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Delivering for Pasifika people and disability support services

Recent research shows that 24% of New Zealanders (1.1 million) live with a disability. The rate of disability among Pacific people is 19% (51,000 people), and after adjusting for difference in population age profile, the rate for Pacific is higher than average at 26%.  Half of these 51,000 reported having more than one disability. Pacific people have very low access rates, representing only 5.9% (1,874) of people accessing disability support services. 

Le Va is responsible for delivering on the Faiva Ora Pasifika Disability plan for Pasifika disabled people and their families. This has seen Le Va focus on three areas over the past year: reducing stigma, enhancing access and improving quality of services. 

Results for July 2014 to June 2015 have included:    

1. Reducing stigma by…

  • breaking down barriers to accessing services by fostering positive views of disability within Pasifika communities through
  • targeted Pacific media and radio campaigns in English and Pasifika languages
  • producing and disseminating a suite of resources (in English and Pasifika languages) for Pasifika churches, clergy and the workforce, emphasising the positive role churches can play supporting young people with ‘different abilities’ 
  • promoting inclusion through developing positive ways to describe disability and related issues in Pasifika languages such as the Words Matter guides.
  • supporting and promoting achievements of Faiva Ora Leadership Group members via radio, print and social media.

2. Enhancing access by…

  • leading with a health literacy approach so that Pasifika communities make informed decisions on accessing support. 
  • Your Guide to Disability Support Services in plain English and six Pasifika languages was in high demand by services and community supports to use as a tool to work with Pasifika
  • delivering more than 2,500 disability resources nationwide to Pasifika communities, disability support services, NASCs, Pasifika providers, churches, primary healthcare providers, and directly to families
  • ensuring that we promote where to go to for support in all of our projects and engagements
  • facilitating education and awareness workshops with 10 Pasifika churches consisting of an audience of more than 700 Pasifika parishioners who reported an increase in knowledge and understanding of disability issues following our workshops.  

3. Improving quality by…

  • enhancing the cultural responsiveness of disability support services so they can better meet the needs of our Pasifika families. 187 disability workers successfully completed our Engaging Pasifika cultural competency training [24 % of all participants]. 95% strongly or moderately agreed that the Engaging Pasifika programme was excellent
  • providing tools and resources to the disability support workforce that further complement cultural responsiveness – such as our Organisational Guidelines and Words Matter guides
  • facilitating national forums with targeted audiences that promote integrated, responsive and more accessible services, such as GPS: Growing Pasifika Solutions conference.
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