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IHC calls for MPs to support the repeal

6 April 2005

IHC calls for MPs to support the repeal

IHC, a national provider of Vocational services, is calling upon MPs to support the repeal of an outdated 1960 Act. IDEA services, a division of IHC, supports over 4000 people with intellectual disability in Vocational services across New Zealand.

IHC have repeatedly stated their concerns over Disabled Persons Employment Promotion Act which in reality denies people any employment rights based on the fact they are disabled.

“New Zealand has a Disability Strategy, human rights legislation and a proud international reputation as a society that values all people and to have a law such as DPEP Act is a total contradiction” states IHC’s Janine Stewart, Director of Advocacy. “This country is currently taking a leading role in the development of a UN Convention on the Rights of Person with Disability, and if we don’t pass the repeal, NZ’s hypocrisy will be highlighted to the international community” she continues.

Repealing this Act is only part of a wider policy direction “Pathways to Inclusion” which emphases new opportunities for life long learning, more participation for people in their own communities and more opportunities for work in regular employment. “Pathways” was designed following wide spread consultation during a review of Vocational services undertaken by the Department of Labour in 2000. “Pathways to Inclusion” is in the middle of its five year phase in period with many exciting changes already occurring.

IHC has welcomed the new policy direction and is in the process of making changes to its IDEA vocational services. “Many of IDEA’s services did need to change to meet the new policy direction and we are currently in the middle of implementing changes across the country.

Our focus will be on real work opportunities for people with intellectual disability through our supported employment services, and providing life long learning opportunities and supporting people to participate more in their own communities”, says IHC CEO, Ralph Jones. He adds, “I want to reassure the people we support and their families while some activities may change we will still be providing a vocational service for everyone that requires a service”.

IHC urges all Members of Parliament to vote to support of the repeal of DPEP Act which will enable disabled people the same employment rights as all other new Zealanders and continue with the changes to improve Vocational services for all disabled people in New Zealand.

ENDS

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