DHBs seek input from disability community

Momenta chief executive Tania Wilson. Photo: John Borren.

People with a disability, and those that care for them or work in the sector, are being given the chance to shape the future of disability services.

The Bay of Plenty and Lakes District Health Boards want to know what they need to change to make the lives of disabled people better, but also what is already going well and what is currently missing.

Input from the survey will lead to practical actions to be included in the Waiariki Disability Action Plan, which will be completed by February 2022.

These actions will address removing barriers, providing greater access and improving the health outcomes for all people with disabilities in the Bay of Plenty, while ensuring equity to health services for everyone with disabilities.

Disability support service Momenta, representatives from the disability community and the DHBs have created the survey that covers health, access and employment.

Momenta chief executive Tania Wilson says often people from the disabled community get “over consulted” without any end result, but the DHBs have a desire to gather genuine feedback and understanding. 

“It’s a great opportunity for people to really share what their experiences are and then have that  translated into some real actions,” she says.

“It’s their voice; they are the ones that experience it. No one else, unless they've had that experience, can understand, so it's hugely important that we hear their voices.”

Paul Curry, who has years of experience finding solutions to access issues for disabled people, is one of the drivers of this project.

“We have enough strategies for the disability community,” says Paul.

“Now it’s time for a plan with clear deliverables and milestones, and that is exactly what this action plan is all about.”

At present, 27 per cent of people in the Bay of Plenty live with a disability.

“As a DHB we need to be disability confident, not only in how we provide healthcare but also in our role as an employer,” says Bay of Plenty DHB CEO Pete Chandler.

“Together with their whānau and people working in the sector, they know where the problems lie and can help us look for the solutions.”

He says the action plan will not land on a shelf. “We are out to make a real change,” says Pete.

Paul is eager for people to share their ideas and experiences.

“We've come up with the questions, but you have the answers,” he says. “Make sure you fill out the survey if you want to be heard.”

To have your say on the Waiariki Disability Action Plan visit: www.momenta.org.nz/actionplan by

Wednesday, December 1.

The survey is also available in te reo Māori, as an easy read document and in a recorded voice version.

To fill out a printed version or for braille, please email Momenta via: actionplan@momenta.org.nz or download at: www.momenta.org.nz/actionplan

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