9 May 2014

Marae urged to listen to those with disabilities

7:27 pm on 9 May 2014

A Dunedin-based researcher is urging marae throughout the country to get advice from their relatives living with a disability about how to make their pa accessible for visitors.

Kelly Tikao, who was involved in an Otago University study about disabled Southland Maori, said many of those surveyed said they didn't bother going to the marae, even though they wanted to.

She said that was because it was sometimes too difficult.

But Ms Tikao is encouraging marae to embrace their whanaunga living with disability, and perhaps give them a role on the committee.

She said they could lift the mana of the pa because they could see potential problems such as poor access to places such as the toilet and even provide solutions about how such problems could be fixed.

Ms Tikao said they could give advice about ramps, rails, door frames, access to toilets or perhaps emptying a colostomy bag.