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Acknowledging the Abilities of those with Disabilities

Acknowledging the Abilities of New Zealanders with Disabilities

74% of people living with disabilities who are not in work want to be working.

Today, Maxim Institute releases its new paper, Acknowledging Ability - Overcoming the barriers to employment for people living with disabilities, to shine a light on the attitudes and practical issues that put many New Zealanders at risk of poverty.

“There is a strong connection between poverty and disability, yet people with disabilities are often left out of our discussions on how to help people escape poverty,” says CEO Alex Penk. “Maxim Institute’s long-term research work on poverty has shown that employment is a key pathway out of poverty, but this group of New Zealanders face significant barriers when trying to access employment.”

“Many employers may think taking on an employee with a disability is a risk they can’t afford to take,” said Mr Penk. “However, our report shows it’s likely easier and less costly than they imagine. International evidence shows there are benefits to employers, most solutions are costless, and when there is a cost, it’s usually less than $750.”

“We’re calling for Government, business leaders, disability advocates, and service providers to get together to identify solutions that will make life and employment easier for people with disabilities and the businesses that can employ them,” says Mr Penk, “Whether it’s fixing the ‘benefit cliff’ that comes with income from employment, or providing more of the wrap-around support that employers and employees need, together, this group could make employment a path out of poverty for many more New Zealanders.“


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