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Ātea - Disability 101 successfully launched in community

  • Publication Date:

    27 February 2023

  • Author:

    Caitlin Dixon

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Te Pou facilitators Nigel Ngahiwi and Peter Wilson were happy to deliver their very first Ātea – Disability 101 in-person workshop at Ngati Maniapoto Marae Pact Trust in Te Kuiti on the last month.

Ngati Maniapoto provides support for disabled people. At the start of every new year, they bring their workforce together to center themselves and set aside a week for professional development.

As part of this training, Ngati Maniapoto reached out to Te Pou to offer Ātea to welfare and social workers to enhance their understanding of disability and apply that knowledge within their activities.

The Te Pou team were greeted with mihi whakatau, followed by a morning tea during when facilitators Pete and Nigel took the time to meet the participants. Following mihimihi, the 13 participants were introduced to the concepts of disability, the social model of disability, disability language and encouraged to discuss barriers and positive images of disability/accessibility/inclusion.

The second part of the day included lunch prepared by the local whānau. During the afternoon session, participants were asked to reflect on creating inclusive environments by responding to different scenarios involving disabled people. They were then asked to develop an action plan to implement within their workplace.

One group in particular decided to enhance the building’s wheelchair accessibility by adding an accessible bathroom to the top floor, while another suggested enhancing their signage to provide clear direction for all individuals visiting their offices.

The workshop was concluded by requesting feedback from participants. All were very pleased with their learnings with special mention of the social model of disability, and the golden rules for inclusive language.

“I loved the knowledge I have gained and I can't wait to see the Atea workshop facilitators again.”

“I enjoyed this training because it was not from a book, it was real.”

“Thoroughly enjoyed the facilitators sharing their lived experiences, adding that little bi
t extra to the presentations and break out activities.”

To conclude the workshop, participants were awarded a certificate of completion.

Te Pou will be providing further Ātea workshops (both online and offline) throughout the year. You can find out more about Ātea and upcoming workshops here.

Ātea workshop
Ātea workshop attendees were able to have group sessions in-person in Te Kuiti.

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