Why Work Matters – NZDSN National Employment Symposium

NZDSN and the NZDSN Employment Advisory Committee are pleased to welcome you to the Tainui Hamilton Hotel for a National Employment Symposium.



Access to secure employment is a high priority for disabled people, not just because of the increased financial security it can bring, but because of the difference it can make to people’s health and well-being. Work really matters and is essential to a good life. The employment participation rate for disabled people is half that of the general population. Disabled people are missing out and the labour market is missing out on the contribution that disabled people can make. 

This symposium will explore the bigger picture issues involving labour market trends,  the economics of employment as well as legislative and regulatory matters related to access for disabled people. We will also be looking at the more detailed picture of employment support policies and practices that make a difference at the individual level. We have a diverse range of national and international speakers to challenge our thinking and our practices. 

We will have employers presented along with well-known figures from within the disability employment sector in New Zealand.  With that, we are delighted to have secured the speaking services of a number of notable sector figures.  Listed below are a few of these speakers: 

  • the internationally renowned Michael Callahan, President, Marc Gold & Associates
  • distinguished New Zealand economist and author, Shamubeel Equab
  • Sue Plowman, Auckland Disability Law.
  • Todd Krieble, NZER
  • Grant Cleland, Workbridge
  • Helen Lockett, The Wise Group

We will also be looking to launch the Employment Support Best Practice Guidelines at this event.

A loose outline of the event is as follows.  More details will be provided as speakers are confirmed:

Wednesday 9 August

9.30am                  Welcome Mihi and Introductions/programme overview

9.45am                  Opening Address

10.00am                Keynote Speaker # 1

10.45am                Keynote Speaker # 2

11.30am                Morning Tea

11.45am                Keynote Speaker # 3

12.15am                Employer presentation

12.45am                Lunch

1.30pm                  Employer presentation

2.00pm:                 Keynote Speaker # 4

2.30pm                  CCS Disability Action Employment Project

3.15pm                  Afternoon Tea

3.30pm                  Keynote Speaker # 5

4.15pm                  Employment Support Best Practice Guidelines Launch

5.00-7.00pm          Reception/Canapes and Cash Bar

7.00pm                  Dinner


Thursday 10 August

9.00am                  Michael Callahan: Part One Discovery and Customized Employment:   Innovations that allow the possibility of "Employment for All"

10.30am                Morning Tea

11.00am                Michael Callahan: Part Two Job site supports and systematic  instruction:  Using the Seven Phase Sequence to balance natural supports on  work places with training individual employee needs

12.30pm                Concluding Comments

12.45pm                Finish

There will be an exhibition centre at the Conference and we ask any interested exhibitors to make contact with our Event Manager, Libby Carson.  Libby can be contacted at libbyc@nzdsn.org.nz or 027 2693939




Here are the things you need to know about the event:


  • Spaces are limited to this event and registrations are now OPEN.
  • There are no “one day only” delegate options available
  • Dinner is an optional extra, we strongly encourage you to participate in this meal as it will provide you a further opportunity to network with your sector colleagues
  • Rooms will be booked on your behalf and paid by you (to NZDSN) in advance, as part of your symposium fee.  This cost is for room only, any incidental charges, including meals, beverages, mini-bar, etc. will be at your cost.  You do not have to stay “in-house” you can choose alternative accommodation if you wish.  When you book your rooms on-line, please stipulate how many nights you require accommodation for.  We will contact you directly for further information regarding your room booking.
  • A programme will be issued when all speakers have been finalised.



Pricing is as follows:



$287   per person


$65   per head

Accommodation   – IBIS Hotel

$113   twin share

Accommodation   – Novotel Hotel

$161   twin share

Exhibition   Stand (includes 2 people)



Please note all prices quoted exclude GST.

  • Wed 09 Aug
    2 days, 10:00 AM - 12:45 PM Hamilton 2-days; Wednesday 9 August and Thursday 10 August
    • $287.00 excl. GST
    Session information
    Why Work Matters Employment Symposium
    Wed 09 Aug 10:00 - Thu 10 Aug 12:45
    Symposium Dinner - includes entree, main & dessert. Excludes beverages
    Wed 09 Aug 19:00 - Wed 09 Aug 22:00
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