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Aligning our future to the disability sector transformation

New Zealand’s disability sector is currently undergoing considerable change, including health and disability system reforms and the establishment of a Ministry for Disabled People from the middle of 2022.

This includes a more conscious shift and focus towards incorporating the Social-Relational and Rights models of disability into practice and valuing the expertise of disabled people’s lived experience when designing policies and services that directly affect them.

You will be aware that LFTI Auckland has been proactive in seeking out research and expert opinion to better understand this evolving context and what it means for delivering future support services to the disabled community.

Over the past two decades, the Ministry of Health and ACC funding models have shifted to support a more independent and tailored approach to enabling disabled people autonomy to choose which services and resources they will access, when and where.

When considering the evolution of our service model, we need to align and grow with these sector changes and the evolving needs of the disabled community. While our services may look different in the future, we can assure you that our dedication and commitment to upholding the founding values and Constitution of the Laura Fergusson Trust Incorporated will remain unchanged.

Our focus for the future is to identify and pursue sustainable initiatives that will improve accessibility for those with a range of disabilities, including by using breakthrough technologies and other proven interventions.

We have begun preliminary work in partnership with Autism New Zealand. This aims to apply their learning about the early detection and treatment of Autism, to help identify a much wider range of developmental disabilities in infants and pre-schoolers. International research shows that early detection of disability ensures that children are channelled into the right support pathways as soon as possible, leading to better outcomes throughout their lives.

Currently, we are underway with developing the project charter for this initiative and we have engaged in a range of conversations with experts and researchers to progress an expanded trial in West Auckland.

Separately, we are also investigating a range of other important initiatives and look forward to sharing more about these with you in 2022.