Not everyone goes home after a day’s work knowing they are making a positive difference to someone else’s life, but the dedicated team at TADWA (Technology Assisting Disability WA) on Collier Road, Bassendean have grasped it and they know how lucky they are.
TADWA, an engineering manufacturer and computer software servicing company, celebrates its 30th Anniversary in 2014 but their enthusiasm for best practice has not dulled in all that time and this year won the Environmental category in the 2014 CEBA Small Business Awards for their all-round initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint.
TADWA personnel are masters at adapting and re-engineering products to aid specific needs for their clients. On a recent tour of the factory I was shown original designs created on the premises that are being copied nationally. TADWA have used those skills to build up their environmental credentials and have installed a lot of solar panels which reduces their power bills, but more interesting they’ve tackled computer afterlife. Hundreds of computers are received every year and they are stripped down to the myriad components. Those not reused are packed and freighted to South Australia. Surprisingly, the recycling and take-back programs in WA are not able to handle the volume of material processed at TADWA. This drastically reduces the amount going to landfill.
TADWA is a not-for-profit organisation which had its humble beginnings with some imaginative Telstra personnel who used their skills to adapt telephones to assist people with hearing and mobility challenges. Little did they know then, that 30 years on, and with over 40 employees based in three separate locations (Bunbury, Morley and Bassendean), their inspired work would lead to customising the full spectrum of gadgets, appliances, machines and tools which perform the most important role of helping daily lives all over the state.
Where an “off-the-shelf” product for a person with a disability or an older person, often does not meet the individual requirements, through the ingenuity of TADWA, people are enabled to live independent and self-assured lives. Those activities, so often taken for granted, like being able to cycle a bike, feel the sand on the beach between your toes, to loading shopping into a car, can all be achieved.
TADWA is also there to keep their clients in communication with the world. They offer computer training from introductory to more advanced level, allowing their customers to use computers for entertainment, communication, banking and shopping. The TADWA Computer Service team assembles computer systems to individual requirements and operates a helpdesk 5 days a week where technical problems can be fixed remotely. Alternatively, they can send their roving service vehicle to visit clients in their home.
There isn’t much that the skilful people at TADWA will not tackle and as they plan for the future they are looking to expand operations to meet the constant increase in demand.