TAD Founder George Winston AM
It all started in June 1973 when TAD founder George Winston AM, after realising the great need for technical assistance by people with disabilities, wrote a letter to the Institute of Engineers in Australia calling for help from similarly minded engineers. Eight people responded and formed the nucleus of a volunteer group that called itself “The Disabled Aid Group”.
The concept of volunteering to use one's technical skills to help people with disabilities was compelling and by early 1975 the group had experienced substantial growth.
A formal constitution was drafted on the 13th of October 1975 and presented to the first ever General Meeting of Technical Aid to the Disabled. George Winston, AM became TAD’s first co-ordinator and remained its Executive Engineer until his retirement in 1995.
TAD Volunteer Norm Evans in his home workshop
The value of the service was recognised quite early in country regions and the first branch was established in the Central Coast in 1978. Other branches soon followed including, Central West, Hunter, and Illawarra.
Similar organisations were established in other states: TADVIC in 1976, TADSA in 1978, TAD(Q) in 1979, TADWA in 1985, and also in Tasmania and the ACT.
As the TAD family grew , it soon became obvious that there was a need to acquire, organise and distribute information on equipment and technology. In response to this need the library was established and what began as the TAD News in December 1978 evolved into the quarterly TAD Journal, the first edition of which was published in Feb 1981.
Realising the role that computers would play in the lives of people with disabilities, the computer support service was established in 1992.
The organisation has gone from strength to strength and has won numerous awards both locally and nationally. In December 2003, TADNSW won the inaugural Givewell Best Practice Charity Award in recognition of its best practices in governance, transparency and accountability. In 2007, TADNSW picked up a further two awards one for the 'My First Bike' Project and another for their capital campaign "TADHouse: Reaching New Heights". Read more about TADNSW's awards.
In 2011 the board of TADNSW resolved to change the charity's name to TAD Disability Services.