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Break Barriers, Open Doors for an inclusive society

Hon Tariana Turia

Minister for Disability Issues

Break Barriers, Open Doors for an inclusive society and development for all - International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2013.

The Minister for Disability Issues Tariana Turia says International Day of Persons with Disabilities is an important day for recognising the rights of disabled people and the need to change attitudes and behaviours towards those who live with disability.

Break Barriers, Open Doors: for an inclusive society and development for all is the theme for International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2013.

“Disabled people tell me that negative attitudes towards their disability are the biggest barriers they face,” says Minister Turia.

“We need to improve attitudes and behaviours and to value the contribution that everyone in our society can make - rather than people being limited by the judgement of others.”

“In Budget 2013 the Government approved $1m in funding as part of the Think Differently Campaign to ensure that disabled people are able to participate in all aspects of community life and to bring change to social attitudes and behaviours that limit their opportunities.”

“The funding is going to 43 community led projects. These projects spread throughout New Zealand are about encouraging and supporting improved access and cover a wide range including sports and arts, employment for disabled people, communicating successful stories and support for communities getting together to plan how they can be more inclusive and welcoming. Letters will go out to the successful applicants today, as we mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities,” says Mrs Turia.

“I am particularly pleased that employment initiatives are among those funded, as increasing employment opportunities is critical to building an inclusive society.”

“These people provide an important, often untapped, talent pool that enhances the diversity of our workforce. The disability community along with employers and government officials are now working collaboratively to develop initiatives that will increase their employment opportunities.”

“Work being progressed includes the promotion of work experience and internships and providing employers, employees and job seekers with information through the newly developed WorkAble website.

“Building disability-confident workplaces is a major focus of this collaborative activity. It will be achieved by large employers like Westpac, ANZ, Vodafone, Fairfax Media, Fletcher Construction, Progressive Enterprises and government agencies like the Ministry of Social Development and ACC demonstrating leadership in employing disabled people.”

“As Minister for Disability Issues, I am committed to disabled people having the same opportunities as everyone else to be contributing and valued citizens. I strongly encourage more employers to take action to break barriers and open doors to ensure that our society becomes truly inclusive.”

For more information go to the WorkAble website http://dol.govt.nz/er/workable/


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