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Better wheelchair access for AK05 Disability Fest

Better wheelchair access for AK05’s Disability Festival

The Auckland Performing Arts Centre (TAPAC) is improving access for wheelchairs in preparation for AK05’s Giant Leap Disability Festival starting on 28 February.

Giant Leap Disability Festival is a world first comedy and dance event featuring New Zealand and international performers with disabilities. It forms part of the AK05 festival programme.

The Disability Festival’s creative director, Philip Patston, says TAPAC already has a wheelchair ramp around the back of the building but it is not wide enough to cope with wheelchairs going in both directions.

“We are expecting a large number of wheelchair users for the event and the existing ramp is not obvious to people approaching the building,” he says.

As a temporary solution, thanks to Western Bays Community Board, TAPAC will be able to install a wheelchair ramp at the front of the building for the duration of the festival. It is also working on a long-term solution to provide access that is more appropriate for disabled people.

“I am thrilled the local community board realises the importance of this event and has come to the party with urgent funding for the temporary ramp which will improve accessibility to the centre,’” says Chair of the Arts, Culture and Recreation Committee, Councillor Penny Sefuiva.

“I am personally looking forward to the launch of AK05 this weekend, and I strongly believe that everyone should have easy access to the performance venues,” she says.

“The more people who can enjoy these world class events, the better.”

Further information about the Giant Leap Disability Festival can be found at http://www.AK05.co.nz or http://www.giantleap.org.nz

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