New Zealand Disability Strategy up for revision
The New Zealand Disability Strategy revision process is now underway with the reference group meeting just days after Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner announced the appointments to the reference group on 5 February.
The Disability Strategy was introduced in 2001 with a vision of a society that values the lives and continually enhances the full participation of disabled people. It provides a framework to guide government agencies making policy and services that impact on disabled people.
“The Disability Strategy provides a ‘big-picture’ vision for how we ensure more disabled people are supported to participate in New Zealand society,” Ms Wagner says.
The Strategy has not been revised since 2001, but Ms Wagner says “the time is right to ensure it remains fit for purpose.”
The first step in the revision process was the selection of a reference group to provide advice on the engagement process to be used, and provide advice on the content of the revised strategy.
“The reference group has been established with the diversity of New Zealand’s disability sector in mind. The reference group will help ensure the new Strategy is developed, owned and championed by all New Zealanders,” says Ms Wagner.
The reference group of 14 includes members covering the perspectives of disabled Maori, Pasifika, youth, seniors, families, service providers and experts on disability issues. The group also represents Disabled Peoples Organisations and government agencies.
People will have an opportunity to have their say on the Disability Strategy through public consultation taking place during 2016. You can find out more about the Disability Strategy and keep up-to-date with the revision process by visiting the Office for Disability Issues website.
Project Illuminate shines light on local disability service
Waikato-based organisation, the Health and Disability Expo Trust, has developed an initiative to promote people with disabilities and the local organisations that support them.
Project Illuminate involves creating a series of mini documentaries to show clients, funders, the general public and other key stakeholders what each organisation does, who they support and the difference they make to the community.
The 4-5 minute-long documentaries will focus on a client who uses the service — it will be a “slice of life” and present their perspective. Each documentary will have the same look and feel overall to ensure consistency and cohesion across the series.
Ten organisations have been selected to participate in this excited project, which is expected to be completed by June this year.
Israeli sensory rain garden an inspiration
An extraordinary sensory rain garden captured the imagination of Life Unlimited’s Barbara Harry on a recent trip to Israel to visit a rehabilitative centre for children and young adults with disabilities called ALEH.
Barbara, who is a member of the community services team and facilitates the Hamilton multi-sensory experience room, said the rain garden at ALEH Negev provides a wonderful sensory experience.
“It was encouraging to see the sensory garden using a large space with a water trough and a place to sit where the rain trickles through a slatted roof. Rain is very sensory on the skin,” she says.
‘Watch this space’ – Hamilton Life Unlimited is currently developing plans for a sensory garden! We’ll let you know more soon.