Making life in Hamilton better for those with disabilities.

Recent Candidate Meeting

I recently attended a candidate meeting focused on key issues for our citizens challenged by dbilities. We were given a questionaire to guide our answers to focused questions. But with over 30 candidates  we ran out of time. So here are my responses to the questions:

1.  How have you made your campaign accessible?

I have participated in 5 election videos to inform and encourage citizens who are deaf of hearing impaired to understand the key issues and to encourage voting. This was done in collaboration with Wordsworth and Eyefilms.

I also played a part in getting interpreters/ sign langauge specialists to attend 2 candidate meeting hosted by Tim McIndoe

I used as many media platforms as possible to reach the widest community; easy to read printed material and video. But I aslo door-knock to reach those  who cannot get to Council or candidate meetings.

2. In what way do you align yourself with the core values of Enabling Good Lives? (Values?)

Human Rights are important to me and Enabling Good Lives Waikato is a framework to achieve that for people with disabilities. Everyone deserves the chance to live quality, independent lives. I believe to make this happen requires regular in put from those who are disadvantaged and requires change and buy-in from those who are more advantaged.

3. How will you enable our community to effectively participate in the city's ongoing transformation process?

We must continue to support and resource the work of our community development team, especially our disability support advisor.

We must find new ways of communicating with the widest community, using the latest technology and getting out into the community more ( because not all people can get out to us).

I was excited to come into contact with Wordsworth and Eyefilms and be able to collaborate. it was obvious to me that we should be having more signed communication, more regularly, as other key Government Agencies do.

I'd like to hold regular forums with the disability sector, designed by them to meet their needs. Councillors must be active listeners in our community.

4. How do Councillors plan to deliver results to the issues raised by the community?

As above, regular forums will allow Council to be responsive to the needs of our citizens with disabilities. We need to work to implement on the Disability Action Plan and our Age Friendly City actions. To keep on track we must have, at least, biannual reporting,

A few of the actions support or have supported are:

Free  buses, fully accessible toilets,  footpath improvements, better lighting in public spaces, accessible disability playspaces integrated into community playgrounds and embracing customer friendly ways to make doing business with HCC easier.

I'd like to work with the new Manager of Communications to explore the best ways of communicating with our widest community. She is very good and has exciting ideas.


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