Outcome 5 - Accessibility

We access all places, services and information with ease and dignity.

Our future and what needs to happen

We have access to warm, safe and affordable housing that meets our needs and enables us to make choices about where we go to school or work and to fully participate as members of our families, whānau and communities.

We can get from one place to another easily and safely, for example from home to school, work or to a friend’s house. We can also access all public buildings, spaces and facilities with dignity and on an equal basis with others.

We feel safe taking public transport to get around and are treated well when we do so. Our needs are also appropriately considered when planning for new transport services. Private transport services are responsive to and inclusive of us. For those of us who need it, there is access to specific transport options that are affordable, readily available and easy to use.

Information and communications are easy for us to access in formats and languages that are right for us, including in our country’s official languages of Te Reo Māori and New Zealand Sign Language. This helps us to be independent because we do not have to rely on other people. We use technology on the same basis as everyone else; those of us who need specific technology solutions will have access to these in a way that is innovative, progressive and helps to eliminate barriers. The evolving opportunities presented by new technology helps us to achieve our goals.

Our accessible communities are free of barriers (for example, access to shops, banks, entertainment, churches, parks, and so on), which enables us to participate and contribute on an equal basis with non-disabled people.

What this means:

  • Disabled people are consulted on and actively involved in the development and implementation of legislation and policies concerning housing (home ownership, social housing and private rentals), transport (public and private), public buildings and spaces and information, communication and technology.
  • Universal design is understood, recognised and widely used.
  • All professionals involved in accessibility have a good understanding of the principles of universal design and the needs of disabled people and take these into account in their work.
  • We enjoy and are fully included in artistic, cultural, sporting and recreation events whether as spectators or as performers.
  • Decision-making on issues regarding housing, transport, public buildings and spaces and information, communication and technology is informed by robust data and evidence.

 

Actions

The action outlined below will help achieve this outcome. This work was started under the existing Disability Action Plan. 

9. Priority: Increase government services’ responsiveness to disabled people

9 A: Increase accessibility of information across government agencies.

On this page

Progress update to August 2016

  1. Milestones from scoping document
  2. Progress towards milestones

Scope of action

  1. The purpose of this work is to improve disabled people’s access to government information
  2. We will involve our Working Group and Stakeholders
  3. The Senior Officials Group and DPOs will oversee this project
  4. Consistently accessible information is the desired outcome of this work
  5. What is included in the scope of this project
  6. Follow up with agencies and DPOs
  7. Reporting and key milestones
  8. Resources to inform this work
  9. Is there any research or information which represents the lived experience of disability?
  10. Related work

Progress update to August 2016

Status: On track - Green

Milestones from scoping document:

Develop a positive statement for CEs to sign up to about what we want to achieve

  • Work with DPOs to develop a positive statement about what we want to achieve and why it is important.
  • Ask CEs to sign and support this ‘common accessibility statement’.

Following CE support, engage with stakeholders

  • Meet with our DPO and agency stakeholders to discuss:

         o    the case for change, including the priorities DPOs have identified

         o    current practices to meet their obligations and how they would rate themselves

         o    accessibility tools/resources they use or have tried to use

         o    their successes and frustrations with current resources

         o    additional support they may need to improve the reach of their communications.

Complete a stocktake of existing accessibility resources

  • Complete a stocktake of existing accessibility resources.
  • Assess which tools make it easy for agencies to meet their obligations and produce accessible information, highlighting these tools as ‘the ones’ to use.

Develop a package of resources and include it in the Lead Toolkit

  • Develop a package of accessibility resources for communications’ teams to use. These guidelines should be incorporated into business as usual over time.
  • Host a ‘best practice’ workshop involving government and non-government stakeholders and include the package in the Lead Toolkit.

Follow up with agencies and DPOs

  • Continue to follow up with agencies to see how they are incorporating the tools into their communications.
  • Seek feedback from DPOs to see whether they notice changes overtime.

Progress towards milestones:

  • New scope signed off by DPOs on 9 June 2016.
  • Lead changed in March 2016 to the Ministry of Social Development.
  • Scope to be confirmed by CEs at August meeting.

Risks or emerging issues: -

Lead:  Ministry of Social Development, DPOs

Others involved: -

DPOs contact: Blind Citizens

Scope of action

The revised scope of this action was approved by the governance meeting of the Chief Executives' Group on Disability Issues and Disabled People's Organisations on 19 August 2016.

Lead: Ministry of Social Development and DPOs.

1  The purpose of this work is to improve disabled people’s access to government information

The purpose of this work is to improve disabled New Zealanders access to information provided by government agencies for the public. It also aims to provide disabled people with a consistent experience when accessing information.

By working with other agencies and stakeholders we will be seeking to develop a shared understanding and commitment to producing accessible communications, as government expects its information to be accessible and useable by as much of the public as possible.

We will identify and provide clear, practical advice to support agencies to meet minimum accessibility requirements for all their communications with the public. This includes identifying the types of communications products that need to be accessible.   

2  We will involve our Working Group and Stakeholders

Advice on this action will be sought from:

  • DPOs: Association of Blind Citizens, Deaf Aotearoa, People First, Deaf Blind and Kapo Maori
  • Government agencies: the Ministries of Health, Social Development, Culture and Heritage, and the Department of Internal Affairs.

We will also involve other stakeholders, including:

  • The State Services Commission, MBIE and DPMC
  • Local Government New Zealand
  • Office for Seniors
  • Blind Foundation
  • National Foundation for the Deaf
  • Age Concern New Zealand.

3  The Senior Officials Group and DPOs will oversee this project

Governance and oversight of this project will be provided by the Senior Officials Group on Disability Issues and Disabled People’s Organisations.

4  Consistently accessible information is the desired outcome of this work

We are seeking to deliver the following:

  • Disabled people consistently experience improved access to government information produced for the public
  • Government agencies understand that the information they produce for the public is required to be accessible to as many people as possible
  • Government agencies know where to find the tools and supports they need to build their capacity and ensure their communications are accessible to a wide audience.

5  What is included in the scope of this project

To achieve the desired outcomes, we have identified the following key phases to this work.

Engage with our stakeholders to get their buy in

Work with DPOs to develop a common accessibility statement for the CEs Group on Disability Issues to sign up to.

Following CE agreement, engage with key stakeholders to get them on board.  We have extended our list to include SSC, MBIE and DPMC (with its emergency management hat on). When we meet with agencies and DPOs we will discuss:

  • the case for change and the priorities identified by DPOs
  • their understanding of their obligations
  • current practices when it comes to making communications accessible – how would they rate their performance?
  • any tools/resources they may be using or aware of and what works and doesn’t work
  • additional support they may need to deliver more accessible communications.

Work with DPOs and government agencies to identify common problems and priorities for change

Identifying common accessibility problems experienced by disabled people, including the types of communication products that need to be accessible. This will help us to build our case for change when we engage with agencies.

Working with DPOs and agencies to identify key priorities for change.  Which changes would make the biggest difference for disabled people?  If we are able to identify priorities to be our first cabs off the rank, what would they be?

Working with agencies to understand whether they have an accessibility policy, understand their obligations, and what they are currently doing to make their communications accessible to as many people as possible.  Identifying where might they need further support and any barriers/frustrations that make it difficult for them to be accessible.   

During this phase it would be useful to know which agencies/organisations are considered by DPOs to be exemplars and champions of accessible information.

Find out what accessibility resources and tools already exist

A stocktake of existing tools/resources available to agencies and publishing houses.  When we engage with agencies, it would be useful to know whether they use these tools, and if not, why not?

We will also link in with the NZ Sign Language Advisory Board, which has a priority on promoting greater use of NZ Sign Language; and the work on Better Public Service Result 10: New Zealanders can complete their transactions with the Government easily in a digital environment.

Develop a package of practical resources and discuss it with stakeholders

Develop/collate a package of accessibility guidelines and support tools for communications’ teams to discuss and use.

  • The shape of the package will depend on the existing tools and any gaps we identify.
  • Potential to host a ‘best practice’ workshop involving government and non-government stakeholders, particularly those who work in communications teams. This would be an opportunity to share excellence in this area, but also to look at how making your information accessible should be business as usual.
  • These stakeholder discussions would include targeting your audience and using appropriate communications products to reach as many people as possible.

Add the guidelines/tools to the Lead Toolkit.

6  Follow up with agencies and DPOs

Follow up with agencies after the launch of accessible communications package/workshop to find out what changes they are making, or how useful they find the package/champion examples of best practice

Check in with DPOs to see whether disabled people are noticing a difference.

New funding and NGOs are not within the scope of this project

New funding for the production of accessible communications products is outside the scope of this project, as it should be business as usual.

Communications products produced by non-government organisations, that receive funding from government, are not within the scope of this project. However NGOs will be encouraged to use any of the resources developed in order to better meet their public service obligations to disabled people.

7  Reporting and key milestones

The key milestones for this project are outlined beneath each of the phases of work.

Develop a positive statement for CEs to sign up to about what we want to achieve

Work with DPOs to develop a positive statement about what we want to achieve and why it is important. This statement will also reference existing public sector obligations on accessible information. At their next scheduled meeting in September, we will ask the CE’s group on Disability Issues to support and sign a ‘common accessibility’ statement.

Following CE support, engage with stakeholders

Once we have the support of the CE’s group, we (MSD and DPO reps) will begin meeting with our stakeholders.

Meeting pre-work for agencies: Prior to meeting we will ask agencies to complete a template to record relevant information, e.g. their understanding of their obligations, whether they have an accessibility policy, the communications tools they have used, as well as any successes or difficulties they have experienced.

Meeting pre-work for DPOs: before we meet with agencies we will ask DPOs to identify:

  • common accessibility problems experienced by disabled people
  • the key priorities for change
  • examples of agencies/organisations that provide consistently accessible communications.

During our meetings we will discuss:

  • the case for change, including the priorities DPOs have identified
  • current practices to meet their obligations and how they would rate themselves
  • accessibility tools/resources they are aware of and use or have tried to use
  • their successes and frustrations with current resources
  • additional support they may need to improve the reach of their communications.

Complete a stocktake of existing accessibility resources

After we have met with agencies and DPOs we will complete a stocktake of existing accessibility resources.

Following the stocktake, we will assess which tools make it easy for agencies to meet their obligations and produce accessible information, highlighting these tools as ‘the ones’ to use.

Develop a package of resources and include it in the Lead Toolkit

Following the stocktake, we will have developed a package of accessibility resources for communications’ teams to use to make government information more accessible. These guidelines should be incorporated into business as usual over time.

We will host a ‘best practice’ workshop involving government and non-government stakeholders, particularly those working in communications teams, and include the package in the Lead Toolkit.

Follow up with agencies and DPOs

We will continue to follow up with agencies to see how they are incorporating the accessibility tools into their communications. We will also seek feedback from DPOs to see whether they notice changes overtime.

This check in process will be an opportunity for us to see what is working and what we might need to change.

8  Resources to inform this work

Is there any research or information (whether qualitative or quantitative) informing this action?

  • United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2014. “General comment number 2 (2014) Article 9: Accessibility”.
  • Office for Disability Issues, 2011. “Make your communications more accessible: Quick tips for writers, communicators, designers and production houses”.
  • People First, 2014. “A guide to making Easy Read information”.
  • Department of Internal Affairs, 2013. “Web Accessibility Standard 1.0” and “Web Usability Standard 1.2”.
  • Human Rights Commission, 2012. “Better Information for Everyone: Disabled People’s Rights in the Information Age”.

9  Is there any research or information which represents the lived experience of disability?

Round Table on Information Access for People with Print Disabilities (http://printdisability.org/).

New information on what is reasonable accommodation of disabled people’s needs http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/system/paperclip/document_files/document_files/1120/original/imm_reasonable_accommodation_guide.doc?1448405458

In employment specifically: http://www.odi.govt.nz/what-we-do/making-it-easier-to-employ-disabled-people/index.html#Providingreasonableaccommodationforemployees2

10  Related work

Is there any other work in the Disability Action Plan 2014-2018 that this action relates to or which contributes to this action? None.

Is there any other work (outside of the Disability Action Plan) that this action connects with or which contributes to this action? Better Public Service result 10: New Zealanders can complete their transactions with the Government easily in a digital environment.

 

The action outlined below will help achieve this outcome. This work was started under the existing Disability Action Plan. 

9. Priority: Increase government services’ responsiveness to disabled people

9 B: Understand the journey through the justice sector for disabled adults, disabled children and their families.

On this page

Progress update to August 2016

Scope of action

Progress update to August 2016

Status: On track - Green

Milestones from scoping document:

To be confirmed.

Update on implementation:  

New action, to be scoped. Build on previous related action on data standard. The Ministry of Justice is talking with the Office for Disability Issues and other agencies on ways to progress this action.

Risks or emerging issues:    -

Lead: Ministry of Justice

Others involved:       -

DPOs contact: Balance

Blind Citizens

Others:

Scope of action

Scope to be developed. 

The action outlined below will help achieve this outcome. This work was started under the existing Disability Action Plan.

9. Priority: Increase government services’ responsiveness to disabled people

9 G: Investigate opportunities for technology to increase disabled people’s participation in work, community and political life, including through both assistive and access to mainstream technology.

On this page

Progress update to August 2016

Scope of action

Progress update to August 2016

Status: On track - Green

Change since last report: New

Milestones from scoping document:

  • Existing scope - not approved
  • A scoping document prepared by ACC was provided to DPOs and ODI in May 2016. One representative from DPOs provided feedback regarding the scope on June 30 2016, advising of a number of changes that should be considered.
  • Further clarification has been sought from DPOS and ODI as to whether any further feedback from DPOs can be expected – we await a response from DPOs.

Update on implementation: 

  • Delays in feedback from DPOs
  • Time required to make appropriate changes to scoping document and subsequent consultation with DPOs

Risks or emerging issues:    -

Lead: ACC

Others involved:       -

DPOs contact: DPA

Others:         -

Scope of action

Scope to be developed.

The action outlined below will help achieve this outcome. This work was started under the existing Disability Action Plan.

9. Priority: Increase government services’ responsiveness to disabled people

9 H: Develop a framework for understanding the costs of disability and mechanisms for meeting these.

On this page

Progress update to August 2016

Scope of action

Progress update to August 2016

Status: On track - Green

Milestones from scoping document:

  • Existing scope – not approved
  • A scoping document prepared by ACC was   provided to DPOs and ODI in May 2016. One representative from DPOs provided feedback regarding the scope on June 30 2016, advising of a number of changes that should be considered.
  • Clarification has been sought from DPOS and ODI as to whether any further feedback from DPOs is expected – we await a response from DPOs.

Update on implementation: 

  • Delays in feedback from DPOs
  • Time required to make appropriate changes to scoping document and subsequent consultation with DPOs
  • Change in scope may result in requirement for wider community and agency consultation therefore extending the outlined timeframe within the existing scope.

Risks or emerging issues: -

Lead: ACC

Ministry of Social Development

Others involved: -

DPOs contact: DPA

Others: -

Scope of action

Scope to be developed.

The action outlined below will help achieve this outcome. This work was started under the existing Disability Action Plan.

10. Priority: Increase the accessibility for disabled people of the built environment and transport services

10 A: Implement the recommendations agreed by the Chief Executives’ Group on Disability Issues, which were identified through the stocktake on the accessibility of public transport.

On this page

Progress update to August 2016

Scope of action

Progress update to August 2016

Status: On track - Green

Milestones from scoping document:

  • To be confirmed.

Update on implementation: 

  • Officials met with the DPOs on Monday 18 July 2016 to discuss the scopes of the actions.
  • Draft scope for discussion with DPOs-Senior Officials on 18 August 2016.Existing, being implemented.

Risks or emerging issues:    -

Lead: Ministry of Transport

New Zealand Transport Agency

Others involved:       -

DPOs contact: Blind Citizens

DeafBlind NZ

Others:         -

Scope of action

Scope to be developed.

The action outlined below will help achieve this outcome. This work was started under the existing Disability Action Plan.

10. Priority: Increase the accessibility for disabled people of the built environment and transport services

10 B: Implement the Accessibility Plan: Public Buildings.

On this page

Progress update to August 2016

  1. Milestones from scoping document
  2. Update on implementation

Scope of action

  1. Context: brief background, what is this action intended to achieve?
  2. Proposed scope
  3. Contributors/partners with lead – who is involved in this action?
  4. Reporting – key milestones/deliverables
  5. Milestones
  6. Risks
  7. Impact – what are we trying to achieve?
  8. Evidence base
  9. Related work

Progress update to August 2016

Status: Not progressing, may need intervention - Orange

Milestones from scoping document:

New milestones have been established.

  1. Research and prepare education programme
  2. Develop education programme
  3. Consultation
  4. Deliver education programme
  5. Review and report.

Update on implementation: 

Work for milestones 1 and 3 is 50 percent complete. The programme has been re-scoped to include education for understanding through technical updates to Building Code Clauses D1, G1, and G5, and their acceptable solutions.

Risks or emerging issues: Possible further delays

Lead: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Others involved: No others at this stage

DPOs contact: Blind Citizens, DeafBlind NZ

Others: No others at this stage

Scope of action

1  Context: brief background, what is this action intended to achieve?

The Accessibility Plan: Public Buildings is a programme of work to achieve the intended goal of Equitable access to and use of publicly accessible buildings by all New Zealanders.

The plan arose out of a review into the effectiveness of legislation for accessibility of public buildings. The review was jointly commissioned by the Office of Disability Issues (ODI) and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) in late 2013.  It was developed with input from an external Access Reference Group that was established to provide advice during the review.

The plan is structured around the four separate phases of building design, consent, construction, and occupation.

The first steps in implementing the plan is to review the problems and difficulties with achieving accessibility, develop and categorise actions to address the problems, then identify the expected outcomes of the actions and their impacts.

The review of the effectiveness of New Zealand building legislation for accessibility to public buildings concluded that problems largely arise from lack of understanding by property owners, developers, building designers, and building managers, about the need for accessibility and the needs of people with disabilities with respect to building accessibility. The plan is intended to provide information and experiences which will improve the levels of understanding among those who own, design, build and manage public facilities.

This is an action which is new to the Plan, but based on a prior mandate from the joint Ministry Review into the Effectiveness of New Zealand Legislation for Accessibility of Public Buildings.

2  Proposed scope

The purpose of this action is to provide building owners, designers, consenting authorities and managers with information, understanding and skills to fully comply with the requirements of the Building Act with the intention of achieving Equitable access to and use of publicly accessible buildings by all New Zealanders.

Included in the scope of this action are:

  • Development of general guidance material on accessible public buildings
  • Development and implementation of a plan to promote guidance on accessible public buildings
  • Development of guidance for building owners and developers on their obligations to provide accessible public buildings
  • Development of effective media messages on building accessibility for public information.
  • Development of guidelines on accessibility for building designers and consenting officials. These will include clarification of legal requirements on accessibility.
  • Development of design solutions for accessibility, including using standards and acceptable solutions to the Building Code.
  • Upskill designers and building officials through seminars and hosting on-line chat rooms.
  • Development and implementation of curriculum models for architecture and design schools and for architects’ continuing professional development modules.
  • Strengthening enforcement of compliance, developing confidence in building officials. Developing and implementing agreed sanctions for non-compliance.
  • Using media to raise consumer awareness of human rights for universal access.
  • Strengthening the regulatory system with up-dated and rationalised acceptable solutions to the Building Code. Updating the Building Code performance.

Excluded from the scope of this action are revisions to the Building Act and the Building Code. Technical updates to relevant Building Code clauses and their Acceptable Solutions will be included with guidance publications.

Implementation of the plan is scheduled for completion by 30 June 2018.

  • Draft outline for guidance - 31 August 2016
  • Plan to promote guidance - 31 October 2016
  • Education programme for building owners and developers - 30 June 2017
  • Education programme for building designers and officials - 30 June 2017
  • Programme for upskilling designers and officials - 30 September 2017
  • Strengthening enforcement and compliance - 31 March 2018
  • Strengthening the regulatory system - 30 June 2018

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will provide in-house building design and technical advice relating to the Building Act and the Building Code, in-house development of communications documents and programmes, briefing and commissioning of media and publications agencies.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is the lead agency for the project. Governance is shared with the Office of Disability Issues.

The Access Reference Group established for the development of the plan, will be referred to for advice on the progress of the plan.

Decisions on this action will be directed to the Disability Action Plan governance: DPOs and Senior Officials Group, and the DPOs and Chief Executives’ Group on Disability Issues.

This action is also responsible to governance arrangements for the Building Act and Building Code.

3  Contributors/partners with lead – who is involved in this action?

Developing the plan will proceed with direct reference to nominated representatives of The Association of Blind Citizens New Zealand, and Deaf Blind New Zealand. There is also an Access Reference Group with members representing the following organisations.

  • The Blind Foundation
  • CCS Disability Action
  • The Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand
  • Disabled People’s Assembly
  • Barrier Free New Zealand Trust
  • Invercargill City Council
  • Aged Concern
  • The Hearing Foundation
  • Acessible Options
  • Pynenburg and Collins Architects

The organisations listed above assisted the Office of Disability Issues and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in developing and drafting the scope of this action.

This action will be led by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in partnership with the Office of Disability Issues. The organisations listed above will be involved in implementing this action. Also involved in implementing the action will be professional architecture, design and engineering institutions, building owners and managers institutions, building consenting authorities.

4  Reporting – key milestones/deliverables

The lead agency is responsible for reporting every three months to the Office for Disability Issues, as requested, on progress against milestones listed in this section.

5  Milestones

  • Develop draft outline for guidance on accessible public buildings - 31 August 2016         
  • Implement plan to promote guide on accessible public buildings - 31 October 2016
  • Education programme for building owners and developers - 30 June 2017
  • Guidelines for building designers and officials - 30 June 2017
  • Upskill programme for building designers and officials - 30 September 2017
  • Strengthen enforcement of compliance - 31 March 2018
  • Strengthen regulatory system - 30 June 2018

6  Risks

What are the risk to progressing this action, and what mitigations will be put in place against those risks?

Risk: Delays in progressing some items of the programme through unavailability of suitable expertise. Mitigation: The programme is being progressed across multiple fronts so that resources can be reassigned to keep the overall programme on schedule.  

Risk: Lack of cooperation from professional groups or consenting authorities. Mitigation: Wide consultation at the early stages for agreement and commitment.  

Risk: Unavailability of media resources when scheduled. Mitigation: The programme will use a range of media to reduce the impact of one medium not being available for the programme  

7  Impact – what are we trying to achieve?

The impact will be achievement of equitable access to and use of publicly accessible buildings by all New Zealanders

Measurement or evaluation of indicators.

  • Building owners and developers will have a clear understanding of the requirements of the Building Act as evidenced by their proposals for new building works and the management of their existing premises.
  • Building designers will submit Building Code compliant proposals for consent.
  • Consistent and informed building consenting on accessibility by building officials.
  • An effective regime for enforcement of Building Act requirements.

8  Evidence base

The programme of work is to address the findings of the review into the effectiveness of legislation for accessibility of public buildings which was jointly commissioned by the Office of Disability Issues (ODI) and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) in late 2013.

9  Related work

Designing for All – a disability awareness programme for designers. The Designing for All programme is supported by Think Differently, Ministry of Social Development; Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment; Massey University.

The action outlined below will help achieve this outcome. This work was started under the existing Disability Action Plan. 

10. Priority: Increase the accessibility for disabled people of the built environment and transport services

10 C: Understand the impact of disability on housing needs and influence the social housing reform programme to meet the needs of disabled people.

On this page

Progress update to August 2016

Scope of action

Progress update to August 2016

Status: Off track - red

Milestones from scoping document: To be confirmed.

Update on implementation:  Deferred until completion of the New Zealand Disability Strategy revision, when capacity of the Office for Disability Issues is available.

Risks or emerging issues: -

Lead: Office for Disability Issues

Others involved: -

DPOs contact: DPA, DeafBlind NZ

Others: 

Scope of action

Scope to be developed. 

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