Disability Pride Week

This year, Disability Pride Week has the theme of “setting the agenda”, with the aim of influencing the Government’s plans for rebuilding after Covid-19 and making sure accessibility is an election issue.

See Disability Pride Week for more information. 

Disability Pride Week webinar

Join a panel of New Zealand disabled artists and activists for an online discussion of the movie, Crip Camp – A Disability Revolution on Wednesday 16 September at 7.30pm.

Crip Camp is a documentary about young people with disabilities who get to know each other at Jened, a New York summer camp, which, in the 1960s, is led by people with disabilities and hippies. They form friendships and relationships, and go on to lead protest action in the US that eventually succeeds in getting disability and human rights law passed.

Watch Crip Camp on YouTube for free and in your own time, then join us for the panel discussion. The panellists are:

  • Pelenakeke Brown - international interdisciplinary dancer and choreographer and now with Touch Compass Dance Company
  • Áine Kelly-Costello – freelance writer, and disability and climate justice campaigner
  • Kera Sherwood-O’Reagan – Kai Tahu, founded Fibromyalgia Aotearoa NZ, leads Activate.Impact to co-create community-led stories and campaigns for social change
  • Jason Boberg – co-founder and creative director of Activate, a disabled and indigenous social impact agency specialising in campaigning and narratives for social change.

MC for the panel is disability studies scholar and researcher, Russell Vickery.

Accessibility law gets green light in New Zealand

Accessibility legislation in New Zealand has taken a huge step forward with cross-party support and a confirmed pathway through Cabinet, which is welcomed by the Equity Office ­–­ Te Ara Tautika.

On 28 July, the Cabinet Social Wellbeing Committee agreed to push ahead with drafting an accessibility legislative framework from now until May next year.

 “This is a significant achievement towards accessibility legislation in New Zealand,” Student Disability Services manager Mark Thomson says.

Read about Accessibility legal milestone celebrated.

University supports disabled students into work

Under-employment is a significant issue for the disability community. The University of Auckland has a partnership agreement with Workbridge, a specialist employment provider. On Thursdays Workbridge employment consultant Tony Schwalger works at the University to support students and alumni into meaningful work. Read about Workbridge at the University.

Support for staff and students with disabilities during Covid-19

In response to Covid-19, the University updated its staff and student wellbeing web pages, with resources and links to forms of support. In addition, students received counselling by phone or online from Student Health and Counselling Services, mental  wellbeing support from Student Disability Services in the Equity Office – Te Ara Tautika and individual support from campus care case managers in Campus Life.

Mental health and sign language activities coming up

Hard on the heels of Disability Pride Week come Mental Health Awareness Week and New Zealand Sign Language Week, both 21 to 27 September.  There will be activities and resources for staff and students, online and on campus. Keep an eye out on the website for details.

Policies and other forms of support

The University has policies and resources that ensure staff and students with disabilities and impairments, both visible and invisible, can access support.

If you would like to learn about forms of support, a useful first step is identifying you have a disability on your personal profile.