Opinion | 26 April 2016

Quang’s transport tips

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Disability advocate Quang Nguyen explains just how important transport is for every day life.

My name is Quang Nguyen. I was born with Cerebral Palsy. I live with my parents in Yagoona in Western Sydney. I am an extremely busy disability advocate involved with MDAA, Northcott and NSWCID.

I am very passionate about transport and travelling. I intend to open my own business in the future when the NDIS rolled out in Bankstown Area. I hope that it will be in July next year.

I will call it Quang’s Transport Training.

I hope when NDIS rolled out people will consider it as part of their options for planning their life.

The idea is to teach people with disability and their support workers how to use transport so they will have more flexibility and can find jobs.

Why transport is so important……

It is not safe to take public transport when it is late at night or in the dark. At night I don’t like to take the train because it also takes me more than ten minutes to drive home in my mobility scooter, it is hard to see where I’m going in the dark and doesn’t feel safe. So I need to take a taxi at night.

I cannot get on a bus with my mobility scooter so if I am going somewhere a long way from a train station I need to get a taxi.

In Sydney it rains a lot and it is awful if I am driving my mobility scooter and it’s pouring with rain.

Sometimes I have meetings to go to at night and I cannot change the time. Then it’s also important to be able to get a taxi home.

When I get a taxi then they can pick me up straight out the front of where I am and take me all the way home.

It is ok to get trains in the daytime, but it still sometimes takes a long time for me to drive to where I am going. Sometimes I drive for an hour in my mobility scooter to get somewhere and that is very tiring.

I would like to have a Cabcharge card, as they are much better than the vouchers. Because the Cabcharge is better than paying by cash or debit card it’s just for emergencies – like when it’s raining or the scooter has broken down or there’s a problem with the trains.

It takes a long time to get on and off the train, I have to get a ramp. It will be good to have automatic ramps in the future.

The NDIS will make my life better

The NDIS will change my life for the better. It will help me to get around. Sometimes I can’t go to meetings or do something I want to do because I cannot afford a taxi and that is the only way to get there.

I need it to keep my mobility scooter working as I use it to get absolutely everywhere.

I communicate with people by writing in the text app on my phone and showing it to people to read or by sending emails on my computer. So I need to be able to pay for these technologies. My phone is like a communication device for me.

The NDIS gives me access to transport and communication. Without them I would have to stay at home and wouldn’t be able to go anywhere.

I am trying to improve my life and the lives of other people with a disability.

In the future I would like to move out of my parent’s home. Thinking about this makes me happy, to be able to plan my life. I will need the support of the NDIS to be able to do this.

Sometimes I want to go to a particular workshop or conference or meeting and sometimes I can’t go because I can’t get there. Many places are nowhere near a train station and I cannot go on the bus. Then I would need to go in a taxi and I often can’t afford that. My mobility scooter doesn’t fit in a car so I don’t go places in a car, unless it is made to fit scooters. Sometimes train stations don’t have accessible for the wheelchair or scooter.

Everybody needs access to transport they can afford and can use. People with a disability are no different to anyone else. They just want to be able to do what they need to do, without it being a huge hassle or too expensive.


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