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DPA's Information Exchange - 22 August 2020

In this week's Info Exchange:

Digital banking - does it work for you?

We've been approached by a bank because they are currently looking into how they can better support their customers in accessing digital banking options. Ahead of us speaking to them next week, we are keen to hear from you about your experience with online banking:

  • What are your opinions and preferences when it comes to digital options?
  • What barriers have you found to accessing these digital options?
  • What additional support, help or improvements do you think the bank could make to help you access and use digital products or do your banking

Please email us and feedback or thoughts on this to 


DPA Election Forums update

Due to the change in Covid-19 Alert Levels and the delay of the general election to October 17, there have been changes to all the Election Forums that DPA have been involved in organising.

The forums changes are:

Auckland - 29 August (now online only)
Christchurch - 19 September (new date)
Waikato - cancelled - questions to be asked of candidates remotely
Wellington - 1 October (new date - also livestreamed)
Dunedin - postponed - new date TBA

More details about the forums are on our website.


PPE for people accessing disability supports in Auckland

The Ministry of Health have sent out this information about accessing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) :

Do you or your carers need PPE, such as masks, gloves or aprons, during Level 3? Do you receive your disability support through Taikura Trust?

If you answered yes to both of these questions, here’s how to access the equipment you need.

How to access PPE

There are three different ways to access PPE, depending on the type of support you receive:

1. If you have a service provider regularly coming to your home to provide support to you or your family member, they will organise PPE for you.

2. If you use Individualised Funding, your Individualised Funding Host will help you access the PPE you need.

3. If you receive Carer Support and no other services, you and/or your carers can access PPE through a new service. To do this, you can either:

You can place a request for PPE yourself, or a family member or friend can submit a request on your behalf.

You can collect the order from locations around Auckland (listed in the request form), or it can be delivered directly to your address.

Further information

If you are not sure what option is best for you, please contact your disability service provider, Independent Independent LivingVaka Tautua or Taikura Trust. They will be able to help you.

You can find more information about when to use PPE in the health and disability care setting on the Ministry of Health website 

Download a Word Doc version of this Ministry of Health advice.


QR codes and Covid-19 Tracer posters

Everyone who has a smart phone is being asked to download the NZ COVID Tracer app and scan QR codes at every shop and facility they visit so that the contacts of anyone who may have been exposed to Covid-19 can be traced and the chain of transmission broken.

This week it became mandatory for businesses to display the Government's QR code posters, however we have been hearing that for some disabled people the posters are too high, some have problems downloading the app and the app itself is inaccessible for some. 

Posters too high
This week we put a call out on social media for businesses to check the height of their posters. 
There is guidance for businesses that at least one poster should be placed approximately 130 cm off the ground to the top of the poster. The Ministry of Health have told us that this guidance is included with every poster generated.

Thanks everyone who shared and retweeted our posts. They were widely shared, and picked up by Ashley Bloomfield, who spoke about the need for accessible posters in his 1pm stand-up on Thursday, and the Ministry of Health media team who included it in their media release.

We also had several responses from business and facility owners who said they would check/adjust the height of their posters - let's hope more follow!

Problems downloading the app
Apparently NZ COVID Tracer is compatible with around 95 percent of mobile operating systems and devices. If the app doesn't download, you may be able to if you update your operating system. More Information from the Ministry of Health.

Older devices and systems are intended to be included in a future update to NZ COVID Tracer.

If the app used to work but has now stopped scanning codes it could be because you need to update the app

Other ways to track your movements
If you can't download and/or use the app other options are:

  • Take a time-stamped photo of the QR poster (they have the business name on them)
  • Take audio notes on your phone
  • Keep a diary/written record of the places you've been
App Accessibility
The Ministry of Health say government’s Web Accessibility Standards have been followed as closely as possible in the development of the app.

NZ COVID Tracer has been designed to make use of assistive technology features on smartphones where possible, including VoiceOver on iOS and TalkBack on Android.

To improve accessibility for people who are blind or have low vision, the latest release of the app includes haptic feedback for supported devices that confirms when you have scanned one of the official QR codes. 

The Ministry of Health say that they know this doesn’t ‘solve’ accessibility for NZ COVID Tracer, and they will continue working to identify further accessibility improvements for subsequent releases.

A bluetooth "CovidCard" is being tested in Rotorua. The card sends and receives bluetooth signals with other CovidCards, creating a record of who and when people carrying the devices come into contact. Currently this is only a trial and a decision about whether to continue with the card's development will be made later this year. 


Study looking at Maori insights into disability identity

From Dr Huhana Hickey:

Morena everyone, I'm involved in research for Māori disabled and whanau and I would love to be able to do some interviews, although it needs to be via Zoom as the lockdown has delayed this already.

This is confidential and safe. This study aims to help us to understand Māori insights into disability identity and the impacts from a tāngata whaikaha (Māori with a disability) perspective. Our findings will be used to develop questions used in a national survey in order to get accurate data on Māori with disabilities.

Please share among Maori disabled, and if interested please send me an email at

Details will be sent once I receive your email, thanks in advance.


New Workbridge policy launch

Today Workbridge launched "Policy that Works: A fair go for disability employment post COVID-19", a policy paper focused on improving the employment of disabled people which has been prepared by Workbridge Inc.

It is intended to contribute to the public discussion about how we can get more disabled people working during an era where bold public policy thinking is urgently needed and should be encouraged.

Workbridge say that the most important changes that will make the biggest impact to the lives of disabled people, if implemented, should include:

  • The fee-for-service contract model be updated with a holistic framework focussing on careers rather than individual jobs, co-designed by disabled people.
  • Government acts to address the widespread community concerns about the impact of the benefit abatement rate and stand-down period acting as a disincentive for some disabled people to accept some employment opportunities
  • Government provides financial and practical support to Workbridge to offer career counselling, mentoring and transition services for disabled high school students.
  • Government provides practical and financial support to Workbridge to train disabled people for self-employment. Initiatives should include mentoring from successful businesspeople, particularly those who are disabled.
  • In collaboration with the business sector, DPOs and Workbridge, government work closely on the specifics of a public education campaign that promotes the benefits of employing disabled people and dispels common myths.
You can access accessible copies of Policy that Works from the Workbridge website.
Three images. The first two show a gravel track weaving between native bush from different angles. The third is an aerial view showing the route of the Kokako Track in red.

New accessible forest track in Haast

The Haast community have recently completed a 5km accessible forest track from Haast township to Haast Beach.

The track is completed to the SNZ HB 8630: 2004 s2.4.8 standard standard for persons with mobility difficulties. It passes through virgin indigenous forest on Public Conservation Land alive with native birdlife including, at times, kakariki, bellbirds, tui, fernbirds, tomtits, fantails, NZ falcons, kea, kaka and more. 

A message from Paul Elwell-Sutton from the Haast community:

"We intend that it be accessible to disabled persons in wheelchairs or on mobility scooters.

With that in mind and on behalf of the Haast community, I extend a warm invitation to all disabled persons' organisations to visit us and the track and assess its suitability for people with special mobility needs.

I attach some photos and a map of the track, which we have named The Kokako track in memory of a late Haast resident who spotted a Kokako along there many years ago."


Call for nominations - Northern B Health and Disability Ethics Committees

Applications/nominations are being called for for the below positions on the Northern B Health and Disability Ethics Committee: 

  • A lay member with a consumer perspective of health and disability
  • A non-lay member with expertise in intervention/observational studies

To qualify for the lay membership positions, you must not:

  • have been registered as a health practitioner in the last five years
  • be involved, or employed by an organisation which is primarily involved in health and disability research.

The ideal candidate will also have an understanding of research that is intended to improve health outcomes and address the burden of disease and disability, or that improves understanding of the various determinants of health. In particular they would have an understanding of tikanga Māori and the importance of health research as one mechanism to address health disparities for Māori.

Applicants from across New Zealand are welcome and candidates who identify as Māori are strongly encouraged to apply.

Applications close 2 September. 

For more information go to the Ministry of Health Career's Centre.


Hi-Tech Foundation Scholarships 

The Hi-Tech Foundation’s 'He Whetū Mārama Ngā Karahipi / Leading Light Scholarship Programme’ provides financial support for career development and advancement of New Zealand technology students.

Each year five successful applicants will be awarded up to $5,000 each to cover their tuition and living costs.

To be eligible for this programme, you must:

  • Be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
  • Illustrate financial need
  • Be a graduating high school senior or current student enrolled in higher education
  • Maintain progressive academic records

Preference is given to applicants that can illustrate a career trajectory that will:

  • Increase innovation in technology
  • Increase life opportunities
  • Increase aspirations
  • Increase community engagement
  • Provide greater empowerment
  • Enhance well being
Applications close on 31 October.

To apply go to the Hi-Tech Foundation website
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