Tiaki by Taikura Trust - breaking down barriers!
“We aren’t here to change people’s mind about the vaccine, we are here to ensure everyone has an opportunity to be vaccinated,” says Matt Hall, our Client Services Manager.
In the earlier stages of the vaccine roll-out across New Zealand, people with disabilities and their families shared with us that vaccine accessibility would be one of the barriers to getting vaccinated. We have been supporting Government’s evolving efforts to bring disabled people closer to the vaccine, initially through prioritising vaccination for vulnerable groups, providing accessible vaccination sites and easy to use booking services.
“But we know that people have different journeys towards getting vaccinated. That’s what our Tiaki initiative is all about- ensuring people receive equitable access to services and appropriate supports that meet their individual needs.”
Matt, a wheelchair user himself, shares his vaccination experience: “I just headed in without an appointment. Finding accessible parking in the centre of town wasn’t easy, but the rest of the process was straight forward.”
“We’re at the turning point of fighting the virus, so we want to raise vaccination numbers for disabled people by enhancing their vaccination experience.”
Through Tiaki, we have been working with groups like South Seas Healthcare and the Northern Regional Health Coordination Centre (NRHCC) so disabled people’s vaccination needs are better catered, like providing dedicated drive-through lanes, low-sensory vaccination areas and free transport to vaccination sites.
“We can also offer home vaccination if that’s the best option for some people,” said Matt. Call us on 0800 824 5872 if you want us to organise this for you.
If you need support to make a decision around having the vaccine, there is free support available. The Personal Advocacy and Safeguarding Adults Trust can work with disabled people who may require help with their decision about the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes people with a learning disability, neurodiversity or cognitive impairment; click here for more information. For an easy-read version about supported-decision making, click here.
We mobilised Tiaki in 2020 to ensure disabled people and their families are supported during lockdown. We made thousands of phone calls, delivered food parcels and provided information on how to get other essential services.
To date we have delivered hundreds of food parcels to the community. We’re thankful to our partners Disability Connect, New World, Mangarei Community Christian Trust, Angela from Sommerville School and Colleen Brown from Manurewa Neighbourhood Support and Foundation North for helping us make a positive impact to people.
Although giving vaccination support is a key component of Tiaki, we will continue to inform people where they can get support for essential needs.
Published 7 October 2021