Phase 2 of the Voices Project Begins

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The second phase of the Unheard Voices project has begun. People who support those with high and complex needs who are unable to communicate in usual ways are welcome to participate. There are two ways to do this - by completing a survey, either online or on paper, or by undertaking an interview with Voices project lead Lisa Martin. For basic information on this phase please click here. For additional background information about the Voices project please click here. To go straight to the online survey please click here: If you prefer to download a .pdf and print the survey you can do so HERE. If you have any queries please contact Lisa Martin: Email or Phone: 027 266 7690 or 0800 852 693

Early Bird Registrations Closing Soon!

Early Bird Registrations for iCREATe 2019 close on the 31st May. Register now and pay the reduced fee. Attendees with disabilities can get a heavily reduced registration fee of $400 before the end of May or $440 after that. Come along and see the latest innovations and hear about the way of the future with inspiring speakers from all over the world. Come and support the teams in the Global Student Innovation Challenge - and take advantage of the technical tours to explore facilities and programmes in Canberra and Sydney. Don’t forget, Visitors travelling from New Zealand can contact Dianne Taylor at Travel Brokers New Zealand for information and booking details. Email , Phone +64 21 750 499 or Mobile phone +61 468 928 483

Appointment of Deputy Director-General Disability

Media release

17 January 2019

The Ministry of Health has announced the appointment of Adri Isbister to the role of Deputy Director-General Disability.

Adri was most recently the CEO of Wairarapa DHB and during her tenure, led the development of cross-sector work and the implementation of Health Care Home, a primary care initiative.

More broadly, Adri has over 25 years’ experience in the health and disability sector. She is the former leader of LIFE Unlimited, a national health and disability service provider. Adri also supported the implementation of the New Zealand Disability Strategy and has held governance positions within the national Needs Assessment Service Co-ordination Association (NASCA) and disability information services. Adri holds an executive Masters in Business Administration and in her career has received two business excellence awards.

iCREATe 2019 Registrations Open

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Assistive Technology for Everyone, Everywhere

i-CREATe 2019

We are pleased to announce the 13th international Convention on Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology (i-CREATe 2019) will be held from 26-29 August 2019, in Canberra Australia.

Into its 13th year, i-CREATe continues to provide an International platform of conference, Global Student Innovation Challenge, and exhibition featuring innovative technology, equipment, applications, techniques and materials applied in the field of Assistive & Rehabilitative Technology. It is also a stage for technical exchanges to share ideas and best practices in the disabilities field from across the countries.

This conference, being co-hosted by the NZ Federation of Disability Information Centres and Assistive Technology Australia, will include a range of workshops on the types of assistive technologies available for use in education and employment. There will also be presentations by people with disabilities using technologies in their daily lives, including education, training and employment.

Benefits of attending

  • Expose yourself, your staff and people with lived experience to the innovations and possibilities with assistive technology

  • Hear about the latest research being conducted globally to improve the lives of those living with disability, seniors and aged care

  • Hear from people living with disability about how they are integrating new technologies into their daily lives.

  • Support our New Zealand University teams present their innovations in the Global Student Innovation Challenge

  • Network and exchange ideas with delegates from over 13 countries throughout Asia, Pacific and Europe.

  • Have you considered presenting an abstract or workshop at this international event to showcase some New Zealand innovation on the global stage?

Paper & Poster Session

Paper presentations & workshop proposals are focusing on the i-CREATe 2019 conference theme.

Assistive Technology

  • Augmentative and Alternative

  • Communication (AAC)

  • Blind / Low Vision

  • Computer, Mobile Device and Web Access

  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing

  • Environmental Control

  • Mobility Aids

Rehabilitation Technology

  • Cognitive Training & Assessments

  • Brain Computer Interface

  • Mixed Reality System

  • Neurorehabilitation Technology

  • Prostheses & Orthoses

  • Robotics

  • Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

Biomedical Science & Technology

  • Stroke, Spinal cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Dementia

  • Musculoskeletal Injury, Amputation, Respiratory Issues, Gait & Balance, Motor Control

  • Geriatric Rehabilitation, Paediatric Rehabilitation

Social & lifestyle

  • Building & Public Transport Accessibility

  • Disabled Sports & Leisure Activities

  • Employment & Training

  • Inclusive Community

  • Public Policy & Service Delivery

  • Special Education

  • Universal Design

The Call for Presenters is open and Early Bird registrations are also open now. Find out more at

New DIAS Provider for West Coast

The Southern Disability Information Advisory Service (DIAS) agreement for the West Coast was signed by Federation President Elinor Stratford and Corrina Gestro-Best, CEO of WestREAP, in Palmerston North this week. The West Coast DIAS service has been provided by two very capable home based Information Consultants but the service needs to grow in response to increased demand. WestREAP are providers of Education and Activity programmes and have extensive networks in the West Coast. Ms Stratford says "We look forward to seeing the innovative solutions they will bring to service provision, particularly in rural and remote areas of the West Coast." West REAP will take over from the 1st of July.


Conference Registration Now Open

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Register today!

The Federation is pleased to open Registration for its Annual Training Conference. 


Register now for this major disability sector training opportunity to be held in Palmerston North 21-22 May 2018. 


This Conference is open to anyone with an interest in working together to build inclusive communities using The Three C's: Communicate - Collaborate - Commit. 


Full details can be found in the Registration Brochure which can be downloaded HERE

Disability Connect Produces Resources

Disability Connect, a Federation Member Centre in Auckland, have produced some great resources that can be used to benefit and inform disabled people and their families.

Seminars to Order are available nationwide and include the following topics:

  • Work and Income Supports in Disability (presented by Vaughan Dodd, Disability Advisor, Work and Income, Ministry of Social Development)
  • Individualised Funding including Respite (presented by Lisa Martin, CEO, Disability Connect)
  • Transition from School (presented by Lisa Martin, CEO, Disability Connect)
  • Living Options (presented by Lisa Martin, CEO, Disability Connect)
  • Planning for Adulthood (presented by Nan Jensen, Solicitor)
  • Education Legal Issues (presented by Nan Jensen, Solicitor

For further information about Seminars DOWNLOAD HERE

In a new initiative Disability Connect, in collaboration with cultural groups. the Northern Alliance and the Waitemata DHB, have produced a series of translated videos about disability supports. Available in English, simplified Chinese and Korean these videos provide information on everything from Diagnosis to Leaving Home options.

For further information about the Video Resources DOWNLOAD HERE