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Key Agencies Plan Disability Action

Disability Issues Minister Ruth Dyson today commended the 11 government agencies who have drawn up action plans to implement the New Zealand Disability Strategy over the coming year.

"The plans for 2001/2002, developed by 11 key government agencies, are an excellent first step in removing the barriers which prevent people with disabilities from participating fully in society," Ms Dyson said.

"Those barriers exist in all areas, including education, employment, housing, transport, leisure, income and access to services. That is why, from next year, every government department will be required to build specific projects and targets into their work programmes to implement the disability strategy."

The 11 government agencies who have drawn up implementation plans for 2001/2002 are the Department of Labour, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Department of Work and Income, Ministry of Social Policy, Ministry of Justice, State Services Commission, Te Puni Kokiri, Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Ministry of Women's Affairs and Ministry of Transport.

The plans include:
- infrastructural projects such as agencies' physical access, staff training, communications and consultation;
- policy and service projects in areas like special education, disability support services and vocational services;
- projects of common interest across the public sector such as compliance with human rights legislation, equal employment opportunities and the development of a disability issues policy framework.

"The annual plans will ensure that government agencies promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in all areas of their work. They are an essential tool for implementing the disability strategy, and monitoring government's progress," Ruth Dyson said.

The Minister for Disability Issues will report to Parliament annually on progress in implementing the New Zealand Disability Strategy, and the government will conduct full reviews of progress after five and ten years.

Copies of the government agency implementation plans are available on the New Zealand Disability Strategy website: www.nzds.govt.nz

Ends

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