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Consultation at the heart of disability strategy

Spokesperson for Disability Issues

18 November 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT
Consultation at the heart of disability strategy

Labour says consultation with people with disabilities is at the heart of its disability strategy released by Carmel Sepuloni today.

“The motto ‘nothing about us without us’ is the central consideration for Labour,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “Gaps in the system are understood, and experienced daily, by those living with disabilities. It makes sense that their involvement is central to policy development.”

“Labour will resource people with disabilities and impairments to participate in decision-making to enable their voices to be heard.

“Labour has a proud and recognised history of leadership on disability issues culminating with the receipt in 2007 of the Franklin D Roosevelt award. But there is still a long way to go before wider public opinion moves at the same pace as that of the sector.

“To achieve this Labour is committing to enhanced public education on disability issues.

“A quality education is also vital to the success of people with disabilities. Labour will increase support for the implementation of Individual Education Plans for students with disabilities, work to ensure all deaf students have access to sign language at school, and ensure support staff have the resources and backing they need.

“Safe, accessible, quality housing for those with disabilities is also a priority for Labour. Among other measures, Labour will ensure Housing New Zealand invests in retrofitting of state houses so they are accessible.

Other aspects of Labour’s Disability Issues policy include:

• Ensuring the nationwide rollout of Independent Living arrangements
• Implementing the recommendations of the National Advisory Committee on Health and Disability research document, To Have an Ordinary Life
• A review of the criteria for disability support to ensure that those on the Autistic Spectrum are supported
• Reducing the disparities in funding support between ACC and non ACC disabled people
• Working towards free annual health checks for people with an intellectual disability
• Investing in technology appropriate for Blind and Deaf people, as resources permit
• Implementing the recommendations of the Human Rights Commission report The Accessible Journey
• Working on the viability of centrally-funding the salaries of school support staff from current operational grant funding.
• Increasing the proportion of disabled people who are supported into paid work.

“In all its policies Labour will work to ensure the full realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all disabled people on an equal basis with others and without discrimination of any kind,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

Authorised by Carmel Sepuloni, MP, Parliament Buildings, Wellington.

© Scoop Media

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