“The community is enriched by the participation of people with diverse abilities”
The Disability Resource Centre (originally called Abilities) was founded in 1983 as a drop-in center, run by volunteers with support from the Council. In 1986, with government assistance funded under the Disabled Persons Employment Promotion (DPEP) Act, 10 participants regularly attended an employment workshop. In 1988, to accommodate more attendees, the Centre purchased the Seventh Day Adventist Church with government and P.S.S.A assistance.
While the Centre initially generated sustainable revenue, the focus eventually shifted to supporting clients to achieve their own goals, and a major effort was made to start mainstreaming clients into the community through supported employment, access courses in fields of interest, community participation, and Identified Need programmes within the Centre.
The Centre developed a Supported Employment Section, Network Personnel, to assist clients to locate employment, plan their careers, access courses and training and provide ongoing support for clients’ success, as well as a free service to employers, encouraging workplace diversity.
In 2003 the Centre embarked on a pilot project, agreeing to rescind its DPEP Act status, moving away from sheltered work and into full delivery of community participation programmes. In December 2010, this division of the Disability Resource Centre renamed and rebranded itself as Turning Point.
In 2012, SCOPZE was established to provide structured support for clients, while also encouraging their involvement in the community. Each client creates an individual plan in conjunction with family and Whanau. These services have enabled the staff at the Disability Resource Centre to take a more holistic approach to best meet the needs of their diverse client base.
Disability Information Advisory
In 2015, DRC entered an agreement with the NZ Federation of Disability Information Centers Inc to deliver Disability Information Advisory Services (DIAS) which aims to provide free, accurate, up to date and unbiased information and advice to disabled people, their families, whanau, aiga, caregivers, providers and the general public.