Neelu Memon

This week One in Five is in Christchurch, with Neelu Memon who earlier this year became the first blind woman to complete the Coast to Coast. 

Neelu has recently finished a thesis in disability policy and has big plans for how her home town might be rebuilt after the earthquakes.

She takes a wander with our South Island producer, Katy Gosset, and explains how, to her, disability is a scoietal construct that need only be an issue if people choose to make it one.

She say a city that employs universal design, including access for wheelchairs and other mobility apparatus and large obvious signage is one is equitable for all its users.

Neelu takes Katy on a walking tour of the city, pointing out design features that are inclusive, such as the pop up mall as well as areas where uneven surfaces and poor signage are limiting the access for citizens with a disability.

Christchurch's Therapeutic Choir

A new therapeutic choir, based upon Auckland's Celebration Choir, has been boosting both the vocal abilities and the  confidence of a Christchurch group with neurological disorders.

The choir is made up of people who've had a stroke or brain injury as well as those with Parkinsons Disease and Multiple Sclerosis.

The choir leaders, a musical therapist, Kimberly Jones, and a speech language therapist, Susan Macdonald, say these diagnoses can cause patients to have a softer voice or poorer articulation.

And they say over a ten week period, some participants have already made gains in both vocal volume, not to mention  confidence.

The programme has been initally funded by Therapy Professionals and Music Therapy New Zealand.

Katy Gosset attends the choir's first public performance and discusses the benefits its brought with the participants and their families.