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I’ve held several different roles in education and health and have supported disabled people and their whānau in a range of school settings, at home, in the community and within forensic services.
As the Disability Programme Lead and Principal Advisor (Disability) at Te Pou I am in a position where I can affect change aimed at improving the wellbeing of disabled people and their whānau. I am particularly interested in seeing better outcomes for individuals with autism, neurocognitive impairments and people who are challenging to support due to behaviour.
At the core of this is recognising peoples’ lifelong impairments, understanding how they are disabled by systems and society, and advocating for the realisation of everyone’s fundamental human rights.
It is critical that our disability workforce has the knowledge and skill to support all people through person-centred, strength-based practices. We also have an obligation to address barriers and habits which inhibit peoples’ full participation in society and to support everyone to achieve their vision of a good life.
More broadly, we also have a duty to better understand disability across the community. This extends to recognising the impact disability can have on the mental health of individuals, how the wellbeing of whānau is affected, and the responsibilities we all share regardless of our sector, organisation or role.