ODI Newsletter - August 2018

Bringing you news from the Office for Disability Issues and around the disability sector

In this issue:

Message from Brian Coffey, Director of the Office for Disability Issues

NZSL Board appointments

Stakeholder survey results "here's what you said, here's what we are doing"

The 2019 Be.Leadership programme applications are now open

System Transformation Update

Children and Families Research Fund open

Meet the Team: Karen Heine - Senior Advisor and Suzie Linton - Senior Communications Advisor

Message from Brian Coffey, Director of the Office for Disability Issues 

Brian Coffey

Brian Coffey


Kia ora koutou

Kia koutou

The Office for Disability Issues remains very busy working across government, with disabled people, and responding to growing demand for disability perspective on a broad range of policy issues, even where the issues are not disability specific.

Disabled people have been involved in providing advice to Government agencies on key work programmes. I recently attended a summit on the review of NCEA, as part of an effort to increase the involvement of disabled people, and witnessed the impact the views of disabled young people had on the proceedings. See the full story at www.odi.govt.nz/whats-happening/NCEA-Review/   

A highlight over recent months was attending the Conference of State Parties at the United Nations (UN) in New York, with the Minister for Disability Issues, Disabled People's Organisations representatives and Paula Tesoriero NZ's Human Rights Commissioner. Read the full article at www.odi.govt.nz/whats-happening/the-conference-of-state-parties/   

Yaniv Janson's art exhibition at the UN

 Image: Yaniv Janson and the Minister at the art exhibition

The next six months will be important and busy for ODI.

The ODI has co-ordinated, across Government, the draft report in response to 100 issues raised by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Read the full process at www.odi.govt.nz/whats-happening/list-of-100-issues/

The current Disability Action Plan (2014-2018) is due for renewal. Read more at www.odi.govt.nz/whats-happening/renewal-of-the-disability-action-plan/

Further work is required developing how we might measure indicators to demonstrate that the Disability Strategy is achieving improved outcomes for disabled people.

The New Zealand Sign Language Board will be presenting a Strategic Plan for maintaining and promoting New Zealand Sign Language to the Minister.

This is but part of the current work programme that the ODI is progressing at present. I thank you all for your collaboration and cooperation and look further to developing this work over the exciting period ahead.

Nga mihi,

Brian Coffey

NZSL Board appointments    NZSL Board logo

The ODI is pleased to welcome three new appointments to the NZSL Board, along with two existing members who have been reappointed.

The five appointments made in this round are effective from 1 August. There will be another opportunity for people to put themselves forward for six board positions in 2019.

These appointments have been made following a well-publicised appointments and selection process, resulting in recommendations for appointment that received final approval by the Minister for Disability Issues.

See full details at www.odi.govt.nz/nzsl/news/new-members-appointed-nzsl-board/ .

Stakeholder survey results "here's what you said, here's what we are doing"

Thank you to everyone who responded to the Office for Disability Issues Stakeholder Survey 2018.

The results were overwhelmingly positive and we were grateful for your comments about where we could make improvements. For example, publishing more guidance to other agencies, providing more information about our role and the work we do and engaging more in person and in different areas of New Zealand.

In response to these comments, we will be looking into new ways to communicate, such as videos, and provide more updates on our role and the work we do. We will also be looking at opportunities to talk to more people outside of Wellington and to introduce you to the team. If you have any ideas about how we can improve our work, please get in touch."

Read the results at www.odi.govt.nz/whats-happening/odi-stakeholder-survey .

The 2019 Be.Leadership programme applications are now open

Be.Leadership grows a dynamic community of leaders who are passionate about accessibility, with the courage to host new conversations.

Set over 10 months, the Be.Leadership programme takes participants through a year of exploration of different perspectives, questioning, self-discovery and accessibility-focused leadership. At the end of the year, they will be connected with a growing community of leaders throughout New Zealand.

The programme nurtures leadership attributes and behaviours. Generosity, trust, authenticity and willingness to engage creates the environment for deep conversations and critical thinking.

Contact Hannah, the Be.Leadership Programme Manager, on 09-309 8966 to find out more about the programme or to sponsor a programme participant. See http://bit.ly/2019BeLeadership . Applications close on 31 October 2018.

"For the first time in my life I felt good about being a person with a disability and what I had to contribute to the world." – Erin Gough, 2011 Be.Leadership Alumnus.  

Be.Leadership logo with Erin Gough

Image: The Be.Leadership logo with Erin Gough

Further information is available at www.odi.govt.nz/whats-happening/the-2019-be-leadership-programme-applications-now-open/

System Transformation Update

The highlight for the System Transformation team has been the appointment of two new Directors as work continues to be ready to launch the new disability support system in MidCentral on 1 October.

Lorna Sullivan is the Director of the Disabled People and Whānau Supporting team and is well known in the disability sector. Lorna was the chair of the working group that developed the Enabling Good Lives vision and principles, and has spent the last five years leading change within Uniting Care Queensland.

Marshall Te Tau and Lorna Sullivan

Image: Marshall Te Tau and Lorna Sullivan

Marshall Te Tau will be the Director of the System Enabling team. He has been involved in the disability sector for many years, having held a number of roles with providers. He was a member of the MidCentral Regional Leadership group and has been leading many conversations regarding the readiness of the sector to support this change.

There has also been recruiting for all other roles and interviewing for Connectors/Kaitūhono, who will be allies for disabled people and whānau.

Getting the right people for the two teams is a critical part of being able to deliver a transformed disability support system that gives people more flexible support options and greater decision making over their support and their lives.

Further information is available at www.odi.govt.nz/whats-happening/system-transformation-monthly-update-july-2018/

Children and Families Research Fund open

Children and families fund banner

Image: The Children and Families Research Fund

The Office for Disability Issues has frequently been reminded of the need for more disability related research. Here is an opportunity for researchers to apply for funding from the Children and Families fund.

The Office for Disability Issues is encouraging suitable applications to the Ministry of Social Development's Children and Families Research Fund, for research projects on policy-relevant social issues and opportunities.

Each year the Government awards $750,000 in research funding to support further analysis of information from the Growing Up in New Zealand longitudinal study. The research fund supports a deeper investigation of the data collected by Growing Up in New Zealand, maximising the value of the Government's investment in New Zealand's largest child development study.

Applications for funding must be received by the Ministry of Social Development by Friday 31 August 2018.

See www.odi.govt.nz/whats-happening/children-and-families-research-fund-open-what-about-a-disability-perspective/ for further details.

Meet the Team: Karen Heine - Senior Advisor and Suzie Linton - Senior Communications Advisor

The ODI is pleased to welcome two new staff members to our team of eight:

Karen Heine

Karen Heine

Karen Heine, Senior Advisor, is excited to combine her education with her interests in this role. She has a background in law and a keen interest in disability and legal issues. Karen has also worked in disability research and advocacy, and as a community support worker with people with disabilities. She is approachable, enthusiastic, and passionate about her work.

Suzie Linton

Suzie Linton

Suzie Linton, Senior Communications Advisor, will be using her communications experience to support the team to engage with stakeholders. Suzie has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from Massey University, with experience delivering communications for people with disabilities using a wide-range of channels and formats. Suzie has lived experience of disability and has also worked in client-facing roles in the disability sector.

You can contact Karen, Suzie or any other member of the ODI team by emailing Office_for_Disability_Issues_Team@msd.govt.nz

You can find out more about the ODI team's roles and responsibilities at http://www.odi.govt.nz/about-us/home/

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