Expo helping disabled school leavers help find opportunities hosted at Whitireia and WelTec | Te Pūkenga’s Porirua campus

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The What’s Outside the Box? Expo, aimed at helping disabled school leavers explore their opportunities after high school, was held at Whitireia and WelTec’s Porirua campus in March.

Just three years ago, the expo had only 100 visitors. This year, there were more than 40 organisations and over 500 people in attendance.

The expo featured dance performances, karate demonstrations, films by local disabled actors, sports and games, products made by disabled creators, food and beverages, and free transport to and from was supplied by Metlink.

Samuel Cripps, tutor for the New Zealand Certificate in Skills for Living for Supported Learners at Whitireia and WelTec, represented the programme at the event, sharing information about it and the opportunities it creates for students. "It was an amazing event. It was incredible to see so many types of organisations present, from all over the Wellington Region.”

Organisations in attendance offered a range of services including transition, employment, recreation, transport and education. 

“It's so good to have a one-stop-shop for the disability community to be able come in, grab information, and chat to people face-to-face.”

The event is organised by a small group of volunteers in Wellington, including Cam Fraser, a teacher at Mana College in Porirua, who hopes to grow the expo, and eventually hold it annually.

For the organisations involved, the expo also served as an opportunity to come together. They were invited to head to the campus an hour before the expo started to mingle, reconnect, and make new connections within the community.

"Whitireia campus is a great venue. It has wheelchair access, and spaces to host a range of different activities including a movie room for kids that needed time out,  a sensory room, and outdoor performances and displays. It was a real showcase for the disability community."

Head to the What’s Outside the Box? website to find out more about the expo and keep an eye out for the next one.

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