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Deaf Aotearoa Welcomes Government’s Announcement On Disability Support System Transformation

Deaf Aotearoa is pleased to see the Government’s recent announcement, by the Ministers for Disability Issues and Health, regarding reforms to New Zealand’s disability support system and the establishment of legislation to ensure access for Deaf and disabled New Zealanders.

Deaf Aotearoa Chief Executive, Lachlan Keating, says the Government’s planned changes to the disability support system is great news and when implemented, expected the changes to bring great benefits to Deaf people and the Deaf community. “The implementation of the Enabling Good Lives approach to disability support services, the introduction of The Accessibility for New Zealanders Bill, and the establishment of the Accessibility Governance Board are three significant changes that will in time, if adequately resourced and funded, bring about a wealth of opportunities for the Deaf community.”

Deaf Aotearoa’s president Joanne Klaver says “Deaf Aotearoa has played a key role in advising the government on the changes through its role on the Disabled People’s Organisations (DPO) Coalition. We look forward to working closely with the ministers and officials as the changes are implemented to ensure the impact on the Deaf community is fully considered. We are particularly interested to see greater access for Deaf Māori and that Deaf people in isolated areas can access the services and information they need”.

Executive Board chairperson Anton Sammons says “It is essential that Deaf people have increased choice of services they access and greater control over how funding is spent. The Deaf community want to access services that understand our situation with regards to NZSL and Deaf culture, services that are responsive to the specific needs of Deaf people, and organisations which use a strengths-based approach to working with Deaf people and the Deaf community."

Deaf Aotearoa is a national organisation providing advocacy and services for Deaf people. It operates a wide range of services and advocates at all levels for the advancement of the human rights of Deaf people.

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