In 2016 Bernadette Stewart decided enough was enough, Hamilton had no public accessible bathroom spaces.
Project Brave ‘making accessible spaces happen” is a project that advocates for 1:4 New Zealanders who will have to use a public toilets that are fully accessible this means that they have a tracking system hoist/mobile hoist, an adjustable changing bench, plenty of space to manoeuvre with support from whanau/carers/staff, central toilet and privacy curtain.
A collaborative group was developed to support and guide Project Brave which consists of ambassador Bernadette Stewart, Community Living representatives Saffron Mitchell and Kim Simpson, Parent to Parent Carol Maynard, Tailored Accessibility Solutions Steve Taylor, Active Healthcare NZ Nathan Carney, and the Hamilton City Council Disability Advisor Judy Small. Together we would like to advocate for accessible bathroom spaces in public spaces like shopping malls, hospitals, museums, cultural facilities, leisure centres and airports.
Why? One in four people in New Zealand will require the need to use an accessible bathroom in their lifetime. Currently people are denied the right to access their community because we do not have the facilities to support them, instead people are forced to stay home or be changed on the floor of a public bathroom.
Human rights commission, A fully inclusive society recognises and values disabled people as equal participants. Their needs are understood as integral to the social and economic order and not identified as “special”. Human rights are what people need to live with dignity and enjoy freedom. All people have human rights, including all people with different abilities.
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