By Catherine Trezona
As leading organisations within the disability sector, we consider it a priority to work with and support others within the sector who share our values and aspirations.
That is the foundation for our support of the Access Alliance.
We stand with the Access Alliance in its call for robust and enforceable accessibility legislation in Aotearoa. We believe all New Zealanders should be able to fully participate, engage with, work for, and use the services of our organisations irrespective of any access needs.
As organisations, we remain committed to increasing the choice and control that autistic and disabled people have over the services they receive from the organisations that support them.
Some of the ways that we work to bring that vision to life include:
• Refreshing the Disability Leadership Group, to make the voices of disabled people louder and clearer. The Disability Leadership Group, brought together by Life Unlimited, brings a valuable mix of expertise, lived experience and fresh thinking to help inform the future direction of the organisation and the services it delivers.
• Autism training, for family, whānau, carers and professionals. Gaining knowledge, understanding and strategies can make a dramatically positive difference when working with autistic people.
• Accessibility tick. Altogether Autism is a partner of Accessibility Tick, a demonstration of our commitment to the highest standards of accessibility.
• Our strategic focus comes from our autistic advisors – autistic voices lead our work through formal processes we have developed.
These initiatives and others developed around the same core principles have helped us to improve, ensuring the services we provide are better aligned with the ones that disabled people want.
We look forward to following disabled people’s lead to help us to find more innovative ways to improve services in the future too!
Note: Altogether Autism and its parent company Life Unlimited are both supporting organisations for the Access Alliance. Life Unlimited recently merged with another well-known disability provider Access Ability an off-shoot company of which, Imagine Better, is also a supporting organisation for the Access Alliance.
Written by Catherine Trezona, National Manager – Altogether Autism