3 December is International Day for Persons with Disabilities


Published 3 December 2021


Today we celebrate by looking back at how we support disabled people living in Auckland during the pandemic and how this has shaped the way we can respond quickly in the future to provide supports.

The theme for this year’s International Day for Persons with Disabilities is, “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world”.  

Taikura Trust has been busy ensuring that people with disabilities have access to the supports they need during these turbulent times. We set-up an initiative called Tiaki when the first lockdown hit, and we rang every person, family/whānau/aiga to check they had all the essentials and the support they needed. Through these calls we discovered some were needing support to access food either due to financial or other reasons. But we also heard amazing stories of family members and neighbours stepping in to support each other.

We partnered with organisations that could help us deliver PPE to families that weren’t under any providers and foodbanks that could help deliver food. However, these groups were struggling at times to meet the demand, so our own staff went out to deliver kai. When the winter months arrived, we organized for warm cloths, heaters and blankets to be sourced to distribute among those in need.

When it became clear that some individuals needed extra support to access the vaccine, we launched the Tiaki Facebook page and developed partnerships to boost vaccination rates for disabled people. These partnerships enabled us to offer home vaccinations and link people to vital information. We continued our outreach initially targeting mainly our Pasifika and Māori communities in South Auckland to ensure they could access the vaccination. During many conversations we were able to also point people to some valuable information about the vaccination to help inform their decision. Our outreach in West Auckland has started and soon we look forward to supporting disabled tamariki aged 5 to 11 to access the vaccine. 

When the vaccination pass came out some of you came to us with questions around access; ID was a barrier, or the digital version was not an option for you. We quickly worked to find other options and now you are able to get it digitally or by ringing the Ministry of Health or visiting your local pharmacy who will print a hard copy for you.

We know there is plenty more work to be done and look forward to continuing to find ways in which we can support. So, please give us a call on 0800 824 5872 or drop us a line tiaki@taikura.org.nz if there is some way we can support you.