Stories

Book Review: Differently Abled - the Graeme Axford Story

Differently Abled tells the story of Graeme Axford.

Born with severe dyslexia and misunderstood throughout much of his childhood, Graeme rose above stigma and systemic exclusion to become a social worker. But after being overlooked for a job at CYF (now Oranga Tamariki) Graeme smelled a rat and decided to challenge the decision. What ensued was a long arduous, time-consuming battle.

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Teddy Bear’s Picnic – Katy’s Story

During the COVID-19 lockdown, I joined the Virtual Teddy Bear’s Picnic hosted by Marama Davidson from the Green Party. It was pitched as a children’s event but was attended solely by parents of voting age who wished to express some of their concerns in lockdown.

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Alone in Lockdown - Claire’s Story

Finding out about the COVID-19 lockdown scared me terribly because I knew I’d have to deal with it by myself. With my Asperger's I'm more capable and independent than a lot of others but I think everyone with any kind of special needs should have access to community support whenever they need it. Especially during a national state of emergency.

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Inaccessible Distance Learning - Edward’s Story

I have special needs and medical complexities including epilepsy. I love school so much. My Mummy spent a lot of time researching schools with good inclusion and low roll numbers to accommodate my immune-deficiency. I had only been at school full-time for a few months when we first heard about Coronavirus, and then I stopped school.

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Deaf Positive NZ, a Lockdown Success - Lyneen’s Story

I work in the disability and mental health sectors. I am Deaf myself and I have had an extensive career in Deaf mental health. On 23 March, when the Government announced the nationwide COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown, I knew immediately that Deaf and disabled New Zealanders would be significantly adversely impacted.

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Accessing Services Digitally a Challenge in Lockdown – Daniel’s Story

Daniel Te’o is a staff member at Blind Low Vision NZ who is blind due to Retinitis Pigmentosa, a condition which causes vision loss. Daniel is grateful to have the support he needs to carry on with his daily life, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he has serious concerns about how the move to Alert Level 3 will impact others living with an access need in our community.

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PPE becomes an Access Barrier - Angela's Story

I am a hard of hearing health professional. Like my essential service colleagues, my work continues at this challenging and unprecedented time of pandemic and lockdown.

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Exercise During Lockdown – Jill’s Story

I am confused about what I can and can’t do during the Covid-19 lockdown, particularly as a person living with disability. On the one hand, I am told to stay at home. On the other, I am told to go outside for some fresh air and exercise. I want to play my part and do both, but it is not so easy to get out of the house for those with access needs, and yet it so important for my physical and emotional wellbeing.

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Blindsided by Panic, Blessed with Time - Ite's Story

Shopping as a low vision person comes with its difficulties. I’ve had this access need all of my life and it’s allowed me to adapt and take things in my stride. However, there are still some challenges I cannot successfully navigate. The recent coronavirus pandemic that has had people flocking to the supermarkets to shop in bulk is a prominent example of that.

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Beehive Lunch Bar - Ite's Experience

I have recently started buying my lunch at the Beehive Lunch Bar located across the road from the Blind & Low Vision NZ building in Parnell. I have nominated this place for the Access Alliance People’s Choice Awards for how they have thoughtfully implemented accessibility into everyday business.

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