After attending an Access for All advocacy training programme Sophia Gosling created change.

She prompted authorities to fix a faulty traffic light which was putting lives at risk.

“I was off to my hairdressing appointment and I needed to cross a road. I found the button for the traffic light, and pressed it, expecting it to beep regularly, but this one didn’t make any noise. I listened hard to see if the traffic had stopped. When I thought it had, I decided to take my life into my own hands and cross the road quickly.”

She attended the training in Christchurch in August last year and is now part of the Access Matters campaign calling for all political parties to commit to introducing mandatory and enforceable accessibility legislation.

“I don’t just want to be advocating as an individual. I want to help change the system because a truly accessible New Zealand benefits all of us.”

Become an advocate

A two-day Access for All Advocacy training programme is heading to Nelson on 8-9 June and will cover everything from how to use your stories for change all the way through to how laws are made in New Zealand, and how to get a meeting with your MP.

We are looking for advocates in the Nelson region who have lived experience of blindness, low vision, or another disability, or for advocates who are supporters of someone with a disability.

The two days will be fully catered, with all meals paid for, and if needed, travel and accommodation costs will be covered.

Please register your interest by Monday 16 April on Google Forms here. Alternatively contact Jelena Zidov on email jzidov@blindfoundation.org.nz  or call on 09 355 6922 for a large print or word document registration form or more information.

As an Access for All Advocate you will be able to:

  • Participate in on-going training programmes to develop your advocacy and campaigning skills
  • Be part of the Access Matters campaign
  • Contribute to ongoing local and national advocacy campaigns
  • Join the Blind Foundation’s Access for All Advocacy network

Visit accessalliance.org.nz for more information.