International Day of Persons with Disabilities – December 3

Theme for 2015: Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities

The estimated one billion people living with disabilities worldwide face many barriers to inclusion in many key aspects of society. As a result, people with disabilities do not enjoy access to society on an equal basis with others, which includes areas of transportation, employment, and education as well as social and political participation.

The right to participate in public life is essential to create stable democracies, active citizenship and reduce inequalities in society.

By promoting empowerment, real opportunities for people are created. This enhances their own capacities and supports them in setting their own priorities. Empowerment involves investing in people – in jobs, health, nutrition, education, and social protection. When people are empowered they are better prepared to take advantage of opportunities, they become agents of change and can more readily embrace their civic responsibilities.

The sub-themes for the 2015 observance of the International Day are:

  • Making cities inclusive and accessible for all
  • Improving disability data and statistics
  • Including persons with invisible disabilities in society and development

More information about the International Day and the UN Enable programme is available at UN Enable.

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is marked around the world annually on 3 December, as perGeneral Assembly resolution 47/3 of 14 October 1992, to promote awareness and mobilize support for critical issues pertaining to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society and development.

New Zealand Carers’ Strategy Action Plan 2014 to 2018: Survey evaluating our progress

The lead agencies of the NZ Carers’ Strategy and the NZ Carers Alliance would like your feedback on the progress we are making towards the five objectives laid out in the New Zealand Carers’ Strategy Action Plan 2014 to 2018 and the difference it is making for whānau, aiga, and family carers.

Anyone who is a carer, related to a carer, or has an interest in carers’ needs is welcome to take part in this survey.

It should only take around 15 minutes to complete.

At the end of the survey, you will have an opportunity to go into a draw to win one of two $50 supermarket gift vouchers.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CSAP2015

 

Caring for the carers

Two new national services to support family carers have been launched by the Ministry of Health for delivery by not-for-profits SAMS (Standards and Monitoring Services), Parent to Parent, and Carers New Zealand.

The services, developed by carers for carers, will assist people who support people with disabilities nationwide.

SAMS’ and Parent to Parent’s Care Matters learning and wellbeing service is available online at carematters.org.nz with support from a free phone service. The website, which goes live on November 6, pulls together clear, constructive, up-to-date information to assist carers, while the learning and training will be available face-to-face and online. The resources will cater to people who have visual impairments and be accessible via online desktop and mobile devices.

The Care Matters freephone 0508 236 236,  operated by Parent to Parent,  will connect callers to its existing network of local knowledge and support, and its facilitators keen to ensure face-to-face learning opportunities relevant to local interests and needs. Many are carers who have walked in the same shoes.

Care Matters will equip carers to not just obtain information/skills that assist today and make it easier to navigate the current system, but help carers use a more flexible approach to supports and services.  Resources and face-to-face learning opportunities provide carers with the opportunity to examine possibilities, consider alternatives, be strategic, and have a say.

The freephone will also direct carers to sources of respite care at Carers NZ’s new National Relief Care Matching Service. Often family carers struggle to find relief carers so they can have time out. This service matches disabled people and family carers with relief carers in their area, online and through its 0800 777 797 number. Carers NZ has partnered with MyCare Ltd to provide free access to a national pool of relief carer profiles, connecting people with disabilities and their families with people and services whose skills match their relief care needs.

Both services are now live and can be accessed at no cost via Needs Assessment and Service Coordination services (NASCs).

SAMS

SAMS is as 35-year-old service well known in New Zealand, Australia, and North America for its pioneering work at the forefront of developing carer/family education and leadership. At grass roots level it has annual face-to-face contact with more than 700 carers in New Zealand. Information about SAMS is on sams.org.nz

Parent to Parent

Parent to Parent is a 32-year-old organisation involved with the day-to-day support of family/whanau, while also understanding and influencing current and emerging policies that impact on carers. It has 600 volunteer parents/carers providing peer support nationwide, researchers providing information, and workshops for families of people with disabilities. Information about Parent to Parent is on www.parent2parent.org.nz

Carers NZ

Carers NZ is New Zealand’s peak body supporting family carers of all ages. It acts as the ongoing Secretariat for the NZ Carers Alliance of more than 45 national not-for-profits, including SAMS and Parent to Parent. Information about Carers NZ is on  www.carers.net.nz