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Disabled Persons Assembly Election Forum

Disabled Persons Assembly Election Forum

Twenty-four percent of New Zealanders identify as disabled, but disabled people’s voices are not often heard during election time.

The Disabled Persons’ Assembly (DPA) is holding a general election forum and has invited disabled people to tell stories of their own experiences of key disability election issues. DPA’s members and the disability community identified housing, accessibility, education, employment and income support as being the most critical issues for themselves and other disabled people.

MPs from a range of political parties will be there to directly answer questions disabled people have about these policy issues, including: Mojo Mathers (Green Party); Poto Williams (Labour Party); Ria Bond (New Zealand First); Alastair Scott (National Party).

DPA spokesperson Esther Woodbury said that “while many of the election issues we are raising at the election forum are ones that also affect many non-disabled people in New Zealand, the specific effects on disabled people need to acknowledged and addressed on their own terms.”

“For example, while few would disagree that New Zealand as a whole is facing a housing crisis, disabled people additionally struggle to find housing that is not just affordable or warm and dry – the holy grail of housing - but where they can literally get through the front door and use the bathroom; where they are not turned away for using a wheelchair; for wanting to install a smoke alarm for Deaf people; or for needing to accommodate their service dog in a rental market where ‘no pets’ is the standard rule.”

“Having to navigate these barriers in many areas of society is made even harder by the costs associated with impairment, as well as the lower incomes and lower employment rates of disabled people: the employment rate in 2013 was 59.71% for disabled people, compared to 75.31% of non-disabled people. While 7.06% of disabled people were unemployed, compared to 4.49% of non-disabled people.”

“For 24% of the population – these issues are massive and systemic – and we hope to hear some fresh and ambitious policies from political parties this election.”

DPA General Election Forum details:

Thursday 13 July 6-7.30pm
Mezzanine Meeting Room, Wellington City Library
65 Victoria Street, Wellington

Livestreaming on DPA’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/dpa.nz.7/

The forum will be held in a wheelchair accessible venue with NZSL interpreters. A livestream will also be broadcast on DPA’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/dpa.nz.7/ and later transcribed for hard of hearing and Deaf viewers.

You can also follow on Twitter with the #cripthevotenz hashtag

Disabled Persons’ Assembly NZ

The Disabled Persons Assembly (DPA) is a pan-disability disabled person’s organisation that works to realise an equitable society, where all disabled people (of all impairment types and including women, Māori, Pasifika, young people) are able to direct their own lives. DPA works to improve social indicators for disabled people and for disabled people be recognised as valued members of society. DPA and its members work with the wider disability community, other DPOs, government agencies, service providers, international disability organisations, and the public by:

• telling our stories and identifying systemic barriers
• developing and advocating for solutions
• celebrating innovation and good practice


ENDS


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