Disability news

Find out about new services, places you can find information and support, and opportunities to get involved.

The Language of Enrichment

Keri Opai

Te Reo Hāpai – The Language of Enrichment is a new Māori glossary from Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui that not only provides translations for existing words, it has also created many new words in te reo Māori for use in the mental health, addiction and disability sectors.

The glossary includes over 200 Māori words, terms and whakataukī (proverbs). It has involved over two years of consultation with people who have lived experience of mental health, addiction and disability issues, as well as practitioners, clinicians and kaupapa organisations.

Keri Opai, strategic lead for Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui, led the development of Te Reo Hāpai and says they are proud to have begun creating new language that will help increase people’s knowledge of the mental health, addiction and disability sectors.

‘Disabled’ has been translated into ‘whaikaha’ which means to have strength, to have ability, otherly abled, enabled. This word was created with the Māori disabled community, and has a deliberate emphasis on gaining strength and ability.

“The focus of Te Reo Hāpai was using language that is non-judgmental and based on the strengths and abilities of people,” says Mr Opai.

“He mana tō te kupu – words have the power to explain, express and define how we understand and experience the world. Te Reo Hāpai has been about creating language in te reo that includes a Māori worldview.”

Download Te Reo Hāpai, or order a hardcopy version, from Te Pou’s website. www.tepou.co.nz

Transforming Respite

The Ministry of Health Respite Strategy has been updated for 2017-2022.

The aim of the new strategy, Transforming Respite, is to make it easier for carers of disabled people to have a break from their caring responsibilities.

The strategy has been updated with input from the disability community. It uses the Enabling Good Lives approach for supporting disabled people and their families so they have greater choice and control about the supports they receive.

Transforming Respite outlines changes to the respite model. This includes allowing families to control their own flexible respite budget; increasing the range of respite options; providing better access to information about respite; and making the administration process easier.

Download Transforming Respite: Disability Support Services Respite Strategy 2017 -2022 from the Ministry of Health website.

Learn New Zealand Sign Language online

New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) celebrated 11 years as an official language of New Zealand on 6 April.

To recognise this milestone, Victoria University have launched a free, interactive programme so anyone can learn NZSL online.

The website teaches common vocabulary, phrases and conversations, and is organised into nine topics that span everyday situations at work, home, and in the community.

The programme utilises 660 video clips and includes fun, interactive exercises to support learning.

Visit the Learn NZSL website and start your NZSL learning journey.

NZSL video interpreting

Video Interpreting Service (VIS) is a free service for NZSL users which allows them to make phone calls or use a video interpreter over Skype.

Use VIS to:

  • Make telephone calls to anyone, anywhere
  • Book a video interpreter for an in-person meeting

The service is available Monday to Friday, from 8am to 8pm.

Life Unlimited Online Information Hub

Our Online Information Hub is a great place to get disability information on a broad range of topics, including financial support, work and study, and independent living.

New resources encourage choice

Auckland Disability Law has created a range of resources to support people with disabilities to make informed decisions so they can have more choice and control about how they live their lives.

The resources were created as part of a project Auckland Disability Law undertook in 2016 following a national supported decision making hui.

View videos and other presentations from the hui and download supported decision making resources from Auckland Disability Law.

Read the latest edition.