Dynamic duo launch new disability support scheme
By STEVE EDWARDS
Mike Pulman speaking at the Enabling Good Lives launch in Hamilton
A Hamilton man is calling on personal experience to promote an initiative helping extraordinary people do ordinary things in life.
Mike Pulman last week helped launch a Waikato trial for Enabling Good Lives, a joint intiative by the ministries of health, education and social development working with the disability sector to change the way people with disability and their families/ whanau get support.
The disabled 23-year-old, studying journalism at Wintec, has called on his own experience in moving from living at home to a flatting situation with other disabled people involving 24/7 care.
Pulman, who didn’t move out of home until the age of 22, said he quickly learnt a lot about the disability sector.
Other aspects that are close to home with Pulman include help getting into the workforce.
Enabling Good Lives will give people control and choice in their lives, he said.
‘‘It’s a one-stop shop.’’ Pulman was joined at a public meeting on the Waikato programme in Hamilton last week by Robert Martin, an international campaigner for the rights of the disabled.
Martin has a learning disability, but this hasn’t stopped him playing a big part in changing the disability sector in New Zealand.
From Whanganui, he was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to people with disability.
He is New Zealand’s candidate in next year’s election for the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disability.
Self-educated after growing up in institutions and various state homes, Martin addressed the United Nations in 2003.
Both he and Pulman delivered an inspirational opening to Enabling Good Lives.
The two-year Waikato trial, which officially starts today, will involve about 200 people from from south of the Bombay Hills to Taumaruni.
‘‘This demonstration is about people with disability and their families/whanau having the same choice and control over their lives as other New Zealanders,’’ said co-director Chris Potts.
Enabling Good Lives is a new approach which has been co-designed by people with disability, families, Maori disabled and their whanau, and disability support providers.
‘‘It is not a new service or somewhere that people can go to; it uses existing community services and disability supports,’’ said Potts.
“Enabling Good Lives participants will have more choice about where they live, who they live with, and what they do during the day, as well as more employment opportunities.
‘‘They will be more likely to use community services in the same way as all New Zealanders,’’ she said ‘‘Enabling Good Lives participants will also be able to purchase their own services and supports. ‘‘
For more information please visit Enabling Good Lives