Making life accessible for people with mobility issues
Having a disability does not mean a life without fun or keeping fit, the annual Have A Go Day in Hamilton on Saturday 2 December will prove to spectators, says a disability advocate.
Judy Small, Hamilton City Council’s disability advisor, says every year the Have a Go Day, which coincides with the International Day for People with Disabilities, aims to inform the community about the challenges which come with being impaired and some of the products and services available to people with mobility issues.
Have A Go Day has become an annual collaborative event involving the council and disability sector stakeholders including Waikato Regional Council, Life Unlimited Charitable Trust and CCS Disability Action. It will be held in Civic Square, Hamilton from 11am.
“New Zealand has an ageing population, and over time we will have a growing number of people with mobility challenges,” says Judy.
“We need to be wary of that as a community, and individuals need to understand disability doesn’t mean a life without fun, keeping fit and exercising, or enjoyment.
“This year’s aim is to ‘stop’ the crowd for a look, dabble in alternative sports and see latest exercise options for people with disabilities.”
Have A Go Day will feature a wheelchair skills course, as well as two hybrid wheelchair sports – football and basketball.
Life Unlimited will also show off the unique Alinker walking bike.
The Alinker is new to New Zealand and is for people who want to stay active and have greater access to the community regardless of mobility challenges.
The non-motorised walking bike is challenging assumptions about people with disabilities and building a more inclusive community. It’s designed so users are seated upright and remain at eye level.
“We’re looking forward to supporting Have a Go Day again in 2017,” says Life Unlimited chief executive Mark Brown.
“We recognise that sport offers many opportunities for disabled people to live well, make new friends and be involved in the community.”
Waikato Regional Council will have one of its accessible buses on display. All Hamilton buses are fully accessible and lower to curb height for easy entry and exit for wheelchair users, people with prams, walkers and other mobility aids.
BUSIT staff will be available on the day to help with any bus-related questions and journey planning advice – from what bus route works best for me, to one-on-one help with the Transit realtime app, through to showing wheelchair users how easy it can be to use the bus.
Have A Go Day will be held in Civic Square, from 11am, Saturday December 2.