Have Cane Will Travel – Disabled Travel in Australia

Award-winning comedy writer, Ian Heydon (Kingswood Country, How Green Was My Cactus, The Samuel Pepys Show, The Year My Country Broke) recently took out an unexpected award – for writing about travelling with a disability.

In 2010 Ian was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. That led to the question – what does a writer who has a disability and who loves to travel write about? The answer was pretty obvious. Because Ian uses a cane for mobility assistance, he built a website called Cane & Able Travel and that site won the inaugural Business disAbility Award for Business Innovation in 2012.

Back in 2003, Ian had a travel book on Australia published called The Small Guide to A Big Country (Explore) and he subsequently bought a travel agent’s licence (Small Guide Travel). Much of Ian’s research for that book is still valid. As Ian says, “They haven’t moved the Sydney Opera House or most of Australia’s main attractions, so all I really needed to do was update where necessary and add the accessibility and disability facility information. It’s a bonus that the Small Guide Travel consultants can assist with itinerary advice and bookings.”

When Ian travels these days he uses both a cane and a wheelchair for getting around. “Before my diagnosis with MS I guess I felt a bit of pity when I saw other people in wheelchairs. I didn’t realise that wheelchairs give a person with a disability so much freedom. Mine allows me to get around much better at airports, especially when the boarding gate can be a fair distance from check-in, and it makes art galleries, museums and theatre so much more accessible and enjoyable.”

Ian first took his wheelchair on a trip to Dubai, London and Paris in 2012. While there are websites with attractions and disability information for those destinations in the pipeline, Ian’s first priority is writing about Australia. In late 2012 he visited Cairns and road-tested attractions like Skyrail and Quicksilver’s Great Barrier Reef as well as disabled-friendly accommodation. From this came the destination specific website, Cairns Disabled Travel.

The next cab of the rank was Canberra. According to Ian, Canberra is arguably Australia’s most rewarding destination for travellers with a disability. “There are flights from all other major cities and centres, they have an excellent public transport and wheelchair-assisted taxi system and all the major attractions are accessible, with many of them free. There’s excellent accommodation, terrific restaurants and bars and so much to see and do. It really is a fabulous tourist destination. Sure, after a couple of weeks there might be some thumb twiddling but for a few days away it is fabulous.” Ian visited Canberra in 2011 and 2013 to research accessible accommodation and attractions and the Canberra Disabled Travel website is now live.

Ian has a multi-destination itinerary on the drawing board for all Australian capital cities and major regional centres so you could see him soon in your part of the country. But the Kingswood? No, he won’t be taking the Kingswood!

Tips for Kids Parties

Parties for kids have come a long way in recent times due to more options, more expense and more expectation placed on an annual event that runs for only two-three hours. Being in the children’s party industry for over fifteen years, I have seen every type of party from the informal backyard gathering to a veritable carnival with a great variety of entertainment hired.

A child’s party doesn’t require an event planner or a big budget to be successful. I have some great pointers to get the party started and the kids really enjoying themselves.

1. Stick with the familiar. Children love it when predictable elements appear, and if they are overlooked, it will not go unnoticed! Definites are: Food, birthday cake, and the all important Party Bag! If you’ve got at least these three things, you have the basics of party.

2. What games to provide. There are literally thousands of options: Party games; hire an activity or entertainer or have it somewhere that will entertain the kids for you. Rule of thumb: DON’T OVER-DO IT!

Just one or two structured games are more than enough. Remember, the kids are already being commanded to eat now, cut the cake now, watch the gifts being opened now, etc etc.. If you throw in entertainers, activities and games, children may easily be overwhelmed, and time whizzes by without the kids having time to actually play with abandonment.

3. Play time: This element should be the top party essential. Time for the kids to run around, play, laugh and talk with one another is golden. It suits children of all ages and capabilities, and what’s more , it’s free!

4. Age-appropriate entertainment. This suggestion may seem like a no-brainer, however many parties result in children being bored or bewildered. For example, hiring a magician-clown for two-year olds left most of the children terrified. Another example is a bowling party for four-year olds. The kids had no interest in being competitive and after just a few bowls, the novelty had absolutely worn off. Even Pass-the-Parcel can cause distress when played with children too young to know they haven’t missed out, they just have to wait their turn. When you are hosting a party for mixed ages and genders, there is a wide range of entertainment that appeals, such as jumping castles, face painting and balloon-twisting.

5. Try to Relax! When planning a party, listen to your child and use your instincts – you know what they’ll enjoy most. On the day have a mini run-sheet so you don’t forget anything, like when to put the party pies in the oven or to hand out the party bags.

And lastly, enjoy YOURSELF too…after all -it’s a party!

Best of luck!

Looking for face painters Bribane for face painting Brisbane ? For the best kids parties Brisbane, contact Wowee Creations today.

Moodle Learning Management System Overview

moodle-lmsMoodle is the world’s most popular learning management system. Moodle is flexible and scaleable software designed to help educators create interactive and collaborative online learning experiences. Moodle originated in Australia around a decade ago and has since been internationalised in more than 200 countries and 100 languages. The official community site has more than a million registered users.

There are numerous ways in which Moodle can be capably used. These include
staff compliance, continuing professional development, workplace assessment, the delivery of online courses and induction training. Being open source software, there is a large amount of community support toward the development of third-party plugins to extend Moodle’s core functionality.

Moodle is free without licensing costs, however, it does take a degree of technical expertise to install, configure and secure the software on a web server. Once deployed, it can be easily managed by a qualified system administrator.

Moodle’s key administrative functions include the ability to control authentication, change site appearance, assign roles and permissions, manage accounts, perform bulk user actions, automate course backups and generate various reports. Moodle enables integration with external systems, e-commerce plugins and SCORM compliance. Moodle is proactive with respect to data security and information privacy of its users, hence, patches are released on a periodic basis and there are global settings that can be configured by the system administrator.

Course creators can add online activities and resources intended for their learners. Moodle’s standard activities include assignment, forum, chat, messaging, blog, quiz and wiki. The learning sequence may be totally non-linear or controlled so learners engage with online course objects in a structured fashion. User activity and course completion tracking are tracked, moreover, assessment grades and feedback can be reported in real-time via the internet.

Moodle enables online content to be shared in numerous ways. Course participants can quickly upload existing files from their device, disk, or network. Using Moodle repositories, it is possible to import content and media from Cloud-based services such as Google Docs, YouTube, Flickr, Boxnet and Dropbox. On the same token, content can be export from Moodle to third-party services.

Assess, track and report on your learners via the web. Get started now and learn more today about Moodle Sydney, Moodle Brisbane and Moodle Melbourne providers.

 

Reflections on Life

Life – what is life! Life can be described in many ways and has many facets and interpretations. It presents us with an ongoing stream of experiences of situations, events and interactions of all kinds with other people and our environment.

It is creation in its magnificent splendour – the original bringing into existence of the universe by God.

For humans it is a journey encompassing all the seasons, colour and streams of life’s experiences.

The miracle of new life in any form of creation brings wonder and amazement as we become aware of the intrinsic formation of such an unexplainable divine plan.

For humans there are many rituals and traditions that help celebrate the different seasons and significant moments in life.

A welcoming of a new child might entail a ritual of a Christening or Blessing in the Christian tradition or perhaps a Naming Ceremony for those less religious. In other cultures and belief systems children are welcomed in a variety of ways but none-the-less mostly it is found to be a joyful celebration of the miracle of new birth.

Life can sometimes be brief – the miracle taken back from where it began just as life is beginning – the mystery of why these sad experiences happen not to be explained.

Life changes for humans as the body grows and life is experienced in new ways. Learning takes place as the brain develops and intelligence is gained and used for the betterment of human kind.

At times the human body suffers from physical limitations this being a challenge as strength of spirit and courage come to the fore.

During the seasons of life ritual is shown to be important such as times of celebration when a person reaches the age of eighteen – a time of maturity and starting out as an adult on life’s journey.

Permanency of relationships can be celebrated by the ritual of Marriage as people start a new chapter along the journey called life.

The miracle of new life can emerge again in this relationship of Marriage as a new life is created and welcomed to the world.

As the continuing seasons and cycles of life are observed, life can represent colour as of a rainbow in these seasons of new beginnings, celebrations, changes and endings.

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet – colours of the rainbow – how symbolic of life’s journey as the rainbow is composed of the entire spectrum of colour from the shortest wavelength violet to the longest wavelength red.

A closing ritual now takes place as the body has accomplished its purpose and the ending of life as humans know it is honoured and the life celebrated as the spirit travels back to the Divine from whence it came.

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This article supplied by Sandra Hill, Brisbane Wedding Celebrant. For more information about Sandra Hill, weddings, renewal of vows and naming ceremonies in Brisbane, please contact Sandra today.

Social Media for Brisbane Businesses Explained

Online social media has completely revolutionized not only the way users interact, but more importantly the way that clients interact with businesses.

With over 900 million users worldwide, Facebook alone is a huge marketing entity, with many others such as Youtube, Twitter, Google Plus and Linkedin. While we are subject to much media hype and hysteria, social media sites have fundamentally altered the way that any type of company with a public presence operates, and are now as essential to a business as an email address and a homepage.

But along with all the clear differences social media has made to marketing, it is essential to hold a realistic assessment of its capabilities and results.

Sadly, with any kind of new marketing bandwagon comes innumerable shonky or impractical companies and “social media experts” which focus on new businesses by over-hyping but under-delivering.

Many millions of dollars and an immeasurable amount of time is wasted on useless social media ventures every year. Social media is not magic. Without proper marketing and business fundamentals behind you, an online social media presence will inevitably fail and -depressingly- be a waste of time and money.

Despite creating the illusion of ’no-cost’ advertising with ‘zero’ start-up and hosting fees, social media needs a constant presence, site maintenance and fresh content to show good results, which demands valuable time spent on it that many businesses can’t spare. This is where Social Media Brisbane offers to do all the work for you, while allowing room for oversight and approval by their clients.

Examples of how companies often go wrong with social media include:

• Bad Content
Uninteresting or plagiarised items, outdated advice, and awful attempts to be groovy are common regarding what is published online. Be real: people on the internet are perceptive, and will recognise smarm and arrogance from miles away.

• Impatience
Developing a good online social network takes time and perseverance. A successful network can’t just sprout up in a jiffy, it takes time and content in order to grow. Some businesses will create a social media profile, watch their results for a short period of time and then give up with frustration when they don’t get the unrealistic results they hoped for.
This also ties into:

• Consistency
Spacing out your content regularly over a number of platforms is far better than using all of your content up at once or not updating at all. Nobody likes a spammer, but with the overload of information that we receive all the time, if there isn’t a steady reminder of your brand’s presence you will very quickly be left behind. Even only a fortnightly update will see results regarding continuing and increasing relationships with customers.

We here at Social Media Brisbane are experienced and know exactly how social media operates, and treat it as a interrelated part of your marketing strategy rather than the one and only tactic.

And most importantly, we also integrate revolutionary Search Engine Optimisation systems into our work, something no other social media group offers.

Choosing consultants who value gimmicks before content and who throw around buzzwords like “viral” or “Web 2.0” instead of giving strategy and results can only end up as an exercise in frustration.

If you are looking for a social media consultancy based in Brisbane, contact the Brisbane SEO Company today on 3166 9622.