Dunedin-based social service organisation Disability Information Service (DIS) is using radio as a means of reaching a wider audience for advice about disability and health related matters.
Short bulletin The Digest is a regular feature of the Monday edition of Otago Access Radio’s OARsome Morning Show. The spot will include notices from the many community organisations in the Otago health and disability sector that contribute information for distribution by DIS, via email and newsletter.
Newly appointed DIS executive officer Debbie Webster said the opportunity to talk about the many events, workshops, conferences and classes on offer was a way of making information more accessible.
“Not everybody can access online material or read the printed version of the many notices we get. Being able to also use radio is really valuable.”
The programme would provide DIS with a platform for discussing its wider role in the region. Not aligned with any particular provider of health and disability services, the organisation was able to provide free and impartial advice on the wide range of resources, community groups and “natural supports” that were available.
“We are kind of like the Citizens’ Advice Bureau to the health and disability community. We join the dots, break down barriers and connect people to the services and information that will help them through whatever they are facing.
“Questions can be as simple as where do I get a mobility parking sticker for my car to identifying what supports were available for a child with an intellectual disability who is leaving school, or how best to manage a chronic health condition that has become quite disabling.”
Helping people navigate systems and funding streams so that they might access the support they required was a key role for DIS, as was the sale or hire of living aides, wheelchairs and continence products from its office at Dunedin Community House.
“There’s certainly plenty for us to talk about. We’re excited to get started.”
The Digest airs on the OARsome Morning Show on Mondays at 9.10am on OAR 105.4FM and 1575AM, and live and podcast from www.oar.org.nz.
Photo: Informed: Disability Information Service manager Debbie Webster (left) and information consultant Emma Brockie present The Digest on Otago Access Radio.