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Media ReleaseTuesday, 27 November 2012
DIScover project continues on its winning ways
Abstract— DIScover, Upper Hutt City Council’s award-winning programme for training staff to better serve customers with disabilities, scooped the Outstanding Project Award at the New Zealand Recreation Association’s national conference last week in Auckland.
UPPER HUTT, Wellington NZ, 27 November 2012— The Upper Hutt City disabled community and Council staff are receiving yet more accolades for their project DIScover. In late August the initiative won the Diversity award at the ANZ New Zealand & EEO Trust Work & Life Awards and now it have been awarded further recognition as Outstanding Project of the Year at the NZRA national conference. DIScover, which is a complete resource kit including booklets and staff training workshops, aims to educate and increase staff’s disability awareness and provide information on how to best serve customers with disabilities.
New Zealand Recreation Association Chief Executive Officer Andrew Leslie said the judges of this year’s awards felt that decisions were at times very difficult, especially in cases where competition was tight. “The judging panel were impressed with both the quality and level of nominations and those selected represent the best, most successful people, facilities, projects or events in the past year,” he said. “The nominees were all very good, but the winning nominations were outstanding.”
The Outstanding Project Award category - which recognises the successful development or major redevelopment of a strategy or facility - attracted the most nominations. This category also had the most varied mix of low and high-cost projects, but all projects contributed significant value to communities. ‘DIScover: Serving customers with disabilities’ was the winner on the night, ahead of Wellington City Council’s ASB Sports Centre and Rotorua District Council’s ‘Youth Spaces Project’ which both received Highly Commended recognition.
DIScover was funded via government’s Making a Difference grant scheme, an initiative aimed at raising disability awareness. The DIScover pilot training workshops were run with all Upper Hutt City Council departments that connect directly with the community, such as the library, traditional service desks, H2O Xtream, and Expressions. Activation Team Leader, Frances McEwen says “It was a great opportunity to trial the resource with Council staff and get them all on the same page. It’s great to see that the project transcends sectors, and that judging panels can see the merit of DIScover for all employees and employers, not just in the corporate world but in recreation and leisure facilities, councils, and any business with customers”
Council’s Director of Community Services, Andrea Curtis says, “This project was a real community effort. We are very proud that it has been recognised twice at a national level. We hope that this attention causes organisations and employees to look into providing DIScover or disability awareness training to their staff. What we have created is free, easy to use and applicable for anybody working in the customer service industry.”
For more information on DIScover, and to download a copy of the resource, go to www.upperhuttcity.com/discover
For more information on DIScover please contact Frances McEwen on (04) 5290091 or email email@example.com
About Upper Hutt City Council
Upper Hutt City Council is the steward and custodian of Upper Hutt City, providing governance, infrastructure, and community services and resources, and promoting opportunity in the city for business, recreation, lifestyle, and leisure. Upper Hutt City is located 30 km north-east of Wellington City (41°07'34" S, 175°04'06" E) and boasts 70% of the region’s parks and reserves, along with state-of-the-art entertainment and leisure facilities.
For more information on Upper Hutt City and the City Council, go to www.upperhuttcity.com
Last Modified: 30 November 2012