Upper Hutt: DIScover resources popular at launch events

Press Release – Upper Hutt City Council

he Upper Hutt City Council-produced document DIScover: serving customers with disabilities, proved extremely popular at the official launch held at Expressions Arts and Entertainment Centre last Wednesday 23 November.29 November 2011

DIScover resources prove popular at official launch events

The Upper Hutt City Council-produced document ‘DIScover: serving customers with disabilities’ has been officially launched to loud acclaim.

Upper Hutt, 29 Nov 2011 — The Upper Hutt City Council-produced document DIScover: serving customers with disabilities, proved extremely popular at the official launch held at Expressions Arts and Entertainment Centre last Wednesday 23 November. More than 80 people attended the launch which included a performance from Upper Hutt City Library’s Friday Fables session, a music group for people with intellectual disabilities and speeches from His Worship the Mayor Wayne Guppy and the Director of Office for Disability Issues, Dr Jan Scown.

Attendees ranged from local retailers and employers to representatives from local and central government and interested community members. More than 200 copies of the resource were taken away after the launch.

“Upper Hutt City Council has developed a resource that has the potential to be a model for other councils and organisations. The Council is leading by example. It is telling the community that it values the participation and contribution of people with disabilities as citizens of Upper Hutt. This project is inspiring businesses, services and people to change their attitudes” says Dr Scown.

Following this was a community ‘Give it a go!’ event held at H2O Xtream on Saturday 26th November. This free event celebrated the implementation of ‘DIScover’ as well as H2O Xtream achieving the SportAccess Gold Award from the Halberg Trust, which was granted in September.

The event was attended by people from all over the Wellington region. ‘Give it a go!’ provided disabled people and their family or support workers an opportunity to try out snorkelling, hydrorobics and learn about swim technique and water safety. The feedback was extremely positive, one participant said “It was an excellent event. I really enjoyed the opportunity to try some new things in a safe environment with instructors there to assist. I also really enjoyed the snorkelling and feel I have gained a lot more confidence in the water.”

The DIScover project was funded by Family and Community Services – Making a Difference Fund, and has been developed in two parts. The first is a stand-alone informative resource and the second is an optional accompanying training document. The two resources were piloted with Council facilities’ staff in October. Combined, the resources aim to increase disability awareness, educate staff and in turn enable disabled people to participate more fully in their communities.

“Our intention with DIScover is that it covered some of the basics around disability awareness and customer service. We wanted it to be a flexible document that could be implemented as part of staff training by businesses, councils or any other agency throughout the country. We believe reading it and working through the training document would be beneficial for any front line customer service staff in any industry. Council are currently in conversations with a large local business about implementing some training and have had interest from a national transport organisation” says Frances McEwen, Community Development Advisor UHCC.

Copies of the resources can be downloaded 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


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