The Green Party is throwing its support behind the Access Alliance’s new campaign to make Aotearoa 100% accessible for everyone.
The Access Alliance is a coalition of disability organisations campaigning for legislation that will set national standards for accessibility across all areas of New Zealand life and the economy.
“This is a question of fairness. New Zealanders with disabilities need to have the same access to public infrastructure, services, workplaces and online information that everyone else has”, said Green Party Disability Issues spokesperson Mojo Mathers.
“Despite years of Government policies and initiatives, the gap for most disabled people in education, employment and income has not been reduced.
“The reality is that all the goodwill in the world will not make a wheelchair magically levitate up a flight of stairs to access a workplace. Inaccessibility has profound downstream consequences, not just for disabled people, but for their caregivers, family and friends.
“Under existing laws there aren’t strong enough guidelines or expectations for organisations to become more accessible for people with disabilities.
“Ensuring accessibility is core to fulfilling our commitment to uphold the rights of people with disabilities, a group which will grow as our population ages.
“The Alliance estimates that improving workforce participation for disabled people will add $1.45 billion per year to GDP and reduce annual costs to Government by $270 million.
“The Greens are committed to introducing legislation to make Aotearoa fully accessible, and we are looking forward to working with the Access Alliance to make this happen”, said Ms Mathers.