Blinded in a car accident more than 35 years ago, Christchurch resident Paul Barclay has lived experience of disability and is involved in many disability-related groups across Canterbury.
Mr Barclay has spent more than 25 years in key positions with the Blind Foundation/Blind Low Vision NZ and Arthritis New Zealand.
He now operates his own Ōtautahi based business, Vision Without Limits, which works with organisations and disabled people to improve accessibility in relation to employment, information and services.
Having worked in the disability sector and been involved in various disability-based groups, alongside having his own experience of disability, Mr Barclay has the background to consider accessibility in its widest sense – which he does so through the Christchurch City Council’s Accessibility Advisory Group (AAG).
The AAG meets monthly and aims to help Council staff promote inclusion as a core aspect of all services.
The group provides a forum for people with disabilities to participate in the planning of these projects to ensure the needs of the wider disability community are taken into account.
Mr Barclay says members of the group contribute by bringing their own lived experiences of the issues they face. “Having a range of experiences within the advisory group is critical to making Christchurch a fully accessible city. Being part of the group has also broadened my perspective on disability and accessibility.
“We each have our own perspectives, but it is also great to get the point of view from others with different experiences to us.”
We are currently looking for members of the community to join the AAG, the commitment is two hours every month with the opportunity to contribute your expertise and insights to help us improve accessibility in our public spaces, services, and programs.
Applications for the Accessibility Advisory Group close on Monday 28 August 2023.