Be Update April 2020

Explain this in NZSL.

Kia ora Be. whanau,
I know this is a challenging time for everyone at the moment as we manage many
uncertainties and changes in our lives. It has certainly been a very eventful and
interesting year so far. Since taking on the role of CEO at the Be. Lab a few months
ago, I have been immersed in getting to know the organisation, the wonderful Be.
team and the amazing work they do.
Then just as I was about to emerge and reach out to you, our Be. Whanau, friends
and committed partners, Covid-19 hit us. I must admit, I did not think my first
communication to you all would be in these conditions!
We, at Be, have been quickly adapting to this new way of working, focusing on how
we can keep our services operational and evaluating our role going forward.
I have been watching with interest the lively discussions around economic recovery
from this pandemic and am intrigued to see that there are two main schools of
thought. On one hand, there is a desire to rush back to life as it was pre Covid-19 to
get the economy back up and running as quickly as possible. And on the other, there
are interesting conversations around using this as an opportunity to consider what
kind of future we want to return to.
Many sectors have taken a major hit, particularly tourism, and going back to what
was may not be an option. While for some it is easy to want to go back to the way
things were, others are asking “was ‘before’ working - particularly for our people and
communities - or could we be doing better?” Access, poverty, and isolation are all
areas that could do with some innovative and courageous thinking. Now is the time
to seriously take stock - reimagining what our society could be is an opportunity we
cannot miss.
Beyond economy recovery, how can we think creatively about reviewing and
redeveloping our future?
At the Be. Lab, we have taken this as an opportunity to ensure true accessibility is
built into what our world looks like during and post Covid-19 - encouraging and
advocating for accessibility in shovel-ready projects and new innovation. The Be.
team has ten years of experience and a proven track record of courageous
leadership, innovation and delivery of transformational social change programmes
for a 100% accessible society. We are committed to leading and working alongside
all of you and our nation’s leaders to create a future that offers quality of life for all.
Our programmes are continuing to operate throughout the lockdown period thanks to
the adaptability of our Be. team, partners, and community. Be. Leadership has
already shifted to operating completely digitally, and our Be. Employed and Be.
Welcome teams are ready and open to discussing your individual or organisational
needs during this time. We would particularly love to hear from:
  • Access citizens looking for meaningful employment, or businesses that have positions available for motivated, talented individuals – contact our Be.Employed Programme Director, Tonya Baker
  • Organisations who are developing services, infrastructure, buildings, orproducts – we invite you to consider ensuring they are accessible for all –contact our Be. Welcome Programme Director, Neville Pullman
  • Anyone who wishes to work with us to reimagine and redevelop a truly accessible Aotearoa – I’d love to hear from you.
We look forward to continuing to work with you and sharing inspiring stories of
accessibility and possibility over the coming weeks and months.
Ngā mihi,
Sue Russell
CEO, Be. Lab

Public Information in NZSL

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