Disabled told to stop having fun

By MIKARLA THURECHT

TUESDAY used to be the day for fun and music for people with disabilities at Capricornia Respite Care in Rockhampton.

For one glorious hour a week, even deaf people were able to connect with the magic of music.

But that was until a neighbour complained about the noise. Now the centre is silent, unable to play their beloved African drums for fear of them being confiscated.

Capricornia Respite Care Association manager Bridgit Loxton said she was disgusted that a neighbour, new to the area, could not tolerate the one hour of drumming a week from 10am to 11am on Tuesdays.

"They (clients) just love it. They laugh and smile. Their rhythm is amazing,'' Ms Loxton said.

Ms Loxton said the neighbour had reported the drumming to police for the past four weeks.

She said police had instructed that if they were called to the Cambridge Street address one more time, they would have to confiscate the instruments.

Ms Loxton said the drums were supplied by Curly Harris, who also volunteers his time.

"This is unbelievable. It's just one hour a week.''

Ms Loxton is having trouble finding a suitable venue with proper disability access and facilities.

About 10 people attend the sessions each Tuesday, including people with cerebral palsy, Downs Syndrome, intellectual disabilities and people who were wheelchair-bound.

Mr Harris, of Gone Tribal African Percussion, said it was a shame the sessions might have to end.

"We're having so much success. Kids that never were able to count can now count rhythms. Even a deaf girl picks up the vibe of the drum.

"I can't see how one hour is a problem.''

The neighbour in question refused to comment when contacted by The Morning Bulletin yesterday.



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