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100% accessible Auckland city

29 November 2004

Celebrating the journey towards a 100% accessible Auckland city

Auckland City Council and the disability community will be celebrating the successful steps taken towards making Auckland city “100% accessible” with an event to mark International Day of Disabled Persons in Aotea Square.

The free lunchtime event will be held on Friday, 3 December between noon and 2pm.

Speakers will include Auckland City’s Partnerships Committee chairperson, John Hinchcliff, and the director for the office for disability issues, Jan Scown.

Singer and member of Auckland’s disability community Hiniwehi Mohi, jazz singer Caitlin Smith and mixed ability dance and theatre companies, Splash and Touch Compass, will perform. Stagecoach’s new Link Bus will be on hand to demonstrate the bus’s innovative mobility features.

The Disability Resource Centre will be running a stall to provide the public with general information about disability services and resources.

Auckland City’s disability advisor Minnie Baragwanath says, the aim of the day is to celebrate the partnership and achievements of Auckland City and the disability community.

“Over the last four years we have successfully implemented a range of exciting new initiatives which have helped make Auckland city more accessible to all,” she says. A disability occurs when people design a world only for their way of living without taking into account people with physical, sensory, neurological, psychiatric or intellectual impairments.

It is local governments’ role to help remove these barriers. Auckland City is known for its lead role in this area.

On 3 December 2004, Auckland City will be launching its champions network – a network of disability advocates that will work across the council to ensure disability issues remain top of mind and the actions outlined in the Auckland Disability Framework for Action are acted on.

The Auckland Disability Framework for Action, adopted in July last year, provides direction on how the council can enable and encourage disabled people’s contribution and participation in the city. The framework’s key actions include improving disabled access to facilities, events and activities, making information more accessible and involving disabled people in Auckland City projects and decision making.

Auckland City was also the first council to employ a disability advisor, in August 2001.

Since early 2001 Auckland City has been working closely with a group of people who represent the disability sector. Auckland City’s Disability Issues Advisory Group has input into council policy, planning and the design of council facilities and the city’s open spaces. Members of the group have also been involved in disability awareness training for council staff.

ENDS

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