ODI December newsletter
Greetings to you all,
This year has been a big year for the disability community in New Zealand with the launch of the New Zealand Disability Strategy 2016-2026.
As the year draws to a close it is a good time to reflect on our journey and to start thinking about how to make the rights in the Strategy real.
I would like to start by thanking each and every one of you who shared your hopes and dreams for the future during the consultation process with both honesty and integrity.
I want you to know that your experience matters and your voices have been heard, they are the foundation on which this new Strategy has been built.
It’s now critical that we make sure that the Strategy is implemented properly and that real changes are made. This is not going to be a Strategy that sits on the shelf and gathers dust.
The Strategy will be implemented through the Disability Action Plan. This Plan will be updated early next year to make sure that the actions in it are focused on achieving the Strategy and what disabled people said was important to them.
And to help measure progress and ensure there is accountability, an Outcomes Framework will also be developed early next year. This will specify the targets and indicators which will help keep us on track and ensure that we are learning and improving as we go.
I am told that developing an Outcomes Framework like this is pretty new internationally, so it’s important that we get it right – and that means getting advice from disabled people and the disability sector. This Strategy has reaffirmed our lead role internationally on the rights of disabled people.
We need to get this next phase of work done and make sure that we continue to earn that international reputation.
I wish you all a happy and safe festive season and look forward to hearing your voices as we work together toward achieving the Strategy’s vision of a non-disabling society.
Hon Nicky Wagner
The Office for Disability Issues has a new website which aims to make it much easier to track the progress of the New Zealand Disability Strategy.
The website, at www.odi.govt.nz , has a full section devoted to the Strategy with separate pages for each of the Strategy’s eight Outcome areas.
The Strategy will be implemented through the Disability Action Plan. The website pages for each Outcome area will include the actions that will be carried out to achieve the Strategy’s vision.
There are many actions already underway as part of the existing Disability Action Plan 2014-2018. You can check progress on the website and find out who is leading the work and how it is being done.
Next year the Disability Action Plan will be updated to more closely align it with the new Strategy. There will be consultation with the disability sector to seek feedback on the proposed changes.
An Outcomes Framework will also be developed to measure progress in implementing the Strategy. It will be developed in consultation with the disability sector. More information will be available in the New Year on these activities.
The new Strategy is available in a range of accessible formats on the new Office for Disability Issues website. The Strategy is available on the website in standard print, large print, EasyRead, New Zealand Sign Language and audio.
Hard copies of the Strategy, including Braille copies, are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Minister for Disability Issues’ annual report on the implementation of the 2001 New Zealand Disability Strategy was recently presented to Parliament. In the report, the Minister said she was pleased to report on some significant Government achievements over the past year. These included:
- The launch of the revised New Zealand Disability Strategy.
- New Zealand’s accession to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
- The contribution of the Enabling Good Lives approach to inform changes to the disability support system.
- New initiatives to enable disabled people to take up employment – including the Lead Toolkit for Employing Disabled People in the State Sector, and the Disability Confident campaign.
A range of programmes, services and resources to support and encourage employers to hire and retain disabled people, are now available following the launch of the [Disability Confident link to Disability Confident campaign .
A comprehensive range of practical information to support the campaign can be found on the MSD website. It covers the benefits of having a diverse workforce, what financial support and other assistance is available across the employment cycle from recruitment through to performance management. You can also download the Lead Toolkit: A guide to employing disabled people .
The campaign, which runs until the end of June 2017, supports work being done by Work and Income with employers through EmployAbility .
The team at the Office for Disability Issues wishes all our readers a safe and happy festive season. We look forward to continuing to work with you all in the New Year toward our shared vision of making New Zealand a non-disabling society.
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