by Sandy Masayko, Director of Assistive Technology
When you think of Australia, what comes to mind? Kangaroos, perhaps? Or koalas, crocodiles or the Great Barrier Reef? Probably Assistive Technology wasn’t at the top of the list, but I am about to travel to Australia to explore how the Aussies are using and developing AT to serve people with disabilities in their country.
This afternoon I am setting out for Sydney, Australia, on the first part of my study tour of three Easter Seals affiliates in Australia. In the fall I was delighted to be selected by the National Office of Easter Seals to visit Ability First Australia agencies: Northcott in Sydney; Rocky Bay and Ability Centre in Perth. My goals are to learn how AT is delivered in Australia, to investigate new technologies, and to share information about our programs at Easter Seals of SEPA. And to enjoy Australia!
With about 20 hours of flying time and additional time for layovers and transportation to and from the airport, this will be a very long trip from Philly. First I fly to Los Angeles, and then after a three-hour layover, I will board a plane for Sydney, a 14 hour flight that involves crossing the International Date Line. I will be arriving in Sydney 8:45 am on Friday, February 10. My strategy for adapting to the time change is to stay awake as long as I can on the flight out of Los Angeles by reading and watching films, then pull my sleep mask over my eyes to catch a few hours of sleep. When I wake up, it should be about time to land in Sydney.
Over the next three weeks I will share my journey with you by blogging at our Easter Seals of Southeastern PA website. I look forward to your comments and questions.