every woman who has been sexually active needs to have a Pap test every two years. But not all women with disabilities have access to regular tests. There are several reasons for this. PapScreen Victoria is aware of these problems. They have resources on their website for women with disabilities. This includes information about accessible clinics. Pap tests save lives. It is important for women to be able to have them.

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Reporting a crime

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A recent report, Beyond Doubt, said that many people with disabilities had bad experiences when reporting crimes to police. They felt the police did not treat them with respect. The report also said police worried they did not have the skills to understand different types of disabilities. The report made a number of recommendations. It recommended the police create a code of practice on how to respond to people with disabilities. The police commissioner has said he will take on board all the recommendations. The report was produced by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.

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Petitioning for Change

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Have you signed a petition lately? There seem to be a lot of them around. Many of them are about disability issues. Alexandria Lancaster wants tactile markings on banknotes for the vision impaired. Lucy Haslam wants cannabis decriminalised for medical use by the terminally ill. Petitions can be in the traditional paper form or online. Change.org and gopetition.com are online petition services. They both have Australian pages that list a number of petitions on disability issues. A petition can help get an issue into the media. Once the media is onside, change can become irresistible.

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Featured article from Lifestyle

Skiing with a vision impairment

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The Vision Impaired Blind and Everyone (VIBE) Ski club is based at Mount Baw Baw in Victoria. The club promotes opportunities for people who are blind or vision-impaired to ski. Peggy is vision-impaired and has been involved in the club for many years. Peggy skis with a sighted guide who wears a high-visibility vest. Her guide gives her verbal directions. If the weather is good and Peggy can see enough, she follows her guide. When visibility is poor, Peggy skies beside her guide and holds onto the guide's ski pole.

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