I tried to apply for a custom wheelchair for my eleven-year-old son through Starship Hospital, via referral to Mobility Solutions.
My son currently uses a standard wheelchair from Starship but needs a custom chair with a motor, so he can drive himself when his condition worsens and his wrists and hands become too weak to wheel himself. He is unable to move around safely at school and out in public when this happens, and he misses out on family outings.
I want new access laws so that the health system can't deny people access to help when they need it, especially when a person with access needs has been put in a category where they "look OK", or their condition is rare, or it doesn't seem too bad.
In our case, my son was denied access to a custom motorised wheelchair because we do not have an accessible home! We need laws that ensure we have accessible transport AND housing options.
This is a story about the barriers many face. We're sharing it because we want a law that puts accessibility at the heart of an inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand.