Assistive Technology Supports Paralympian, Sarah, to Live Life 

Sarah Vinci (28) is excited. She just opened the email confirming her new titanium basketball wheelchair, through her NDIS Plan, is due to arrive any day. Now the most senior member of the Australian Gliders, and Paralympian, this is great news.

Sarah played several sports when she was young, but in 1998 when a friend from the Spina Bifida Association encouraged her parents to bring her down to the local courts to try out for basketball, an eight-year-old Sarah knew this was exactly what she wanted to do.

In 2006 Sarah became a junior member of the Australian Gliders, and the Team won silver at the 2012 London Paralympics. Sarah says this is her greatest achievement to date, “I had minutes on the court, or skin in every game. It’s been a while, but I definitely think I scored a few goals too”.

When the NDIS rolled out in the Cockburn area Sarah was ready for a change of provider. The NDIA Planner referred her to the Independent Living Centre WA (ILC), and as Sarah said, “I called ILC up, Rachel was the first occupational therapist who came out, and I’ve never looked back. Every OT who’s worked with me has been amazing. The OT’s threw ideas at me I’d never even imagined or thought of, it’s been great”.

Working with ILC ‘s occupational therapists, Sarah has been able to get the assistive technology she requires to live with confidence in her home and play the sport she loves.

The Australian Gliders head to Thailand this November for the Asia Oceania Championships, and the lighter wheelchair will make a world of difference. “Every bit of equipment I have is valuable, because it helps me live my life, but I love my basketball wheelchair. My future goal is the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, so fingers crossed we qualify.” Here’s hoping Sarah and the Gliders make Tokyo too.

The ILC has been the leading centre of excellence for providing information, advice and expertise about assistive technology for 40 years. In 2020 the ILC will change its name. The organisation’s experienced team will continue to provide tailored allied health and assistive technology solutions to enable greater independence; the difference will be even better support for customers.

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