Disability Awareness: DIScover the difference you can make

Press Release – Upper Hutt City Council

The Upper Hutt City Council Community Services team are expecting a fantastic turn out at the events for their latest piece of work ‘DIScover: serving customers with disabilities’. The project was developed to encourage social change by giving staff …17 November 2011

DIScover the difference you can make

New disability awareness and training campaign to be launched by Upper Hutt City Council

Upper Hutt, Wellington NZ, 17 Nov 2011 – The Upper Hutt City Council Community Services team are expecting a fantastic turn out at the events for their latest piece of work ‘DIScover: serving customers with disabilities’. The project was developed to encourage social change by giving staff working in customer service roles guidance on how to provide excellent service to people with disabilities. “The aim of this project is to increase disability awareness, educate staff and in turn enable disabled people to participate more fully in their community” says Frances McEwen, Community Development Advisor at Upper Hutt City Council.

The official launch of the 20-page resource and accompanying training document is being held on Wednesday 23 November from 4.30 – 6.00 pm at Expressions Arts and Entertainment Centre. This will give retailers, employers, and representatives from local and central government an opportunity to obtain the resource and learn about the pilot DIScover training workshops held last month with Council facilities staff. Following this is a community ‘Give it a go!’ event at H2O Xtream on Saturday 26 November from 4.00 – 7.00 pm. This FREE opportunity for members of our community who have a disability and their family or support workers is an Upper Hutt first. The event allows those people to try out snorkelling, hydrorobics or learn about swim technique and water safety, all with qualified professionals there to assist. This event celebrates the implementation of DIScover as well as H2O Xtream achieving the SportAccess Gold Award from the Halberg Trust, which was granted in September.

DIScover is funded by the Family and Community Services—Making a Difference Fund, and the intention is that the resource and training document will be picked up by organisations, councils, and other agencies throughout the country. Miss McEwen says, “We are really excited about the possibilities of this resource. Discussion is underway around making the resource part of compulsory training for new staff working with customers in various parts of Council. Members of Community Services’ regular Disability Forum have told us that when accessing services, it isn’t always the physical barriers that are a hindrance but the attitudes and lack of knowledge from some service providers. I think this resource will be really useful to help remove these kinds of barriers. As approximately 20% of our population lives with a disability of some description, projects like this are a necessity.”

If you would like to attend either or both of the DIScover launches, please email frances.mcewen@uhcc.govt.nz

A copy of the resource can also be requested or downloaded after 23rd November from www.upperhuttcity.com/discover

About Upper Hutt City Council

Upper Hutt City Council is the steward and custodian of Upper Hutt City, providing governance, infrastructure, and community services and resources, and promoting opportunity in the city for business, recreation, lifestyle, and leisure. Upper Hutt City is located 30 km north-east of Wellington City (41°07’34” S, 175°04’06” E) and boasts 70% of the region’s parks and reserves, along with state-of-the-art entertainment and leisure facilities.

For more information on Upper Hutt City and the City Council, go to www.upperhuttcity.com

ENDS

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