You can now contact us from anywhere in New Zealand toll free on our new Disability-Line. Our 0800 service accepts calls from mobiles as well as landlines. When you call you will be speaking with an information specialist in one of our Information Services. We do not use a call centre. If the information you require is localised then we can connect you to an information specialist in your community who has local knowledge and experience.
If you, or someone you know, need disability information and advice then give us a call today.
Collectively, our Centres service over 450,000 client requests each year for disability information.
What Federation Centres are providing is not just disability information, it is in fact expert knowledge that educates, guides, navigates and connects people to the services and supports they need. This knowledge is embedded in local communities and Centres have become essential community hubs that “sort things out” with individuals, whanau, carers and support people. Centres have been changing and innovating to respond and be flexible to the needs of their people and have for many years worked alongside the person living with the disability, acknowledging and respecting their expertise. There is no doubt that the right knowledge, given in the right format, at the right time can enable people to have more choice and control in their lives.
Federation Centres have linkages with local communities, linkages with each other regionally and macro linkages nationally. This connectedness provides one of the broadest information networks in New Zealand. Some Federation member organisations provide other specialist services including assistive technology and products, community access and participation, assistance with individualised funding, disability specific services, complex disabilities, rare disorders, young persons services, Maori, Pasifka, Asian and other cultural services.
See some of our centres below or use the button to search on Firstport
Artists in the Making (ATM) is a day programme for people with a disability which operates two days per week in Whitianga. Since opening in 2002 we have had over 109 people attend this service. We use art and craft to develop creative skills, build confidence and self-esteem, and break down isolation. We also encourage participants to connect to other services and employment opportunities. During the lifespan of the group our activities have included mosaic work, painting, china painting, and glass fusing in a microwave kiln. Primarily the group has been working on mosaic artworks this year, but has also completed tie-dying, freehand sculpture and candle-making. Three members are recognised artists within their personal community. Another member is on the cusp of creating her art into a business.
Our mobile service enables us to connect and assist more people that want to discuss more sensitive matters as well as those who are more isolated or less mobile. We can visit them in their own environment, enabling them to feel more relaxed and comfortable to talk more freely about their needs. Our mobile service also allows us to take information and resources to groups or events, enabling us to target our information distribution to audiences based on their needs as well as widening our reach. Overall, this approach increases the accessibility to quality information and resources in a manner that meets the needs of communities.
Lesley our staff person, who takes our van out into the local and regional communities around us has been very successful when helping people apply for lottery grants. In the last 10 months there has been 20 successes. 18 mobility scooters and 2 powerchairs. "Scarlet has a disability and works at pac-n-save, was walking to work very day using crutches, which took her awhile. Scarlet had to have one leg amputated. Was still walking to work using crutches when she met Lesley. Together they applied to Lotteries for a mobility scooter and were very successful. Having the scooter has changed Scarlets world."
DIS has facilitated an ‘Access For All’ group over the past year, made up of disabled people. The groups mandate is to collaborate with the Dunedin City Council and the Otago Regional Council to develop a city-wide plan around accessibility in the built environment, information and communication, goods and services and transport. DIS facilitated an ‘Accessible Walkabout’ in February 2020, where 25 employees, Councillors and contractors of the DCC and Otago Regional Council participated in a simulation exercise using disability aids to navigate down town Dunedin, using the bus service, mobility taxi van, accessible toilets in the mall. This highlighted many issues that disabled people face accessing the built environment.
A community can be a physical place where people geographically connect or, or via a visual space such as social media. These spaces bring like-minded people together; here at Aspire Canterbury we recognise this and after a challenging 2020 we have found solutions in order for people to share emotional connection. Lockdown level 1 allowed us the opportunity to run face-to-face Sensory programmes for people, encouraging people with disabilities and aged adults to increase their social interaction. Through activities sensory stimulation is intended to bring enjoyment whilst reducing anxiety and depression and increasing self-confidence. We have been really focussed on community wellbeing and connecting people through information, activities or product. We started with a focus on Christchurch and have also been across wider Canterbury – next stop Kaikoura!!
In September 2019 Felix Lin from our Asian Service hosted the inaugural “Wheel About Town” wheelchair race. The purpose of the race was to challenge participants to complete a list of tasks similar, to those from the Amazing Race while using a wheelchair.
The event was supported by the Cloud Dragon Society of New Zealand, and local Epsom MP David Seymour. The Cloud Dragon Society are a group who is passionate about their community and wanting to give back to others in the community. They support wheelchair Tai Chi and encourage others to look after their health and wellbeing. Feedback from those participating was very positive. Felix is looking to host this event annually.