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Removing barriers to disabled a human rights issue

22 July 2008

Removing barriers for disabled is a human rights issue

Green Party MP Metiria Turei has today released the Party's Disability Policy: Removing the barriers.

"This policy sets out our key policy steps to remove the legal and social barriers that people with disabilities face every day. From leadership and transport to employment and reproductive rights, removing barriers to the exercise of an ordinary life is simply a human rights issue," Mrs Turei says.

"We are very pleased that the bill enabling the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities will have its first reading today, as this concurs with our policy. The next step is to establish a Disabilities Issues Commission which will not only provide independent advocacy but also oversee the implementation of the Disabilities Strategy and the Convention.

"For example services must be provided on the basis of need rather than cause of impairment. The funding discrimination between ACC and Ministry of Health makes no sense. The Commission can also ensure that independent advocacy services, managed by people with impairments, are properly funded so that the users of disabilities services are part of the audit of those services.

"There are also basic everyday needs that can be fixed as well. All of the urban bus fleet and intercity coaches must be accessible to people with impairments and passenger rail services purchased with government funding must allow access for people with impairments. There is no place for workplace discrimination and in order to help employers, they should also get better support to help with adaptations, equipment and personal support for employees with impairments."

* The Green Party's disability policy can be viewed at: http://www.greens.org.nz/policy/summary/disability

ENDS

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