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Government more responsive to disability issues

16 December 2005

Government more responsive to disability issues

Government departments and agencies are becoming increasingly responsive to disability issues according to the fifth progress report on the New Zealand Disability Strategy, Disability Issues Minister Ruth Dyson said today.

The 2004/05 Work in Progress report was presented in Parliament today.

“I am delighted to see that the latest progress report shows that the initiatives of government departments and agencies are having an increasing impact on disabled people in areas such as employment, human rights, transport and communication,” Ruth Dyson said.

This year, the report is presented under five key themes: promoting citizenship; building government capacity; improving disability support services; promoting participation in all areas of life; and addressing diverse needs.

Ms Dyson said for the first time the report included the stories of 25 disabled New Zealanders and their families.

“The voices of disabled New Zealanders and their families give us a personal insight into their current experiences of disability and a much richer picture of the situation facing disabled people in general.”

Also for the first time, the report presents measurable indicators to help focus information on outcomes, as well as describing activity and general trends.

Ms Dyson said a major focus in the last year had been on ensuring that websites and public information were accessible.

“Although progress has been made on accessible government websites, further improvements are needed, including perhaps even strengthening the State Services Commission guidelines. Information is indeed power, and government departments and agencies need to lead by example.”

Ruth Dyson thanked the Office for Disability Issues for offering strong leadership to departments on implementation of the disability strategy.

For copies of the NZDS Work in Progress Report 2004/05, go to www.odi.govt.nz.

ENDS

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