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CCS conference opportunity for inclusion

19 November 2004

CCS conference opportunity for inclusion

CCS, one of New Zealand’s leading providers of support and services to people with disabilities, is holding its bi-annual National Conference and AGM in Christchurch this weekend.

Disability Issues Minister Ruth Dyson will open the conference at the Christchurch Town Hall on Saturday morning.

"My aim is that people with disabilities have access to a more coordinated and integrated assessment process, no matter where they live or what their needs are. Organisations like CCS and issues raised at conferences like this assist in working towards that goal," Ruth Dyson said.

The conference includes two international presenters, Anne McDonald and Judy Van Amerongen. Anne McDonald is a disabled woman from Australia who gained a degree and wrote a book after being institutionalised for many years.

“Anne’s story of how she left the institution and developed an ordinary life challenges and inspires. She is a remarkable person with great insight into the joys, issues and challenges of living with disability,” said David Matthews, Regional Manager, Canterbury and West Coast, CCS.

Judy Van Amerongen from Nova Scotia is one of the founding parents of CAPRE (Canning Area Parents for Real Employment), a service in Canada run by people with disabilities and their families. She has been involved in parent advocacy within disability for 25 years and will be discussing this issue and the history and development of CAPRE at the conference.

The conference will also be an opportunity to launch the “CCS Report on Community Participation”. Funded by the Ministry of Social Development, the aim of the report is to develop some shared understandings of community participation and ways to support people with disabilities to take part in community life.

“This research is hugely valuable in showing us the day to day reality of the lives of people with disabilities. It is especially important at a time when the Ministry of Social Development is undertaking policy and research work that focuses on improving services for people with disabilities. This includes the Sickness and Invalids Benefit Strategy, a review of disability support services and research to quantify the costs associated with living with a disability," said Ministry of Social Development Chief Executive, Peter Hughes.

The conference has attracted 150 participants, including CCS members and consumers and their families and whanau, community development workers and governance.

“CCS’s vision is for disabled people to be full and valued participants in society and our challenge is to continually provide better outcomes for disabled people in regard to inclusion. This conference is a great occasion for disabled people to discuss as a community their own issues and opportunities,” said Viv Maidaborn, CEO of CCS.

ENDS

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