Entries in Disability (2)


Swimming in the dark is no barrier for man who is blind

For many, losing their sight is the worst thing they could imagine happening to them. More than 30 years ago, this fear became reality for Melburnian, Allan Bates.

“I had an accident in my teens resulting in the loss of the left eye. I developed Sympathetic Opthalmia and my over active immune system slowly destroyed the right eye over 30 years. I am now totally blind, can't even see light and have been for about 20 years” said Mr Bates.

Instead of shying away from his vision loss, Mr Bates became more determined than ever to take on new challenges and prove to people in his life that anything is possible.

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No hug ruling must be embraced by employers

In a case workplace experts say highlights the need for employer vigilance, a disability support organisation, Distinctive Options, was found vicariously liable for sexual harassment after one of its case workers was repeatedly hugged by another. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal found the hugs bestowed on 62-year-old Colin Sammut were not jovial and supportive but "physically intimate" and "like a man hugs a woman". Mr Sammut, who made the harassment complaint after being dismissed, said he had repeatedly indicated the hugs were unwelcome because he didn't like physical intimacy. The tribunal heard this was common knowledge and he had been given the nickname "Colin who does not like to be touched" in the office. A tribunal member, Elizabeth Wentworth, found his co-worker gave him physically intimate hugs that were "more than putting an arm around his shoulder".