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Pathways to Inclusion making new ground

Hon Ruth Dyson
Minister for Disability Issues

15th July 2008 Media Statement

Pathways to Inclusion making new ground


Thousands of disabled New Zealanders are experiencing improved access to the workplace and community services, says Ruth Dyson.

The Minister for Disability Issues today released an evaluation of the Pathways to Inclusion Strategy which was launched in 2001.

The findings over the past six years show disabled people are entering the workforce and using community resources in increasing numbers – the main aim of Pathways to Inclusion. This reflects the shift from segregated work environments and the increase in the number of participants in community participation and employment services

‘’These findings show that we have moved a long way along the path set out in Pathways to Inclusion which is having a tremendously positive affect on the lives of thousands of disabled New Zealanders,’’ Ruth Dyson said.

‘’It’s clear the sector has come a long way since 2001, and Pathways to Inclusion provides us with a great platform to keep enhancing the lives of disabled people by improving their participation in society.”

“This evaluation report shows the strategy’s working well, but we must continue to ensure disabled people have the opportunity to gain real skills and real jobs and that they are valued for their contributions to our communities.”

“The implementation of Pathways to Inclusion involved disabled people and service providers at every step and I intend to continue working in this collaborative way for the next steps towards a fully inclusive society.”

The report found that services related to Pathways to Inclusion and funded by the Ministry of Social Development have boosted the number of disabled people entering the workforce, training schemes or community services. Providers of vocational services have reported that between 2001 and 2007, the number of disabled people using their services who have gained or retained employment, has increased from approximately 1200 to over 9000.

The report is available at www.msd.govt.nz/publications. For more information contact:


ENDS

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