On Thursday 30th August, Inclusive NZ and The Blind Foundation partnered up for a Mid Central Hui. It was a great gathering allowing us to openly discuss Mana Whaikaha and moving forward together. There were many hot topics and key discussion points which Jelena from The Blind foundation kindly noted down for us all.
What does having a good life mean for me, my community and my world?
Mana Whaikaha is the new name for the Disability Support System Transformation
- It’s about social inclusion
- It’s about dignity in our communities
- We’re not simply one thing or another
- We’ve got a long way to go in terms of resources – funding and training to make information, environments and communities accessible.
- Not being defined by being disabled –
- Not being anxious or scared to speak to because our voices will be heard.
- Removing the fear that disabled can’t be ability
Table Discussion points
- Being understood
- World being acceptable and accessible in all ways E.g. being able to walk down the road with your cane, not being the last to hear something because you’re deaf
- People understanding the impact of multiple disabilities
- Life without limits
- Choice and control
- Sense of security
- Support networks
- Being included – participation
- No labels – they’re for jars only!
- Access to information
- Resources for the impaired
- The physical environment
- Access to Arts
- Things outside the disability sector
- Mainstream services where appropriate, and tailored when not appropriate
- Good distribution of income and work
- Disability sector starting on the journey to social change
- Being accepted is not enough, we have to be fine by everything that we are
- We see our own community differently depending on what we are
- No judgement
- Not being lumped into one group or another
- Focus on the strengths – not deficits
- Consider benefits rather than costs
- Equal opportunity
- Getting rid of the word disabled
- Accessible information and environments
- Living and belonging as a citizens
- Not having to actively, every day, fight against ableism
- Being seen as equals – no more or less than any other New Zealander
- We need to do away with the perception of need and risk
- Not having to fight a constant policy and legislation battle – All of the policy and legislation is a constant battle because the strengths we have are nor recognised, and they see us as deficient
- See the interdependence and abilities as a strength
- No one is an island – everyone wants to be included
- We all contribute differently everyday – we shouldn’t compare contributions in terms of economic value only
- Accentuate the ‘able’
- As providers and people with family members
- It takes a village to raise a child – parents are not alone, they are not expected to be everything
- One organisation can’t and shouldn’t do it all
- We can impart knowledge and resources
- Children treated as normal
- Social inclusion for everyone along the spectrum
What might we do together, as organisations and consumers, to ensure choice, control and a good life for people with disabilities in MidCentral?
- This is about informed decision making. We’ve opened up the window for collaborative, transparent conversations that we can all set out to have the impact.
- Build on the relationships to make impact.
- Start of something really positive in terms of networking and the potential to continue these conversations by phone, in person
- Potentially have an umbrella under which organisations and individuals become hooked in together so we can more easily understand how the pieces of the puzzle fit together
- Important for us all to fit together comfortably under this umbrella
- All of this to be a coalition with a unified powerful voice that has Mid Central at its core
- Education, Education, Education
- Get buy in from all families
- Changing a negative focus to a positive focus
- National bodies are overarching and then it becomes splintered – take it back to village concept
- Encourage local places – hospitals, community centres, education centres, to get on board
- Providers should be able to express what they’re good at, so they can communicate this to their consumers
- Some providers get what mana whaikaha means, others don’t
- Providers need to be enablers, not disablers, know what we’re good at, how to price it, and then know how to do it
- We did a lot of conversation around the availability of good information. It’s within the provider’s power to present good information. This is a first step in bringing together providers and DPOs to help the connectors make the connections.
- We see our role as informing the connectors, who will be key to making the connection and service. Today is a first step
- There are 2000 people with disabilities that will need the right information to get the services they need. Today is a first step.
- Providers aren’t sure what to offer and how to price it. Consumers are not being asked what they would pay for. Missing information at both ends of the transaction. If providers don’t know what they might have that disabled people might value, then they can’t price and communicate that to consumers. No one is telling the thousands of disabled people what they might be entitled to. All providers need to go home and say “What do we have that disabled people need and want to pay for?”
- Saddened by the lack of knowledge around Mana Whaikaha. There have been various groups over the last 18 months, they thought they got the information out there. From 1 October there are about 2000 people who from 1 October, will be given an opportunity to speak with the connector and navigators to say what they need and how they want to get it. I will send as much information as I can. We need more information.
- Providers need to go home and shift and change how they present as being of service. It’s about what you’re good at, how you can price it, and how to communicate this.
- Name came from Mana Whaikaha – name came from someone who is disabled. Tangata Whaikaha – an enabling word that picks up the abilities that a person has – it comes from a positive approach. The more we know about each other, the better we are able to find what we need. I came to get a sense of where we are in the disability sector. This gives us an idea of what is happening for the betterment for us all. I am encouraged by the conversation that has come back.
We would like to thank those who attended the Hui and hope you enjoyed the opportunity. We will be planning more events like this in the very near future, so stay tuned.