The way the world talks to the person who talks

December 3 United Nations of the World’s Strongest Nations. This week, Puna will highlight the systemic issues that hinder or hinder the ability of the world’s most powerful people, and Puna will also honor New Zealanders by supporting the energy issue.

December 3 marks the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This week Stuff highlights systemic issues preventing people with disabilities from living in an accessible and just world, and profiles New Zealanders aware of disability issues.

Read this story in English here.

The constant mispronunciation of his name and the omission of health professionals are some of the things that can happen to you when you speak and are not understood in a conversational world.

Being repeatedly misnamed and dismissed by medical professionals are just some of the things that happen when you don’t speak and are misunderstood in a verbal world.

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At a special meeting, Maqymseahe pronounced Ninces—pronounced his name as Mackenzie—and the doctor pronounced Kendrick’s name the same way.

Maqymseahe Ninces – whose first name is pronounced Mackenzie – was at a specialist appointment when the doctor kept calling her Kendrick.

As time passed, Maqymseahe rebelled against the Doctor by saying his name, and the Doctor replied, “Haukei, Kendrick.”

After a while, Ninces corrected the doctor with her name, and the doctor replied, “OK, Kendrick.”

Your friend Maqymseahe was also present at the meeting and stopped laughing when he got bored.

Ninces’ caretaker sat at the appointment, trying not to laugh, as she grew increasingly frustrated.

“But the doctor is too lazy to listen to me, my identity is not respected, maybe the doctor is too lazy to give me good health information,” Maqymseahe said.

“I felt that if the doctor was too busy to listen to me and unwilling to respect my identity, the doctor was probably too busy to give me the best medical advice,” Ninces said.

At another doctor’s appointment, he went out of his way to pursue a driver’s license that would allow his doctor to drive him even with a suspended license.

On another visit to the GP, she had to get a transportation waiver, which allowed her carer to drive her despite her having a limited driver’s license.

The doctor was talking to the doctor, but when the doctor asked the doctor to ask Maqymsea if he needed a medical certificate, he replied, “He doesn’t know.”

The doctor spoke to the caretaker, but when the caretaker told the doctor to ask Ninces about the medical clearance requirements, he replied, “She wouldn’t know.”

Maqymseahe was brain dead when he was born, which left him suffering from cerebral palsy. He says it “badly affects” his posture, body movements, sex, swallowing and speech. He has used an artificial means of communication i.e. augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to speak.

Ninces had brain damage at birth that caused cerebral palsy. She said it “significantly impairs” her posture, exercise, coordination, swallowing and speech. She uses an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device to communicate.

He is also an eye for it at TalkLink Trustan agency that supports people with disabilities in pursuing communication strategies, often through AAC.

She is also an ambassador for the TalkLink Trustan organization that supports people with disabilities in finding communication solutions, often through AAC.

Last year TalkLink employed 300 people and 1800 new referrals.

Last year, TalkLink had 3,000 people using its services and 1,800 new referrals.

As part of his role as a TalkLink representative, Maqymsea has a lot to do to help AAC users.

As part of her role as a TalkLink ambassador, Ninces does a lot of advocacy work for AAC users.

“People with communication disabilities have the same needs as others: to be heard when they speak, to be supported and to communicate through the chosen medium,” he said.

“People with complex communication needs have the same needs as everyone else: to be heard when they speak and to be supported to communicate using their chosen communication choice,” she said.


Geneva Hakaraia-Tino holds the view that all tāngata whaikaha Māori can communicate in te reo, including those who do not speak and use communication devices. (Video first published September 2, 2022)

AAC users come from different contexts and end up with many different types of disabilities, he said.

AAC users come from all kinds of backgrounds and have all kinds of disabilities, she said.

It’s important to get to know people and their communication needs, which are not the same for all AAC users.

It is important to get to know the person and their preferred communication styles, as there is no one-size-fits-all approach for AAC users.

“Obviously I’m human too,” he said. “There are times when I don’t communicate as much as I can. I need you on my mind, and I need honest feedback that will continue to improve my learning and development.”

“Understand that I am human,” she said. “Sometimes I don’t communicate as well as I can. I need encouragement and honest feedback to help me keep learning and improving.”

According to him, AAC technology is good for him in terms of communication, but others also need understanding.

She said that while AAC technology helps her communicate, other people need to understand it too.

“I only have a voice if people are willing to give me a chance to respond.”

“I only really have a voice if other people give me the opportunity and time to respond.”

Maqymseahe plans to reduce communication barriers for people with AAC devices.

Maqymseahe’s advice on reducing barriers to communicating with people using AAC devices

  • I use AAC so I can speak for myself. Please give me a moment to respond to you
  • I can show you how I communicate
  • Tell me if you don’t understand what I’m saying
  • Be patient
  • Silence is okay – don’t be afraid of silence
  • Talk to me, not my support person or parent

For more information, go to

For more information visit

It was translated by the Māori language leader in Puna, Taurapa.

Translation by Stuff Māori Language Leader Taurapa.