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Disability Strategy given impetus

21 June 2005
Media Release

Disability Strategy given impetus

A national resource to support disabled people under the New Zealand Disability Strategy has been developed by University of Auckland staff in the Faculty of Education.

Sponsored by the Auckland Disability Providers’ Network, the resource – “Kia Rangatu: Moving forward” is being launched this Wednesday (22 June) by Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright at Government House in Auckland.

Consisting of a video, booklet and supporting material, it discusses practical ways for government, community and employer groups to put the Disability Strategy into effect. Activities range from introductory to advanced, depending on the participants’ experience in the disability sector. It covers areas such as education, employment, recreation, community inclusion and rights of the disabled. It was developed after extensive consultation, and is endorsed by the Minister for Disability Issues, Hon Ruth Dyson.

Government departments are required each year to plan how they will implement the strategy.

“This resource keeps up the impetus on the strategy and shows organisations how to bring it alive for them. It’s been made as easy as possible for people to use at staff meetings or any form of training,” says Deborah Espiner, principal lecturer in special education in the Faculty of Education who designed and wrote the package.

Judith Lunny, the co-ordinator of the Auckland Disability Providers' Network, which represents some of the major providers of services to the disabled in Auckland, says that people do not easily understand the barriers faced by the disabled, or that the disabled do not want decisions made for them by others.

“The resource represents a drive towards greater independence by disabled people. There was nothing like this to guide the community on how to make the strategy work. Everyone agreed it was needed,” she says. The ASB Trust and Southern Trust funded the project.

Launched in 2001 the New Zealand Disability Strategy is the government’s blueprint to make New Zealand a fully inclusive society.

“Kia Rangatu: Moving forward” is $100 and is available from the Auckland Disability Providers’ Network, phone /fax (09) 410 6917, email jblunny@clear.net.nz.

Ends

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