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Everyone has a role to play to enable inclusion

8 AUGUST 2018

People with disabilities want to be treated as people first - rather than by being defined by impairment and everyone has a role to play in helping bring that to fruition. That was the message from the 2018 Social Justice Week Workshop held on Saturday 4th August at St Thomas More Parish Church in Mt. Maunganui.

“Being treated with dignity and respect as a human being should just be a given. But for many people that is not the case” said Julianne Hickey, Director of Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand.

Approximately 25% of New Zealanders have some form of impairment. When the impact on families is factored in then the effects on the country are substantial. It is disappointing therefore that people with disabilities are often overlooked or pushed to the background.

“From the stories of lived experiences, that we listened to on Saturday, it is clear that sometimes it would just take a single act of kindness to really make a difference in someone else’s life” said Mrs Hickey.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand and the Catholic Diocese of Hamilton facilitated the workshop to highlight the challenges faced by people with disabilities and to foster greater awareness and inclusion. Imagine Better, an organisation which supports people with disabilities, was also a key contributor to the workshop. It was the first of five planned workshops. The others will take place in Taupo, Hamilton, Palmerston North and Wellington during August.

The next workshop will be held on Saturday, August 11th 10am-3pm at St Patrick's Catholic Church Hall, 88 Acacia Bay Rd, Nukuhau, Taupo.
The Hamilton Workshop will be on Sunday August 12th, 11.30am-5pm, at the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church Hall, 494 Grey St, Hamilton.
The Palmerston North Workshop will be held at 10am-3pm on Saturday August 25th at the Palmerston North Diocesan Centre, 33 Amesbury St, Palmerston North.
In Wellington Caritas will be joining with the Wellington Archdiocesan JPD Commission and Catholic Social Services to facilitate a workshop at St Francis Xavier School Hall, 69 Main Rd, Tawa on Wednesday August 18th, 10am – 3pm.

Entry to the workshops is free, a koha would be appreciated, lunch is included, and all are welcome! NZSL interpreters available. Further information is available at: http://www.caritas.org.nz/social-justice-week-2018-workshops


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