Speaking up about our rights

People First NZ members are sought after frequently to represent people with learning disability on advisory groups, boards and committees.

We have a large pool of members who are experts in their own experiences with experience of speaking up about many issues and being part of decision-making processes.

Equal and meaningful participation

To include people with learning disability in your meetings, consultations or forums in an equal and meaningful way it’s important to make sure the meetings are accessible.

Accessible meetings

Whilst each person will have different needs, there are some things that will make a meeting accessible, such as:

  • asking if a meeting assistant is needed
  • providing information in plain language or Easy Read well in advance
  • speaking clearly and not too fast in the meeting and avoiding jargon and abbreviations
  • making sure there is enough time to discuss all items on the agenda
  • allowing enough time for decision making.

Meeting assistants

Two woman inside with the one on the left in a wheelchair wearing a pink top with white flowers, she has brown hair and is reading from a piece of paper, the second woman is on the right looking over the other woman's shoulder, she has grey short hair and glasses and is wearing an orange and black top.

People First NZ member, Vicki McNamara is assisted by Lisa Ward to read a report at a meeting.

Meeting assistants work alongside members to make sure they are informed and have information in ways they can understand and know the members unique support needs.

Our meeting assistants make sure the member:

  • understands the information
  • understands the process
  • participates in discussion and in decision making.

This individualised support helps members to feel confident in their own abilities, equal at a table of “experts” and means that others can see the value of having people with learning disability at the table with them.

For more information

Please contact us if you would like more information about:

  • having a People First NZ member be part of your advisory group, board or committee
  • accessible meetings for people with learning disability.

See our Contact us page for other ways to get in touch