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National Disability Emergency Plan?

Autismo Girl – Earthquakes – Tsunami’s
National Disability Emergency Plan?

Kaikoura, New Zealand was struck with an earthquake with it being 7.5 on the scales at 12:03am on the 14th November. Shortly after this Wellington CBD was hit as well as reports of people feeling earthquakes right up to Auckland.

As a Autistic individual I have been wide awake ever since the earthquakes started to happen, although I am not in the effected areas but I myself kicked into gear to make sure all my families and friends were safe. I rang my mum in the early hours of the morning to check up on her as Hawkes Bay Civil Defense had issued Tsunami’s warnings at the time. My mum was safe thank goodness.

All through out the events and as they still are happening at right this instant. It has occurred to me.

New Zealand was promised and assured that we would be coming up with an emergency plan to support disabled people in New Zealand in light of the not so long ago Christchurch earthquakes. However on TV there were absolutely no New Zealand Sign Language Intrepatures. How could my Deaf peers be able to understand the nature of the events taken place in New Zealand today? Their access needs to gaining information on the emergency was not available to them. This is a total disservice to disabled people in New Zealand.

We’ve recently just signed the optional protocol on the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and yet disabled rights were violated once again in New Zealand when an emergency happened and is still continuing to happen.

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And rightly so disabled people are angry, frustrated and so many other different emotional words we could be using right now.

Why have the New Zealand government and each regional civil defense has not developed an emergency plan for supporting disabled people and making sure they get to safety.

Come on New Zealand we are better then this. Time to step up and make sure disabled rights are fully met in New Zealand, there are no excuses.

We don’t even know how many disabled people are affected by the earthquakes and are in need of urgent help?

As a nation we need to care about all people in New Zealand.

As a autistic individual, I can tell you right now, that emergencies, because of the nature of them that they are unpredictable that these lead to extremely high anxiety, leading to meltdowns and increase in behavioral issues. We need compassionate understanding during this time, we may come across as rude or argumentative but this is stemming up from our anxiety associated with the unpredictable event of an emergency. We also have an increase in heighten sensory sensitivity leading to self-injury behaviours such has self-biting and head banging.

Disabled people need support in emergences; right now it feels as though these needs are not getting met in New Zealand.

I urge all Disability Support Services, the government, to compulsory put in an Disability Emergency Plan in order to meet the disabled needs of our society.

My heart goes out to victims of the earthquake.

© Scoop Media

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