Creating a vision for the transformation of disability support services in New Zealand will be a hot topic at a community-wide forum in Dunedin this month.
Led by Dunedin disability advocates Chris Ford and Margy-Jean Malcolm, the Communities of Practice workshop-forum will give disabled people, families and service providers the chance to discuss the principles of the Enabling Good Lives movement.
The concept is driven by the disability community and underpins wide-ranging discussion with the government over giving disabled people more choice and control over the services they receive and an individualised approach to funding.
The New Zealand Disability Support Network, which represents disability service providers, is sponsoring Communities of Practice workshops throughout the country.
Mr Ford said the Dunedin workshop, to be held on June 26, would be an important chance for the city’s disability community to meet Disabled Persons Assembly national president Gerri Pomeroy and Ministry of Health system transformation programme lead Sacha O’Dea, who would speak about progress on Enabling Good Lives.
Pilot trials of the concept had been held in Waikato and Christchurch, and it was being rolled out across the entire area of the Palmerston North-based MidCentral District Health Board.
Although disability communities were keen for Enabling Good Lives to be rolled out further, there were no plans to expand the rollout further until 2020, Mr Ford said.
“It is still a work in progress, but bringing in the Enabling Good Lives approach to services will mark a significant change in the lives of people with disabilities and the wider community,” he said.
It would bring greater choice, control and self-determination, more use of “natural” supports and a person-centred approach, and would focus on life outcomes and relationship building, Mr Ford said.
Ms Malcolm said Enabling Good Lives would also have implications across society, including for employers, and would encourage people to think differently.
In recent years, momentum had been building towards using the Enabling Good Lives approach, and many providers were already using its principles in their work.
“There is a lot of enthusiasm for it in Dunedin,” she said.
Mr Ford said it was up to the people in the disability community and disability support sector to seek a consensus about how to apply Enabling Good Lives principles in a local context.
“This is why we are very keen to get people to come along to the workshop and give us their thoughts on this important topic.”
People could have input into how Dunedin and wider Otago could prepare for any further rollout of Enabling Good Lives after 2020, he said.
Tuesday, June 26, 6pm-8pm
Age Concern Otago rooms, 9 the Octagon
Snacks and hot drinks available from 5.30pm
RSVP by email to EmmaTyler@cct.org.nz by Friday, June 22