Posts by Tom Adson

  • Access: How many agencies does it take…, in reply to Angela Hart,

    Children need opportunities to learn, become strong and be healthy in caring communities. Challenges do them no harm

    The disabled need to have meaningful and productive lives within their capability, and a little extra capacity built in for discretionary decisions around what they would like to do. Those of us with full capacity must try to create space for them to grow. Challenges do them no harm, they just have to be appropriately managed.

    Lower Hutt • Since Jul 2015 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Access: How many agencies does it take…,

    You will be aware that we have a family member who is a 40 year old male that is disabled. A couple of weeks ago after screwing up his courage to the sticking point in order to overcome the barrier of extreme anxiety he accepted the offer of work, in an effort to improve his well being, and attempt to contribute to the community as a whole. The work was to deliver circulars and free local papers. A three day slot was provided for the deliveries to be completed. It was understood that the payment would be $30.00, so about two hours work was expected when applying the minimum hourly rate.

    The following day the papers arrived, later than was agreed to, so this put pressure on the timeframe. There were 10 different circulars running adverts for the well known big companies. The weight of the papers was about 70kg (measured by using bathroom scales). They were promptly sorted by the family member and delivered in two trips on foot out of his own back pack. The following morning another batch of papers to be delivered were found on the doorstep in the morning (part of the same job), which were the Hutt News and the Regional News weighing around 50kgs. This time the delivery required two adults to deliver and the family car had to be used because of practicalities and the bulk of the papers involved. The back pack just did not have the necessary capacity.

    The total number of addresses delivered to was over 250. The total time committed to the work was 10.47 hours, the expense for the car at IRD rates of 74 cents/km, total $5.00. This makes the true cost of the work to be about $190.00 at the minimum hourly rate of $14.75.

    The work experience served to accentuate extreme anxiety for the disabled person and it was necessary to advise the other party to the contract that further service could not be provided.

    If $30 is the final sum that is paid (my understanding is that payment is still awaited(30 Nov 2015), but that it is likely to be $20 now, not $30. The actual hourly rate based on $30 will equate to under $3.00/hr for a 40 year old man who has contributed strenuous manual labour. Does this make sense, and is it right and just?

    It seems to me that the ‘free economy’ has almost achieved its goal; competition has run its course to the point where human rights in Gods Own (NZ) are being contravened. This is because some of its citizens are now doing strenuous manual work/labour for almost nothing. If payment for the work is not made it will be less than nothing... at least $5.00 for the use of the family car and back pack. My guess is that this is not an isolated case.

    I have just been watching a TV documentary about the “Death Railway” of Burma (1942/43), where men were worked, hipped and starved to death in order to support the economy. Is NZ unwittingly and blithely going down the same track? It looks as though it might be. After all I thought I heard the Chief Economist at the BNZ saying today that the NZ economy is doing well..."lots of ticks on the right side of the ledger" sheet. What about the left side, where we might find the hearts and minds of the people that are the neediest?

    Lower Hutt • Since Jul 2015 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Access: How many agencies does it take…, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Rosemary I am more than happy to remove you from my contacts list, however I can't see your name on it. Perhaps as a once only you could respond to my email and in that way I can be sure you are correctly identified, then ensure the removal is attended to as you wish. All the best.

    Lower Hutt • Since Jul 2015 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Access: How many agencies does it take…,

    Recently I sought to procure $10,000 so that it could be used to help develop IT services and software aimed at enhancing mental health recovery plans focussed on those all important things; information, communication and effective feedback. A first step in relation to this would be to provide selected members of my representative group (Social Housing for Midlife Consumers in Advance Recovery) with I-Pads loaded with the appropriate ‘apps’ and included associated training. My recent experience around mental health recovery plans indicates that this could be very helpful. Those who struggle on disability benefits,especially mental disability have complicated needs, they find it almost impossible to access services, AND can’t afford to purchase, or navigate their way through the maze of decisions, decisions, decisions and then be reward of confusion, dead cat bounces and eventual exhaustion.

    To illustrate the point a person close to my heart is trying to access available services, but in order to do this a form must be filled in. It appears forms are easy to access on-line, but not readily available over the counter, or in hard copy format now. Of course filling out the form on-line requires the right equipment and skills, but a person on the benefit is not able to find the money to purchase it, or summon up the drive to accumulate the skills or move past the boundary imposed by severe anxiety; at least that is my current understanding.

    A world of paradox is complicated for the best of us; just imagine what it is like for a person who struggles with their thoughts?

    Lower Hutt • Since Jul 2015 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Disability as a wicked policy problem,

    Rosemary, good points but I do not see mental disability included in the DPA/DPO list. I think if ALL the disabled can be assembled as one within our democratic system the politicians are more likely to be empowered and then they might listen more. There are a lot of mentally disabled people around, so we need to enrol them (and especially their carers) as allies.

    As you imply naming and shaming will not help our cause. Better to appeal to rhyme and reason.

    Lower Hutt • Since Jul 2015 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Disability as a wicked policy problem, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    "Very interesting Tom. Certainly agree about the need for Joining up and working as a team to improve things."

    That's all I'm saying really, but I just wanted to justify it.

    Lower Hutt • Since Jul 2015 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Disability as a wicked policy problem,

    On the 12th September 1960 I “joined up”. At that time in history the term “joined up” was understood by everybody. The Second World War had finished only sixteen years earlier and during that period most people in the Western World, especially males had joined up. In the context of the nineteen sixties joining up meant entering an employment contract with the military. In my case and for my friends the contract ran for about fourteen years, and once signed there was very little chance of changing the terms and conditions in order to retrieve freedom of choice. You did as you were told; initially anyway, but as careers progressed it became much more an environment of collaboration and teamwork were roles were clearly defined and stuck to.

    The military was famous for its bureaucracy; a chit had to be signed in order to achieve the simplest and most ordinary outcomes, but after a while the tiresome business became routine and a font for humour. For me it was a wonderful period of my life where I travelled the world at govt expense, but more importantly the training I received was the best and it kept me gainfully and usefully employed until I was able to retire. Secondly I made wonderful friends who I am still in contact with now, fifty five years later. Generally everyone in uniform new what the Mission of the ‘corporation’ was, and that was to Defend the Nation, and its allies against aggressors...horrible people.

    I have noticed that “joining up” has become a topic in the more serious media recently, but to date the world of disability has not been mentioned. Tonight a media topic before me is around the NZ flag and now the anthem. It seems to me that there is a hunger for community and regionally based living, and a changing of hearts around individualism and self interest amongst the main core of the populace. My impressions are that the world of disability is far from joined up, and in particular there is a main divide between physical disability and mental disability, where in fact there should be none. My guess is that more often than not every individual who is classified as having a mental disability also has a degree of physical’s part of the nature of the illness. Disability has many dimensions.

    Don’t worry this is not a call-to-arms for the disabled or those who try to help, it is just that there is a need for joining up and encouraging everyone to work as a team, focusing on what we have in common, not what keeps us apart. The day of chits is over. There are much better ways of joining up by the use of current and improving technology, as long as we learn to use it wisely, learn from mistakes and then make further improvements to the system.

    The above was written a couple of days ago, but I have just received ‘info’ from the Productivity Commission which, low and behold, has an item in it that focuses on “Social Commons”, prepared by James Mansell // April 2015 for the Productivity Commission, and I think it is expressing my view but in far more specialised language. If you want to read it here’s the web site.

    However I have my worries. To me the social order is becoming polarised. It’s those who have the required knowledge and skill, mainly computer literacy monopolising those who are vulnerable, i.e. those who lack skills and are not computer literate. I mentioned before that the NZ Treasuries “Living Standards: at the heart of our policy advice” reminds of a crusader citadel, thinking perhaps that the monopolising bureaucrats are on the inside and the vulnerable, who they are supposed to be serving will be kept out in the cold and discouraged from joining up with those who want it all.

    Lower Hutt • Since Jul 2015 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Disability as a wicked policy problem,

    I have just received "info" from the Productivity Commission and had an opportunity to blog regarding their words around 'self directed budgets'. My blog was as follows (final sentence amended to include remark about employment):

    "I note reference is made above to "able bodied" however it is suggested that "able minded" should be included.

    My observations are that in general people who have mental disabilities find that their physical abilities are also affected. They can lose dexterity and fine tuning around their special judgement as it can be applied to manual tasks, especially if they are at trade level where previous high level skills have been lost. Further as a mental health recovery programme progresses beyond crisis a residual is high levels of anxiety and loss of confidence around practical application. They are no longer able to carry out practical or physical tasks that were once second nature, and so it affects their ability to find employment in an area where they have received previous training."

    Hope this helps?

    Lower Hutt • Since Jul 2015 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Disability as a wicked policy problem, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    The shed, newly built and permitted, was in no way shape or form accessible.

    Sorry! I might have misunderstood. I don't know the full story of course, but it is a shame that your input did not produce what I assume you had hoped for and I can understand any disappointment. I assume you pointed out how you felt and why, so what was the response to that?

    I must admit DOC properties, and I have used a few did not sit within my frame of reference. Occasionally the huts I used had visitor groups that included people with disabilities, but none of them were in wheel chairs. It would be good if somehow, somewhere ways could be invented to ensure wheelchair users could experience and enjoy the natural world that NZ has to offer. Such activity can be quite inspiring and provocative in a very positive way.

    Lower Hutt • Since Jul 2015 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Disability as a wicked policy problem,

    Rosemary, thanks for the enlightenment to help fill my void of ignorance. I know Peter now a little more than I did. He now has some form and presence, and one might hope that the hound that stuck out his leg went broke. Was the hound recruited for work on the property you speak of and subjected to some positive community reinforcement? I hope so!

    The property you worked on sounds as though it was a very good investment. An example of what can be achieved with hard work and cooperation, and not everything focused on money.

    I am not quite sure what AB's are, other than All Blacks. Some All Blacks would be supportive of our goals, and others may not have reached the appropriate level of maturity. Their frontal cortex's may require a little more growth.

    Lower Hutt • Since Jul 2015 • 35 posts Report Reply

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