As a voice for young people with disabilities, the Cerebral Palsy Youth Alliance launched a ‘Code of Freedoms’ campaign last year that reinforces the freedoms that every individual with a disability has the right to enjoy, choose or have. You can read more about the codes at: https://cerebralpalsy.org.nz/cerebral-palsy-youth-alliance-launches-freedoms-project/
The Cerebral Palsy Youth Alliance is part of the Cerebral Palsy Society, who is a Member Organisation of the Access Alliance. Members of the Access Alliance recently had the pleasure of being invited to join them at their Auckland office in Parnell as they gathered to prepare for a very important meeting, only days away, with the honourable Peeni Henare, the Minister of Youth Development.
Since the Access Alliance are currently in discussions with the government regarding the accessibility bill, they were able to offer tips on how the Cerebral Palsy Youth Alliance could approach their meeting with the Minister of Youth Development. What did the Cerebral Palsy Youth Alliance hope to take away from their meeting? A key point of discussion was suggested to be the FREEDOMS project. Their genuine hope was that the Minister would be someone that could champion their values. That the movement would gain traction and visibility; that they would be heard.
With one hour provided for the Cerebral Palsy Youth Alliance to sit down with the Minister, the Access Alliance raised the importance of giving the MP and his staff notice beforehand as to why they would like to meet. Research was also vital. Finding out about the Minister’s family history, and other interesting facts that could be incorporated into their discussions would help develop a good rapport. This would also involve leaving a great first impression; referring to Henare as, ‘Minister’ whist also being bold (but practical) in asking him to uphold his responsibility as the Youth Development Minister.
We were very pleased to hear that the Cerebral Palsy Youth Alliance meeting with Minister Henare was a success, so much so that their scheduled one-hour meeting went on for two hours.