In September 1984 I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I was 32 and “my life ended on that day”. The next decade was spent either in a hospital, hospice, or some other disability related institution.
Due to the high cost of medication and treatment required for MS I decided to explore alternative treatments. The results of this regime of diet and exercise to rehabilitate myself and to re-teach my body to respond again became more noticeable in 1996. I was able to walk again, a wonderful gift I had given myself. There had been no progress using conventional treatments undertaken in the different disability institutions I had attended, but now I could walk!
In 2018 at the age of 66 I am alive and have a 95% capacity to walk and interact in the world. I yell a big amen.
Alternative treatments were not offered to me when I was diagnosed and I believe an accessibility act would ensure that all treatment options are explained and offered to people diagnosed with a disability.
This is my access story, it is one of many. I'm sharing it because I want a law that puts accessibility at the heart of an inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand.