A New Hope

The first Star Wars movie was rebranded from simply Star Wars to Star Wars: A New Hope, when it became clear that this was only one movie in a much wider universe. It provided context.

The announcement last week that a New Ministry of Disabled People (name to be finalised) similarly provides a focal point that is designed to improve the lives of disabled people by having a purpose-built Ministry. No longer will the sector be forced under the Health banner, but a much wider gamut is proposed and when combined with system transformation and a new 2022 Accessibility for New Zealanders Act, then it seems that much can change.

To better understand this opportunity, I read the Regulatory Impact Statement for Accelerating Accessibility and on page 17, I came across this phrase “There is no reason to believe that greater progress in improving accessibility will occur without action”.

In other words, doing nothing, will result in nothing and therefore for change to occur there must be a series of actions. So far so good.

The new Ministry, a new Act and implementing the trial programme that uses the “Enabling Good Lives” approach all seem to deliver overdue change. From a Universal Design perspective, it was also encouraging that these ministerial papers recognised that Universal Design offered a solution-based action and that this action should be used more widely.

In this month’s newsletter you will hear more about the retirement sector and design from those who are the recipients and creators of good design. We also feature a great initiative from Henry at Gud collective.

Finally, we do have hope that the changes I’ve mentioned actually do accelerate and improve access outcomes for everyone, and form part of a wider range of decisions and practices that make us stars in our own movie.

As always please feel free to contact me on geoff@lifemark.co.nz as we promote Universal Design to help everyone live the life they want.

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