Taking from someone who needs it most

09/11/2009

A thief stole an electronic communications device from a boy who has cerebal palsy.

He is mute and the device was his only means of communication.

It must have been terrifying for the boy and the theft will make life so much more difficult for him and those who care for him.


Too poor to help

17/06/2009

One of the criticisms of right wing policies is that they place too much importance on economic growth.

The critics fail to understand that economic growth is a means not an end.

Only by growing the economy can a country afford the education, health and social services it needs.

Without economic growth a country is too poor to help those of its citizens in need, too poor for instance to provide a computer which gives a teenager with cerebal palsy a voice.

She is only able to signal yes and no using flicks of her eyes.

After 14 years without a voice a state of the art communicator, the my tobii arrived in Shenaragh’s world, a Swedish made computer which uses eye tracking technology.

. . . But the $40,000 communicator has only been on loan to Shenaragh – for a few weeks last year, in April this year, and a week now in June.

She is on a long waiting list subject to Ministry of Health funding that has recently been curbed.

$40,000 isn’t a lot of money in a health budget of billions. But when the budget isn’t big enough for the demands placed on it, $40,000 saved in one area can make a big difference in another.

The state isn’t the only avenue open for funding. There may be charitable people or organisations prepared to help, but their ability to do so is also affected by poor economic performance.


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