Wow Disability – Whangarei, New Zealand

About – ‘Different Abilities – Equal Rights’ campaign

As disabled New Zealanders, we share a sense of equality, empathy, and compassion.

We understand that access to the basics in life as disabled people include  health, education, communication, social connection, and financial security.  These are essential keys to providing the opportunity for us to reach our potential as individuals and to enable and promote diverse communities to flourish and thrive.

Celebrating Muticultural disability diversity in the community and business in Whangarei, New Zealand, and the World. All welcome on our facebook page ‘Wow Disability.

Wow Disability is based in Whangarei, New Zealand and run by Business Crisis Support NZ. We are ‘proud to be disabled’ people offering additional support with those with a wide range of disabilities including mental health challenges.

Connecting  with individuals and communities to inform, educate, and validate disability as a human right is at the core of this campaign.  We can work collectively to rewrite rules, legislation to ensure better outcomes for all now and in the future.

The Services

Healthcare

Everyone – young and old deserves to have access to effective, compassionate care if we are ever sick, injured, or incapacitated. To do this we would need overhaul the health and disability system – including a sector in the system that consults and hears the voice of those with lived experience of  disability and mental health. Having a separate body run for and by Disabled People would be a blessing – however in many instances we cannot rule out medical specialists who may not have a disability – but certainly have the skills.  We would need to continue to debate the recommendations of the Mental Health and Addictions inquiry to gain satisfactory results before implementation,  We would need to Invest in health infrastructure but really examine the figures available and take it from there.  Free primary health care or reduced charges would help those already on receiving a low income.

Housing

Affordable housing is fundamental to our quality of life – warmth, shelter, dry, energy-efficient. All New Zealanders should have secure, warm, dry, energy-efficient housing. Therefore state housing is important. First steps – new state houses to have solar panels and internet access. Focus on increased building of state houses.

Internet Access

Access to information is a needed for employment, work, and social connection. Covering the basic cost of Internet allows access for all disabled  New Zealanders via free public access where practicable. Negotiate with internet providers for a universal package to be funded by the Government, negotiate for the provision of connectivity (free wifi) as standard in public and social housing, and for those accessing disability services and services for those over the age of 75. Work with community organisations to find free or cost effective training in the use of the internet and social media for those who are not tech savvy. Over 335,000 households do not have internet access.

Education

Resourcing,  support, and professional development for children with special needs (including the gifted and talented) needs to start at Kindergarten level and continue on into Secondary School level, and then Tertiary level.  Children with behavioural problems need to be identified and supported by working closer with families – with those families and other school teachers supporting their colleagues. Children and young people with behavioural problems need to be understood and supported – rather than punished. Autism and Aspergers Syndrome is not readily understood by many and the opportunity to work or liase with those who have this ‘gift’ should be beneficial for professional development purposes.

Income Support

Everyone needs enough to make ends meet. The process for applying for a benefit should be without complications. The transition from business owner to a WINZ benefit should be simplified – with everything under the one roof. easier, and accessible. Renegotiate some of the recommendations made by the Welfare Expert Advisory Group.  Food grants are a high priority with many beneficiaries. More money will cater better for those with specific dietary needs.

Public Transport

Public transport for the disabled living in New Zealand should be accessible and affordable. Increased access to public transport should counteract and minimise some of the impact on climate change.

Business Support

Through our sister organisation Business Crisis Support Assn NZ, we need will continue supporting business owners (including bankrupts) who have experienced business loss, significant trauma, and the impact on mental health.  We will continue our  work towards educating, teaching tolerance, acceptance, validation of those who have experienced significant trauma due to business loss and provide business advice that is going to be of real benefit to people. Business owners who have lost everything need support rather than judgement. We will continue our discussion regarding the acknowledgement of the special skills this group brings pre and post business loss. We will continue our work with the Mental Health Foundation NZ in bringing together an educational resource for anyone working with business owners who have experienced significant trauma.

Accounting – present petition – change nz accounting law

Book Keeping – continue working on Book Keeping Bill

Business Advice/Business Consultation – set in place a draft code of conduct, and some professional guidelines.

End of Life Choice Act 2019 – Referendum 

In this year’s General Election you can choose whether you support the End of Life Choice Act 2019.  The referendum question is:  Do you support the End of LIfe Choice Act 2019 coming into force?  You can choose ‘Yes. I support the End of Life Choice Act 2019 coming into force,’ or ‘No. I do not support the End of Life Choice Act 2019 coming into force.   The Act gives people with a terminal illness – that’s likely to end their life within 6 months,  the option of requesting assisted dying.

In short, we are aware that there are a number of things that can go wrong here including factors that could impact severely and disadvantage disabled and elderly people such as co-ercion.  The group Lawyers for Vulnerable New Zealanders are opposed to the Act having identified 35 flaws. Go to www.lvnz.org. for more information.

And finally, together, we share a responsibility to ensure every person with a disability or mental health challenge in our country has the same or similar chances as anyone else to fully participate in a kinder more tolerant society.

Through collective action, we can get people talking and put our message out there to communities and politicians. Having our voices heard should not take 10 years. We shouldn’t have to be swimming against the tide – simply to be heard.  Better outcomes – fairer outcomes – better treatment should not be hard to achieve.

Sign up to get involved at: fionagreen@xtra.co.nz and become part of the change.