Riding for the Disabled Oakford stalled over funding


RDA Oakford centre manager Shirley Kortenoeven, RDA coach Paige Connally and rider Katy Hardwick with Peppe the pony.
RDA Oakford centre manager Shirley Kortenoeven, RDA coach Paige Connally and rider Katy Hardwick with Peppe the pony.

RIDING for the Disabled Association (RDA) in Oakford recently secured sponsorship to run a specialised Outcomes Tracker but still needs public donations to help buy 19 iPads to run the program.

Fundraising committee member and RDA rider Rosa-Lee Principe said assessments were currently handwritten and there was no means of creating a formal report to track the progress of participants.

Many participants were also unable to speak.

The Outcomes Tracker would enable riders across the State’s 19 RDA groups to be assessed using a 1-5 rating system, at the beginning and end of each term.

The program would then generate and recommend tailored plans if people’s skills had not improved between assessments.

Ms Principe is passionate about the RDA, reaping its benefits after a serious fall in September 2012 broke her back in three places, and left her with a shattered leg, foot and hand, a shoulder injury and a lacerated liver and kidney.

She got back on the horse last December, joining other riders at the RDA who have a range of disabilities from cerebral palsy to visual and hearing impairments or behavioural problems.

“I don’t have feeling in my right leg any more,” Ms Principe said.

“I’ve been on both sides as an able bodied rider and a rider with disability.

“I see the work and the endless hours by the volunteers; you feel so comfortable at the RDA, it’s like a family.

“It makes people so happy.

“If it wasn’t for my horses, I don’t think I’d be where I am now.”

The Oakford RDA set up a Gofundme page for the purchase of an iPad for each centre to run the program.

For more information visit www.gofundme.com/rdaoakford or donate in person by going to RDA Oakford at Lot 281 Gossage Road, Cardup WA on Mondays from 9am-pm, Wednesdays 9am-1pm, Thursdays 9am-1pm and Saturdays 8am-1.30pm.

The Tracker was piloted by the RDA in the UK three years ago and the results indicated a significant amount of positive change in individuals in all of the six assessed areas.

The program assesses communication, confidence, enjoyment, relationship, physical change and horsemanship.