Shout out for access … Auckland Council

Recently I posted a story online about the difficulty of finding a post box (they had been removed) and as a person with a disability, I can not drive and rely on walking.

A drawn picture of a red post box.
A picture of a postbox

After recent floods I had received letter that asked for permission to enter my property to assess storm stormwater drains that run under it.

The issue was the only option to reply was by post and the postboxes nearby had been removed. Searches on then internet still showed them as being there. Meaning I walked over 4km to post box locations to reply by post with no success.

Today a representative of Auckland Council reached out asking for an appointment to discuss improving their processes for those with disabilities.

I look forward to the conversation as I have multiple suggestions for them, including a design process with accessibility at the beginning and engaging with disability organisations to streamline processes.

Good on the Auckland Council for first noticing and then doing something, beginning a process to do something about it.

Shout out for Auckland Transport Bus Upgrades

I have been meaning to write this post for a couple of weeks now—a shout-out to Auckland Transport for adding audio descriptions of stops on buses in the suburbs.

This has always been a feature of inner-city buses but has never been available on all buses. A few weeks ago, I noticed stop announcements like those on trainings and, as a blind person, find this extremely helpful.

Back of the head looking forward of golden labrador guide dog on bus.
The photo shows Guide Dog Sienna on a bus looking forward down the aisle.

Shout Out for Access – The Stoned Cow

The Stoned Cow is a cafe in Browns Bay, Auckland. This shout out is for both customer service and the redesign of their printed menu.

Last week I visited the Stoned Cow with a friend and my Service Dog. We were greeted at the door and given the option of Sofa seating or a table. Being a dog-friendly cafe, the server suggested table seating as the sofa was close to the door and many dogs may be less well trained than my service dog and she was concerned that this could be a problem. We agreed as table seating was better for our meal choice.

I had visited the Stoned Cow previously before I had a service dog. At that time, I had found the staff less willing to assist and the menu particularly poorly laid out for those with a print disability or low vision.

What stood out this time was the improvement in the menu (and I don’t just mean the food selection). The menu had been reformatted. Instead of the old Single page backed menu and very small print, it was now a larger Book that was spiral-bound on thick card, making the pages easy to turn.

It included (a larger than 12 point font size along with high contrast (white writing on a black background) and good spacing making this much more readable.

The cafe is dog friendly, and the staff have homemade dog treats and a pupachino made with lactose-free milk.What made a big difference was the way the staff interacted with my service dog.

They didn’t treat her in the same manner as the other pet dogs, who they approached and immediately interacted with. The server asked if she could interact and then asked if my dog could have a treat. Because my dog was working, I said no to the pets. However, I asked if I could give her a treat and did some easy obedience work before she was given the treat.

Here’s some information on allowing service dogs into premises and New Zealand – along with some information on assistance dogs

Some other good points about this restaurant, there is a flat entrance and it is wheelchair accessible there is an accessible bathroom alongside non accessible bathrooms.

To finish off I will add a photo of one of the kids meals we saw go out. Boiled eggs with toast soldiers.

Boiled eggs and toast soldiers.  The cool part is they have drawn smiley faces on the eggs.  One asleep and the other awake!
Children’s meal of boiled eggs and toast.

The Free Store – Wellington

The Free Shop in Wellington is staffed by volunteers and repurposes food left at the end of a day from local restaurants and cafes from around Wellington.

Not only does the Free Store provide food for those in need, but it also has a volunteering opportunity for many like Grace, who has written the following review.

Review by Grace

I have been a part of the Free Store community since July last year. I was new to Wellington, and this community really helped me find my way in a new city.

I had previously suffered from mental illness and I have met people from all walks of life here it has become like a family for me. Everyone is welcome and able to contribute.

The Free Store makes space for anyone disabled in other parts of life to be able in this part of life. It is an amazing thing That has done wonders for me and many.

Thank you so much to Breahn – our general manager, that keeps it all together and running at the hardest of times to feed whoever is in need.


  • Someone will be there to assist you so that you can help out.
  • Mobile or not. There’s a job for everyone, regardless of their health condition.