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Disability Issues briefing paper released

Office for Disability Issues briefing paper released

Significant progress has been made on disability issues in the last three years, including development of the New Zealand Disability Strategy, Disability Issues Minister Ruth Dyson said today.

Releasing the Office for Disability Issues briefing paper to the incoming minister, Ms Dyson said the government’s priorities are to: ensure that a disability perspective is included in all relevant government policy proposals, and that legislation and public information are available in appropriate formats; reduce the inconsistencies in services received by people whose impairments have different causes; develop clear and consistent policies in relation to paying family caregivers; and provide appropriate gender and ethnicity responses in service provision.

“Important areas of work include promoting vocational services for people with disabilities and removing legislative barriers to their participation in employment; upholding children’s right to enrol at school and receive education in the same way as other children; and ensuring that equipment services and carer support/respite care are earmarked for future funding increases.”

Ms Dyson said the new Office for Disability Issues, set up within the Ministry of Social Development in July 2002, will provide a stronger cross-sectoral focus for disability issues throughout government.

“The role of the new office is to give policy advice, lead the government’s implementation and monitoring of the New Zealand Disability Strategy and work closely with the disability sector.

“For years, people in the sector have been concerned about the inappropriate placement of all disability issues in a health context. The new office will provide strong leadership and coordinated action across all government departments and agencies.”

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