Upper Hutt City Council relaunches resource for building inclusive communities

On Thursday 22 August Upper Hutt City Council hosted the Enhancing Accessibility launch to introduce a newly updated customer service resource and training guide.

UPPER HUTT, Wellington NZ, 31 AUG 2017— Inclusiveness and diversity were celebrated at the launch of Enhancing Accessibility, a resource for frontline staff. Enhancing Accessibility is a newly updated resource in the form of a handbook and accompanying training guide. These items replace the original resource ‘DIScover, Serving customers with disabilities,’ which was funded by the Ministry of Social Development’s Making a Difference fund in 2011.

The purpose of the Enhancing Accessibility resource is to assist frontline and customer service staff in all sectors to learn about accessibility and how to appropriately engage with and serve disabled people. Enhancing Accessibility assists all organisations in becoming more inclusive.

“The more people learn about disability issues, the more confident they will be in providing better services. Disabled people should be able to participate fully in the community,” says Council’s Community Development Advisor, Tania Wilkinson. “The Enhancing Accessibility resource helps ensure that organisations are more inclusive.”

The Enhancing Accessibility resource is produced by Upper Hutt City Council with the assistance of Pam MacNeill of Disability Responsiveness New Zealand.

“I was delighted to develop the training guide and handbook with Upper Hutt City Council,” says Pam MacNeill. “Since one in four New Zealanders experience impairment-related barriers to community participation, it is crucial that people working in both the public and private sectors learn how to respond well to the needs of disabled people. The Enhancing Accessibility resource is applicable to serving disabled customers in every sector of society.”

The Enhancing Accessibility handbook and training guide are free to the public and can be downloaded from Upper Hutt City Council’s website: www.upperhuttcity.com/enhancing-accessibility. A limited number of printed copies are also available, and can be collected from Council reception.