Education Finalist Voting - 2021 People's Choice Accessible Business Awards


Please visit the 2021 People's Choice Accessible Business Awards webpage to vote and nominate in other 'area of life' categories.

Education Finalist 'Vote for Us' pink tile

Welcome to the voting site for the Education 'area of life' category, for the 2021 People's Choice Accessible Business Awards.

Use the voting form at the bottom of this page to select the Education provider of your choice from the list of nominees that follow.

Please note:

  • You can only vote for ONE Education provider.
  • Education 'area of life' category finalist votes must be cast between 2 - 7 March in order to be eligible.
  • The three Education providers receiving the highest number of votes will progress as finalists to the final voting round during the week 7 – 13 June.
  • Visit the Awards home page for more information.

And the Education provider nominees are:

1. Capital Training

"Capital Training specialise in second chance education. They have signed up as a trial organisation for the Dyslexia Friendly Quality Mark, and are following best practice in supporting learners with dyslexia. They provide a free service to identify learners with dyslexia and provide them with a lot of in class support, as well as access to assistive technologies. Tutors are provided with professional development in best practices to support dyslexic learners."


2. PrimaryITO

"The PrimaryITO is a leader in providing learning support for trainees with learning differences like Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Irlen's Syndrome. They provide a free wrap-around support service, including a free screening to identify their learning difference, research based quality information and access to assistive technologies to support the trainees compete their training. The learning resources are produced in line with best practice for learners with learning differences and their website contains details of how to access support. PrimaryITO led a national research project to determine the best way to support adult with dyslexia in the workplace."


3. St Mary's Catholic School Rotorua NZ

"I have two daughters [at St Mary's] with low vision who are supported by BLENNZ [Blind & Low Vision Education Network NZ]. St Mary's total ability to champion the needs of my daughters academically has been amazing. The teachers have always been open to adapting anything and everything to suit our daughters to ensure they achieve the same as their peers. It’s been an incredibly positive journey with the team at St Mary's. They have removed any stress, difficulties and barriers and as parents ensured our daughters simply grow in their academic ability and succeed with the right levels of support. Nothing has ever been difficult or a challenge. It is down to their openness to learn and not put barriers to change. An extremely supportive team at this school to children’s learning. It is because their approach both our daughters are doing well both academically. That is something to be proud of as a school."


4. Ako Aotearoa

"Ako Aotearoa is leading an initiative that will benefit the 10% of the population who have dyslexia. Ako is developing and implementing a Dyslexia Friendly Quality Mark (DFQM), which is a set of standards of best practice in supporting tertiary learners who have dyslexia. Tertiary education organisations who meet the standard will be awarded the DFQM for a period of three years. Organisations who have the DFQM will be able to promote themselves as dyslexia friendly and be a safe place for people with dyslexia to study. Ako Aotearoa also provides training to up-skill tertiary tutors to better support the groups in New Zealand who do not do well in tertiary education. These groups include Maori, Pasifika and adults with low literacy and numeracy skills. Around 40% of Kiwis do not perform at peak levels in the workplace because they have literacy and/or numeracy deficits."


5. Aberdeen School

"There has been a real commitment to providing an inclusive education for our wee girl (now in Year 4) as well as for students with accessibility needs throughout the school. This team has actively engaged in learning and implementing new ideas to support the learning and access needs of their students. For example, during Year 1 when our daughter first started, it became clear from her behaviour that the school and classroom environment was overwhelming and causing neural and visual fatigue. Our daughter was regularly sent to the Principal's Office for misbehaving where she would fall asleep on her couch! Subsequently the school SENCO created a "quiet room" with dim lighting, a bean bag and pillow and blanket, and implemented regular rest breaks during the school day, as well as reconfiguring her classroom time so that our then 5yo had regular one-on-one time with her Learning Assistant (Teacher Aide) outside the busy classroom environment. This worked so well in improving our daughter's behaviour at school and subsequent increase in learning capacity that this approach was implemented to great success with additional children. More recently, after attending professional development in this area, the learning support team implemented a new space named 'the cottage' which is a sensory space and specifically designed to meet the learning and social needs of students who require additional support. Here, learning is crafted according to best practice and has resulted in excellent learning and improved engagement and social inclusion for all the children involved.

Our daughter receives ORS funding and has an adapted curriculum and regular IEPs. These IEPs are a delight to attend and as a parent I go away feeling part of a team that has my daughters best interests at heart. The school has provided appropriate technology for her to use and supported her to progress at her own pace.

Finally, Aberdeen takes a 'whole of school' approach and has always considered all the children to be valued and goes above and beyond to create an inclusive atmosphere within the school for all students. This inclusive attitude means that our daughters classmates view her challenges through that lens and subsequently take extra care with her."


6. Manukau Institute of Technology

"MIT provides a welcoming and supportive environment for students with access needs. Accessible services offered include: note-takers, exam adjustments, screening for dyslexia/dyscalculia, screening for Irlen Syndrome, New Zealand Sign Language interpreters, adaptive technology such as digital recorders and specific software.

The staff display understanding and also remain open minded and ready to adapt their teaching methods and curriculum delivery in a way that is accessible and inclusive. People with access needs are encouraged to fully participate in all aspects of study including the social aspects of student life, which allows all students to form networks of support. Students with access needs are treated with respect and encouraged to teach classmates how best to meet their needs in a way that is mana enhancing."


7. The Forest School

"The Forest School takes the classroom outside into the natural environment and provides a safe place for its students to explore. It's helped lots of kids overcome their individual challenges and gain confidence.

The Forest School is free range learning! It's a place for our young ones to feel empowered and have lots of creativity and different ways to express themselves. A place where there is no stress, time to unwind from the stress of every day life, and be able to be kids, and gain confidence and build social skills.

The team at The Forest School have created a safe and inclusive space, unlike any other available in our area, that really defines community connection and whanau values to teach children valued life skills and stewardship of our environment. I believe they need acknowledgment of the effort they put into creating this school for our families as they go above and beyond what is required every day. Acknowledging their commitment to being part of our community would help to ensure the longevity of The Forest School and raise awareness of the need for such a valued asset in our community, and make it accessible to more families.

The Forest School is a one-day-a-week school where children go and can enjoy nature. It gives them a chance to reconnect with nature with learning new, lifelong skills. Takes them out of a noisy class room and into their own learning spaces to thrive. This is a local school to us that needs to keep going. They do amazing work for our children and our society. It gets children away from our technology driven world. It gives children the chance to learn new skills in a safe and supported learning environment."


8. Mt Hobson Middle School

"Mt Hobson Middle School is dedicated to supporting children with extra learning and non-neuro-typical types of learning. The school is project based, but also adapts around how the child learns. They go out of their way to get the best out of each and every child, within each child's learning styles. They look after all the children that are not suited to the mainstream and who don’t fit the box mould of the New Zealand education system.

MHMS has created an intermediate and high school that supports each student to learn in the way that they can be successful. They see each child as an individual with talents and gifts to offer the world. They have high expectations for all students to participate, achieve and belong."


9. Te Pou

"Te Pou works alongside mental health and addiction services, and disability organisations to understand their priorities and workforce challenges. They provide a range of projects and expertise to meet these needs. Some of their current projects look at reducing the use of seclusion and restraint, increasing access to talking therapies, supporting more people to take part in training, and improving the physical health of people using services. They also provide tools, training and resources to improve outcomes and information use."


10. Hāpara

"Hāpara's mission is to provide a seamless teaching and learning experience for teachers, students and parents whether at home or in the classroom by providing the visibility and organisation necessary for everyone to be on the same page."

Please cast your vote 2 - 7 March using the form below.

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