CCS, or more formally CCS Disability Action, provides support and services for people with disabilities, from the foundation belief that everyone should have equal opportunity in life.

The organisation exists to make a difference for disabled people, their families and whanau. This is achieved by removing barriers to inclusion and by offering support to disabled people to access all ordinary opportunities in their communities.

Reflecting the commitment in the New Zealand Disability Strategy – Making A World of Difference Whakanui Oranga, a key expectation of CCS work is that the New Zealand community increasingly ensures that disabled people have the same rights, choices, and opportunities as everyone else.

The polio epidemics in 1916 and in the 1920s in New Zealand were the seeds of CCS. Out of concern for the children affected by polio, Dr Alexander Gillies in Wellington gathered support from Rotary clubs in the 1930s. As a result, in 1935, the Crippled Children Society was established. A further polio epidemic in 1936/37 saw more than 1400 children registered with the society.

By 1956, registrations had reached 7283 and the organisation was employing field officers to visit children with disabilities.

The Operation Mobility parking scheme was launched in 1977 and the first nationwide house-to-house appeal was run in 1981.

By 1989, the organisation had grown to represent all people with disabilities, not just children, and the name was changed to CCS Inc.

What does it do?

CCS provides a range of support services for people with disabilities; these are described below:

Support programmes

CCS support programmes cover a wide range of life stages, starting from developmental work with very young children to assisting with the transition to schooling and tertiary education, and vocational guidance and training. Staff work with people to source accessible housing, employment, community services and recreational opportunities for adults. They work closely with the disabled person and their family to achieve the individual’s goals.

A number of CCS branches also offer other services for children. For example, the Early Intervention Service for infants and young children is offered in Auckland, North Taranaki, Wellington, Nelson, Canterbury, South Canterbury and Otago.

Early Intervention aims to identify and help babies and young children reach their full potential if they are significantly delayed in their development, or at risk of delay.

Other services for children include funded recreation and leisure support or respite services, which operate under the Supported Living Service but are able to reach a greater proportion of the population due to the availability of resources.

For a full breakdown of what is available in your area, contact your local CCS branch by phoning 0800 227 2255.

The Supported Lifestyles Service works in partnership with adolescents and young adults with disabilities to identify needs and develop and support their ability to live the life they value and desire. This might include living in the community of their choice, obtaining employment, and engaging in leisure and recreational opportunities.

The approach that CCS takes here is holistic. The aim is to enable the young person to access the opportunities commonly available to all New Zealanders.

Supported Living programmes for young adults are funded by a Ministry of Health contract in Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, Tairawhiti – Hawkes Bay, South & Central Taranaki, Manawatu/Horowhenua, Wairarapa, Wellington, Canterbury, Waitaki, Otago and Southland.

Supported Employment known as `Accomplish` is funded by the Ministry of Social Development, and is available in Northland, Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Marlborough, Canterbury and South Canterbury.

Other services include funded recreation and leisure support or vocational services, which operate under the model of Supported Living, but which are able to reach a greater proportion of the population due to the availability of resources. For a full breakdown of what is available in your area, please contact your local CCS branch on 0800 227 2255.

CCS operates with a National Office and regional management structure, providing services nationally from 16 incorporated societies. Regular services are delivered to over 6,000 people with disabilities making CCS one of the largest disability support service providers in New Zealand.

Mobility Parking Scheme

CCS also administers the Mobility Parking scheme providing accessible parking to over 80,000 people and offers an internationally-respected disability information service.

CCS also works closely with other agencies to ensure it makes best use of shared knowledge and resources, helping to adopt best practice across the sector.

How is it funded?

CCS is funded from a variety of sources. Some programmes are government-funded on contract and the organisation has a $20 annual membership fee (not compulsory). CCS is also supported by donations and bequests.

How can I get their help?

For more information about the services provided by CCS in your location, contact your local branch by phoning 0800 227 2255.

You can get in contact with the national office by emailing info@no.ccs.org.nz, or by looking at the website www.ccs.org.nz

How much does it cost?

CCS programmes are provided free of charge. There is an annual membership fee of $20 (not compulsory) for those who choose to join the society.

Link to CCS Website

www.ccs.org.nz

CCS provides a comprehensive website with details of the services offered, details on the Mobility Parking scheme, communication forums and a directory of branches.

Author

This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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