In an inclusive society, everyone has their full rights recognised and actively participates in their communities. The real obstacle to full participation in society by people with impairments is the physical, environmental, social and organisational barriers, poorly informed attitudes, and inadequate support services.

The Government should provide coordinated leadership

  • A Disability Issues Commission should be established, legislation similar to the UK’s Disabilities Act put in place, and a process immediately established to implement the United Nations Convention on the Human Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Funding should be increased and education should be accessible to all and well-resourced

  • All funding should be based on need not cause of impairment, including for children. Individualised funding should be available for those who choose it.
  • Culturally appropriate services should be freely available, including for tangata whenua.
  • People who need intermittent support or care should be able to access services when they need them without going through screening every time.
  • All children have an absolute right to a quality education at their local public school and schools should be covered by the NZ Disability Strategy.

Public services should be accessible to all

  • Publicly funded buses and trains must all be accessible.
  • Disability awareness should be part of induction and on-going training for all public sector employees.
  • The Building Code should ensure all new houses and buildings are accessible by design, unless specifically exempted.

Advocacy, leadership, and democratic participation should be supported

  • People with impairments should have input into the decision-making processes, including being supported to take leadership roles their communities and wider Aotearoa.
  • People with impairments should be supported to self-advocate, and the government should fund advocacy services including a parent’s advocacy support phone line.

People with impairments should be supported to work and their workplace rights upheld

  • Employers should not be exempted from paying employees with impairments the minimum wage. This doesn’t include community participation programmes.
  • Employers and employees should be financially assisted to make adaptions and obtain equipment and support for employees with impairments.
  • Support for people with impairments to gain work and employers who want to employ people with impairments should be increased.

People with impairments are entitled to the protection of their bodily integrity

  • Antenatal screening should not be biased towards termination. Prospective parents should be fully informed about the experiences of parents whose children have impairments and the support available to them.
  • Sterilisations and chemical castrations of people under the age of 18 years should be banned and informed consent required for people over 18, unless being performed as a life saving measure or medical emergency.
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