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'International Day of People with Disability' Celebration

For Immediate Release:

'International Day of People with Disability' Celebration with the Cube Collaboration

A joint venture between nine disability service providers is using the International Day of People with Disability celebrate their close collaboration. The Cube seeks to streamline the experience of young people with disabilities looking for opportunities in Auckland. The group is hopeful that the aggregated model might be replicable across the country.

To celebrate the day and the collaboration, the Cube’s organising an ‘epic’ day of experiences across the city, from a climbing wall on the Waterfront to a ‘dance off’ and even a flashmob run around Britomart.

27 year old Jade Farrar works with the Youth Engagement Group at the heart of the new initiative.

“I believe in the abilities of young disabled people,” said Farrar. “It’s time for change and it’s time for things to be done a little differently.”

Under the existing model, numerous activities and opportunities for disabled youths operate independently without coordination or synchronized planning. The founders of the Cube say they would like to bring all the activities under one umbrella to make it easier for people.

“The vision for The Cube for me would be that a kid can just go to The Cube and it would be 100 times easier than how I had to find out about everything,” said 19 year old Josh Fuimaono.

The Cube brings together the networks and efforts of Voyager, Achilles, Unique Families, ACE, Touch Compass, Carabiner, Star Jam, PHAB and Sensational Siblings. The founders of the project hope that the fusion will make it easier for fundraising and media exposure.

Cam Calkoen from YES Disability says it’s all about increasing the efficiency of the smaller organisations.

“We are all charitable organisations,” says Calkoen. “We don’t have massive budgets for exposure, yet if we work together, surely we can start pooling resources, which, for one, will lead to increased databases.”

Jamie Masters is the Youth Engagement Group Coordinator that has been driving the formation of the ‘disability super-group’. She says the Cube expands the reach of these initiatives and allows for the disabled youth voice to be heard.

“I’m really passionate about working with youth,” said Masters. “I’m so passionate for them to have a voice and for them to have full participation and actually get where they want to be.”

Despite the opportunity to recognize people with disabilities, 24 year old Morgaina Matthias from Henderson says the label can be limiting.

“There are no disabilities; there are all abilities,” said Matthais. “People can do anything they put their minds to.”

The Cube will synchronize all nine groups with combined marketing, organised events and fundraising efforts.

According to the Disabled Persons Assembly, one in five New Zealanders lives with a disability. Calkoen says numbers like that make this a mainstream issue that affects everyone.



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