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Introducing Icebreaker
Written by Mackenzie Kench

The summer holidays used to mean the opportunity for students to leave the past school year behind and start the new year afresh. This was particularly important for students who had experienced bullying from classmates. However, now, social media means that students can still be bullied once they leave the school grounds. The Yes Disability Resource Centre has recognised that bullying is an issue for many people, whether or not they have a disability. It is also recognised that bullying occurs in workplace and schools alike.

For this reason, the team at the Yes Disability Resource Centre has developed IceBreaker, a programme educating different groups of people on bullying and what they can do about it. IceBreaker offers three different workshops for young people, caregivers and businesses. The workshops involves young people speaking about their own experiences of bullying and how they dealt with their situations.

The purpose of past victims of bullying speaking to young people and workers about bullying is to share this powerful but simple message, “You are not alone. You can get through this. We did. Here’s some tools.” It is hoped that people are inspired to take control over their situation and seek the help they need to end their bullying situation.

Many young people confide in their parents or another trusted adult. However, this does mean that adults have the tools to be able to help the person being bullied. This is why IceBreaker runs a separate workshop for caregivers and other trusted adults, with the aim of providing them with the tools and the confidence to assist in a situation of bullying.

So if you or someone who you know needs help with bullying, please enquire about IceBreaker's upcoming workshops please email jamiem@yesdisability.org.nz


Considerate and Courteous Car parking on the North Shore
Written by Mackenzie Kench

Misuse of accessible parking is once again a hot topic in the press on talkback and here at the YES Disability Resource Centre, we have been inundated with questions and requests for comments, so in our article this month I will share our thoughts and what we know.

CCS Disability Action monitored who used 360 accessible car parks around New Zealand. It was found that 31% of the people, who parked in these car parks, did not have the CCS Disability Parking Permit, meaning they were illegally parked in these spaces. Furthermore, in a related interview, 74 people, roughly 17% of all the interviewees, admitted to parking in an accessible car park, when they should not have been parked there.

While the results have slightly improved from a decade ago, where 35% of people illegally parked in accessible spaces, Yes Disability Resource Centre's Chief Executive Sonia Thursby  says "towing-away deals with the long-term parking but not those who are only there five or 10 minutes," which make up the majority of offenders. Although offenders can be hit with a $150 fine, these fines are issued sporadically as it is currently dependent on the police and parking wardens being made aware of the situation. Subsequently, Sonia Thursby is currently investigating whether technology could be more effective in enforcing the appropriate use of accessible car parks.

On the other hand, it is important to remember that those who have a permit should always comply with the terms and conditions of having one. For example, those with a permit may not use an accessible car park if they, personally, are not going to exit their vehicle.

The truth of the matter is while it is easy to blame those who park in an accessible car park, without having a permit, as the people creating the problem, doing so is not going to resolve the ongoing issue. Instead, everybody needs to be accountable for the correct and appropriate use of accessible car parks, whether they have a permit or not.


One in 100 Jobs
Written by Mackenzie Kench

Getting your first job, for any young person, can be a momentous task. Having a disability only increases the challenge. To assist young jobseekers with disabilities, the Yes Disability Resource Centre offers the 100 Jobs initiative.

The initiative aims to match people with employment or work experience within the Yes Disability Resource Centre or wider community. Hopefully, this will lead into a lifetime of employment opportunities for these young people, including Racheal Carter, who kindly agreed to share her story of being one in 100 Jobs:

"My name is Racheal and I have a disability which affects my legs and means that I am wheelchair bound. I left school at 15 due to major difficulties with the schooling system, then I went to the University of Auckland to get my high school equivalent and have since gone on to finish a degree in psychology. My degree was done mostly through the open polytechnic and therefore I’ve spent the last 3 years studying from home. This has resulted in being unable to get out and experience what the world and the community has to offer, as well as a lack in socialisation.

I am now doing work experience for Yes Disability Resource Centre where I hope to help make a program which will enable others get their licence and learn how to drive, therefore greatly improving their independence and self-confidence. Since doing work experience for Yes Disability Resource Centre, I have been able to do things I would never have considered possible in the past. I’ve also met many amazing people and am feeling more confident than ever about my future and going on to do work within the Mental Health sector."

Just from reading Racheal's words, her increase in confidence, gained from participating in the 100 Jobs initiative, is evident.

Please contact jamie@yesdisability.org.nz if you know anybody who could benefit from this initiative, or if your business is open to being involved with the initiative.












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