[lg policy] New Zealand: Mana releases disability policy

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Tue Nov 1 14:25:39 UTC 2011

Mana releases disability policy

Tuesday, 1 November, 2011 - 09:44

Disabled people have rights that must be protected and promoted, and
have the same human rights as all other people to be treated with
dignity; to live, to have full and equal access to healthcare, high
quality education, fulfilling work, an adequate standard of living,
appropriate housing, freedom from discrimination, the transmission of
language and culture, and full and effective participation in society.
The state is legally obligated to take active steps to fulfil these
rights and to make sure others do not interfere with them.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities (UNCRPD) recognizes that disability is created when
people with impairments encounter barriers in society that hinder them
from living the lives they choose. Mana acknowledges this definition,
as chosen by disabled people in the writing of the Convention, whilst
respecting alternative world views.

In Aotearoa, one in five people are disabled. Maori have a higher rate
of disability than non-Maori and face extra barriers, including racial
discrimination and lack of access to culture. Disabled people in are
often disadvantaged in employment, education, income and standard of
living, access to public transport, and access to health services.
Barriers include: inaccessible building design and information;
services delivered in places or ways that don't meet people's needs;
and negative societal attitudes and behaviours. These barriers also
affect the wh?nau of disabled people, and those who love and care for

Mana policies related to welfare, housing, education, and economic
justice all aim to increase the living standards and support the right
to participation of disabled people.

In addition, Mana policy priorities are to:

Ensure equal rights and access to justice for disabled people by:

? Enshrining The UNCRPD in domestic legislation

? Ratifying the UNCRPD Optional Protocol to enable disabled people
whose rights have been breached to take cases directly to the UN.

? Promoting the development of anti-discrimination legislation

Promote the full participation of disabled people in creating an
inclusive Aotearoa by

? Increasing the visibility, voice and participation of disabled
people in central, regional and local government across all sectors,
including governance, planning, policy, research, and service
provision - and increase the resources available to enable this to

? Build the research capacity of disabled people, across all areas
including health, design, education, economics, and engineering, to
increase control and influence over policy and planning, and to
monitor progress.

To enforce accessibility standards in the provision of:

? Transport

? Housing and the built environment

? Information

? Technology

Improving the standard of living for disabled people and their whanau by:

? Introducing a non-means tested benefit to meet the costs of
disability of all disabled people

? Removing the inequity in access to services and healthcare between
ACC and Ministry of Health clients, bringing all recipients to the
higher level of access to resources

? Abolishing the minimum wage exemption permit and ensuring meaningful
jobs are available to all disabled people

? Ensuring that all disabled people have the right to be educated
alongside their peers in a properly resourced learning environment

? Increasing the options for disabled people to use affordable and
accessible community facilities to maintain fitness and wellbeing

Improving access to culture and language by:

? Promoting the development of accessible marae and cultural facilities

? Increasing the use of New Zealand Sign Language in public life
including support for ongoing development of Maori signs

People who require disability-related support should be able to
receive it in the place they want from the people they want, in the
way they want and in a culturally appropriate manner as determined by
the disabled person and their loved ones. This will be achieved by:

? Ensuring health, disability and social service staff are properly
trained and provided with ongoing professional development especially
in cultural competence and that this is audited

? Providing fair payment for support workers, including immediate
resolution of the 'Parents as Caregivers' case and ensuring that night
shift workers receive the minimum wage with immediate effect

? Include disabled people and their wh?nau in developing ways to
monitor the quality and performance of health and social services

? Increase the availability of services and facilities for long term
and short term care and residential living that are age- and
culturally appropriate for diverse groups of M?ori, Pacific, and other

? Increase community-based rehabilitation services


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