Our three-day event commences 2pm Friday 7 October, and goes through to approximately 2pm Sunday 9 October.
Our theme for this year is “My Life, My Choice – Self Determination Starts with Us”. It is a reminder that to us the term self-determination means taking charge of our own lives as disabled people, speaking for ourselves individually and collectively.
Business sessions comprising our annual general meeting are held over Friday and Sunday. During the open day on Saturday, there will be a full presentation from Judge Boshier. He is relatively new in his position as Chief Ombudsman, but he is most well-known for his previous role as head of the Family Court. The Office of the Ombudsman has been taking a little more interest lately in disability issues, so with his legal background, it will be interesting to hear what Judge Boshier has to say about the issues facing disabled people in New Zealand.
We will also have presentations on what the Government is doing in the areas of accessible public buildings and accessible information. These directly relate to two actions in the Government’s disability action plan and of course they are very relevant to blind and vision impaired people. There will be plenty of time for questions and discussions.
We will be exploring what it means to be a Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO) and how we can best use our limited resources to be a more effective voice that is driven directly by disabled people at street level. To get to grips with this issue, we will have short presentations from people from a range of disability organisations, including DPOs. We will have presenters from our own organization Blind Citizens NZ, Kapo Maori Aotearoa, Deaf Aotearoa, the Blind Foundation, CCS Disability Action, and people closely involved with the Enabling Good Lives Leadership Project. This will be followed by a panel discussion in which presenters will respond to questions and comments from people in the audience.
We expect this will be an interesting and perhaps provocative discussion at times, but we think it is critically important at this time.
If you can’t be with us in person, our entire proceedings will be streamed courtesy of Jonathan Mosen and Mushroom FM Extra. You can find the links to listen at the following site http://www.MushroomFm.com/extra.
You can also check out our programme to see what is happening and when.