Disabled Need Their Own Ministry
Media Release From The Association Of Blind Citizens Of New Zealand
New Zealand needs a Ministry that is to people with disabilities what Te Puni Kokiri is for Maori, according to the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand.
It's President, Jonathan Mosen, says that disability is still too often seen as a medical or personal rehabilitation issue, rather than an issue requiring societal changes.
"We don't believe that disability issues are taken into account during the public policy formulation process in the same way that the needs of women, Maori, and ethnic minorities are. To begin the process of closing the gaps, gaps which see around 60 percent of working aged blind people out of work, we desperately need a Ministry to play a watchdog and advisory role right across the public sector. Tucking our needs away in a little corner of the Ministry of Health reinforces the notion that we have the problem, when in fact it is attitudinal, environmental and social barriers that cause characteristics like blindness to become a disability," Jonathan Mosen concluded.