Getting the ball rolling in 2021

2021 is already proving to be a really big year, with a new project already rolled out in February!

We had an amazing opportunity to collaborate with the teacher training faculty at Massey University on a Disability Awareness Workshop for first and second year Masters students studying Specialised Teaching.

We got the ball rolling with two days of really in-depth panel discussions, where members of the I.LEAD committee hosted 150+ teachers in training to discuss real life scenarios and experiences our young people had faced during their years in the education system.

Who was our most influential teacher? What was a defining moment in our educational journeys? What would be the first thing we did if we were to be Prime Minister? These were just some of the hard-hitting questions presented to our young people during the panel discussions, and our young people came back with some very insightful viewpoints and solutions, which made for some awesome discussions and kōrero.

Then there was the full day of workshops. We ran two modules. “Taking out the Awkward” was a module in which we discussed the dos and don’ts when interacting or referring to people who identify as having a disability. The other was “I’m Not a Tickbox”, where we placed participants into a role-playing exercise where they act out specific key characters in specific scenarios which were derived from real world experiences of some of the young people we work with.

On top of all of this, Our CEO Sonia Thursby was interviewed by fellow charity CEO and Devonport local Mark Longbottom. She talked about her inspiration for working in the non-profit sector and her passion for the disability sector. Listen for free at Apple podcasts or

So much done in so little time, with plenty of opportunity to do more in the coming weeks and months!

By: , YES Disability Resource Centre News: with Sonia Thursby (CEO)

Issue 117 March 2021