As the first frosts of the year hit Christchurch you will read there is nothing frozen about the flow of work in the BAIL office.

Internet use by people living with neurological conditions: A scoping study.
The first draft of the report for Internet New Zealand was sent out for comments a few weeks ago. This project has involved exploring barriers for accessing the internet for disabled people in New Zealand. Completing the project has been a very interesting journey. It has been frustrating because there is hardly any published information however this has given the team working on the project scope to use more innovative methods to find more information on the topic. A Hui in collaboration with the CDHB yielded some interesting anecdotal evidence suggesting reasons why Māori might have issues accessing the internet. In addition, various conversations with neurological groups and web designers also gave the team a few ideas. Website accessibility was one issue cited as a barrier to accessing the internet, especially for those with visual and cognitive impairments. Our next step is to polish the draft into a report, a journal article and present our findings at a local conference later in the year.

Presentation at the International Spinal Cord Society and American Spinal Injury Association
The Burwood Academy Consultation Committee (BACC) recently had the privilege of having work presented at a workshop titled “Engaging spinal cord injury (SCI) consumers across the research and clinical care spectrum”, at the International Spinal Cord Society (ISCOS) and American Spinal Injury Association’s 4th Joint Annual Scientific Meeting in Montreal, Canada in May (

ISCOS brings together leading researchers and clinicians in the field of spinal cord injury care, and the workshop discussed ways in which the engagement of consumers can be at the forefront of research and clinical practice surrounding spinal cord injury care. The BACC presentation was delivered on behalf of the committee by Kim Anderson, PhD, Associate Professor at the Department of Neurological Surgery, at the University of Miami.

Presenting at this conference was a fantastic opportunity to have our work heard by such an experienced and international audience. We hope this will raise the profile of our service and help us to build our credible reputation as a service that ensures people living with impairments are a necessary and important part of their research design process.

Johnny Bourke on National Radio
BAIL Research Scholar, Johnny Bourke recently had his earthquake focused research discussed on Radio New Zealand. He has almost completed the first stage of his PhD research and has found that the various barriers created by the 2010/11 earthquakes have increased the energy demand for people who use wheelchairs. The radio interview can be listened to or a transcript read, through our Burwood Academy website or Facebook Page.
Johnny Bourke and a research participant Marie in Christchurch's Restart Mall. Photo Courtesy RNZ

Free ebook "The Art Of Healthy Living With Physical Impairments”
The art of healthy living with physical impairments - your comprehensive lifestyle guide to health and wellness" written by Anna-Carin Lagerstrom and Kerstin Wahman and translated into English with the assistance of our own Anne Sinnott is now available as a PDF download for free. This great resource is available – just go to our Facebook Page or website (

BAIL Research Peer Group meeting 30thJuly

The next Research Peer Group meeting is Thursday 30th July 12:15-1pm in the Chapel.
We are calling this our Earthquake Special and have Johnny Bourke and Jason Nicholls presenting their current studies around EQ preparedness and emergency response for disabled people. The funders of this important work have been invited so we anticipate a great cross section of interested parties.
This promises to be another great meeting and if you are not on the regular invitation mailing list and would like to come, just let me know (

Hans Wouters – Operations Manager Burwood Academy of Independent Living.