As part of YES, I.LEAD has gone on to do amazing things for youth with disabilities, from creating a platform for them to voice issues, barriers and concerns about disability, to having a seat at different influential tables, joined by the likes of Hon. Carmel Sepuloni, Minister for Disability Issues, and Hon. Peeni Henare, Minister of Youth and Civil Services.
It is because of this hard work that I.LEAD has now been identified as being a major contributor to the Disability Pillar, one of four pillars that make up the Youth Action Plan. We celebrated this success with the honorable Ministers last Tuesday, where we were also privileged to host Minister Sepuloni in launching the ‘Working Matters’ Disability Employment Action Plan.
Kramer Hoeflich, Chair of the I.LEAD Committee, was one of many as part of the I.LEAD and YES Team to present research and findings on what employment, empowerment and engagement looks like when disability support work co-creatively with disabled youth.
He also talked about how his journey through YES had helped improve his health, wellbeing, and independence. He also touched on how this journey has informed his future, saying “My big dream is to be where Hon. Carmel Sepuloni is today, as Minister of Disability Issues”.
And this is the core of I.LEAD, giving youth with disabilities a platform to live the ‘Big Dream’ while supporting them to do amazing things out in the disability community. It is thanks to this core value that we have been implemented into two government documents on disability, and it doesn’t stop here.
Thanks to this mention, and the dreams, aspirations and goals of youth with disabilities across the country, we will continue to support and work with them to help create a more accessible, thriving New Zealand.