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Disability Action Accesses New Building


2 July 2008


CCS Disability Action Accesses New Building in Christchurch

Disability Issues Minister Ruth Dyson will unveil CCS Disability Action’s new Christchurch building on Friday 4 July at 3pm.

The new building at Lichfield Street is far more disability-friendly than the previous branch office.

"A big part of our work is championing accessibility and we can hardly do that if the place we’re working from is not a good example," says Regional Manager David Matthews.

Most handles, switches and fittings are easy to reach, and doors are either automatic or pushed open with little effort.  It also includes a state of the art lift funded through the Canterbury Community Trust.

The changes will make life easier for service users and for several staff members who have disabilities.

The new building replaces the current office base at Kilmarnock Street which had been home for over 40 years.

“The old place served us well but we needed a more efficient building that reflects the way we work now.  Lichfield Street is a great location; it will enable us to support more people in our community,” adds David.

The Lion Foundation has made a substantial grant to assist with the purchase of the building and continues to be the principal supporter of CCS Disability Action Canterbury & West Coast.

Staff member Matthew Whiting says he’s enjoying the new building.

"As a wheelchair user, it is great to be in a purpose-built space and have the freedom we need to move around."

"As we’ve expanded as an organisation the old building has tried to grow with us, but it just wasn’t designed to include all people," says Matthew.

The opening of the Lichfield Street building coincides with CCS Disability Action’s Awareness Week that focuses on removing barriers. 

Whether it’s gaining Early Family Support for disabled children, improved access to all buildings and forms of communication or having the choice of where to live, CCS Disability Action removes barriers to make sure that disabled people are part of their community.

David Matthews says the Awareness Week and change of building are part of a shift towards making disabled people more visible in their communities.

"Disabled people want to be out in the world, have jobs, join clubs and be involved in the community.  We hope that this new building will help CCS Disability Action remove even more barriers for the people we work with,” adds David.

CCS Disability Action Board President Wendy Coutts, CEO Viv Maidaborn, and Regional Manager David Matthews will speak at the event.

Don Judkins from the Lion Foundation will also speak at the opening.

CCS Disability Action Background Information

CCS Disability Action, formally the New Zealand Crippled Children Society, provides services and support for all disabled people – regardless of age or disability. It works at the forefront of social change to ensure the rights of disabled people are acknowledged and that disabled people are included in all aspects of life.

CCS Disability Action works in partnership with disabled people, their families, and whanau to ensure equality of opportunity, quality of life, and by helping to create environments of inclusion. New Zealand is made up of disabled people, their families, and whanau; CCS Disability Action aims to assist all people who face barriers on the basis of disability.

CCS Disability Action operates with a National Office and regional management structure, providing services nationally from 16 incorporated societies.  We deliver regular services accessible to all people with disabilities, making us one of the largest disability support service providers in New Zealand.  CCS Disability Action works closely with other disability agencies to make the best use of shared knowledge and resources, helping us to adopt best practice across the sector.  CCS Disability Action also works with government to make sure that those with disabilities have the same rights to relationships, learning, work, recreation and community as everyone else.

Our foundation statement, Te Hunga Haua Mauri Mo Nga Tangata Katoa, forms the basis of our identity. It reminds us that all people have mauri, life force, and that all life force is equal. Our vision is to build a truly inclusive New Zealand; a country that embraces diversity.


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