Find out about the purpose of the DAG, the role of the DAG, its structure, membership eligibility and responsibilities.

The Disability Advisory Group (DAG) Purpose:

The purpose of the DAG is to provide a forum for people with disabilities to participate in the planning of Council services, projects, and activities in order to ensure that the needs of the wider disability community are taken into account.


The Role of the Disability Advisory Group is to:

  • Advise and work with the Council on the implementation of the Equity and Access for People with Disabilities Policy, and all other related policy relevant to people with disabilities.

  • Advise on the most useful ways of communicating and consulting with the wider disability community.

  • Provide feedback and advice on planning, reviewing, or the implementation of Council activities (projects and services) that relate to the broad spectrum of disability issues.

  • Help to determine the ongoing role and functioning of the advisory group.

  • Provide Lived Experience and Inclusive Practice advice, not technical advice, to the Council. It is acknowledged that the group will not be experts on all disability matters and will not provide professional technical advice.

  • Support the Council's community governance structure by providing advice about inclusive, resilient, and responsive communities for people with disabilities, and their families. The DAG supports the Council's commitment to consult and network with citizens, and to involve the community in decision-making.


Structure

The DAG is facilitated by the Council's Metropolitan Community Development Advisor, Disabilities and Older Persons.

The Council is committed to its partnership with the Canterbury District Health Board's CDHB Health in All Policies Advisor. The Health in All Policies Advisor provides advice and support to the DAG, adopting a health determinants approach, and providing health in all policies advice.

The Council employs an Inclusive Communities Coordinator to help address barriers to recreation/leisure participation for people with disabilities, and to coordinate the KiwiAble Leisure Card. The Council's Inclusive Communities Coordinator provides staff support and advice to the DAG in relation to recreation and leisure participation.


Membership Eligibility

Members should:

  1. Be people with a disability, or have family members with a disability, or are an advocate/self-advocate, or people working in the disability community.

  2. Have knowledge and experience of working with, and advocating on, disability issues.

  3. Have the ability to consult effectively with the sector and the disability community, and have strong personal networks in the sector.

  4. Have skills and knowledge which will contribute to the aims of the group.

  5. Have the ability to understand and represent interests broader than those of a specific disability group or organisation.

  6. Have proven ability to work cooperatively and positively in a group environment.


Member Appointments

  1. DAG vacancies will be advertised through key networks and organisations in the disability community.

  2. Applications should be sent to the Metropolitan Community Advisor, Disabilities and Older Persons. Applications will consist of a covering letter, C.V. (curriculum vitae), and a letter of support from within the disability sector.

  3. Interested persons can apply as an individual, or an organisation can put forward a person they support to be on the DAG.

  4. In 2105 / 2016 staff will establish an appointments committee consisting of three appropriate members from the disability community, and relevant staff. Appointments are made for a two year term, with right of renewal for a further term.

  5. Once new DAG members have been appointed, future vacancies will be interviewed for, and appointed by, an appointments sub-committee from the DAG itself, with staff.

  6. There may be times when the Council and the DAG co-opts a member in order to meet a specific need in the group.

Personal skills that are required to contribute to the Disability Advisory Group

  • Well-developed communication skills and the ability to work effectively with others.

  • Good time management skills and a commitment to attend the majority of the scheduled DAG meetings.

  • Supportive of other DAG members and a willingness to undertake tasks as required, and work co-operatively within a group setting.

  • Sound problem solving skills and the ability to represent interests broader than those of a specific disability group or organisation.

Tenure of Membership

Appointment is for two years, with the right of renewal for one further term. Completion of tenure should be on a rotational basis in order to maintain continuity and consolidation of the knowledge base.


Remuneration and Expenses

The DAG members receive a meeting fee of $50 per meeting (gross), and may also be reimbursed for additional transport costs such as taxi vouchers, if required. Members are responsible for any individual taxation requirements.


Accountability

The Disability Advisory Group is accountable to the Council through ongoing liaison with the Community Support Team Manager, and more directly through the DAG facilitator, who is the Community Support Advisor for the Disability and Older Person's portfolios.

Communication between members and the disability community is through the member's contacts with the sector. It is expected that members will consult with, and provide feedback to and from the disability sector, on relevant issues as required.

A DAG member must inform the Council if any conflict of interest situation arises while they are on the DAG, or if any circumstance arises that could be a risk for the Council, or that could bring the DAG member, or the Council, into disrepute.

The Disability Advisory Group has a section on the Council's website which explains its purpose. The DAG meeting notes are posted monthly on the Council's website.

The DAG provides regular updates to the Council's Community Housing and Economic Development Committee (CHED).


Resourcing

The support and servicing of the group is the responsibility of the Community Support Team through the Metropolitan Community Development Advisor, disability and older person's portfolios. The Disability Advisory Group has a work plan, which is updated regularly. Activities within this work plan are aligned to the Council's Strategic Directions and to any relevant outcomes of the Long Term Plan (LTP). Key issues in the sector are also included.

Meeting agendas and meeting notes are emailed to members for their records.


Support Requirements

Assistance to enable participation, such as a sign language interpreter, or other support that a person needs to participate in the DAG, will be provided at meetings if required. Also members may bring a support person to meetings as needed. Should any further support be required, members need to discuss their individual support requirements with the Metropolitan Community Development Advisor.


Place and Frequently of DAG Meetings

DAG meetings are usually held monthly in the Council building in Hereford Street, or at a time and place agreed as suitable by the majority of the group's members. Meetings are generally two hours in length; at times DAG meetings are subject to change based on the Council's work requirements of the Community Support Advisor. Some DAG meetings will be held in the Wards and include Ward community advisors and Community Board members.