Office for Disability Issues October Newsletter
Published on Friday, 14 October 2016, 1:20 p.m.   Print Article

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Newsletter - October 2016

Message from the Minister for Disability Issues

Greetings everyone,Minister Nicky Wagner

I am delighted that New Zealand has demonstrated its commitment to ensuring the rights of disabled people through our accession to the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

While most matters can be resolved through domestic channels, the Optional Protocol provides an extra level of safeguard for individuals or groups who believe their rights under the CRPD have been denied or breached.

The Optional Protocol comes into force for New Zealand from 4 November 2016. You can find more information about what acceding to the Optional Protocol means, as well as read it in English, Easy Read or in New Zealand Sign Language on theOffice for Disability Issues website.

On another note, we’ve recently seen the hard work and commitment of our athletes through their outstanding success in the Rio Paralympics. I had the privilege of seeing first-hand our athletes in action and I’m so proud of them. The 31 member team won 21 medals and was the most successful country in terms of medals as related to population.

Coverage of the Paralympics by mainstream media has highlighted that achieving at sport is something shared by everyone, both disabled and non-disabled New Zealanders. It has captured our hearts and I am hopeful that this kind of publicity will help to build momentum in changing attitudes towards disabled people. We want people to focus on what disabled people can do. Our athletes are certainly very capable.

Improving society’s attitude toward disabled people was one of the key themes during the consultation on the new Disability Strategy. In this newsletter you can access a summary of the key themes that were identified through the consultation feedback.

I look forward to sharing with you the new Disability Strategy in the next couple of months.

Warmest wishes,

Hon Nicky Wagner

Key themes from consultation on draft Disability Strategy

A summary of the feedback received during the second phase of consultation on the draft Disability Strategy is now available online.Megan McCoy

Around 630 people attended workshops, focus group discussions and presentations around the country and 170 submissions were received.

The draft Disability Strategy has been updated based on the feedback received and advice from the Reference Group.

The Disability Strategy is currently being considered by the Government and a launch, pending approval, is expected around the time of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December 2016).

The Strategy will guide the direction of government agencies on disability issues for the next 10 years. It will be implemented through the Disability Action Plan and an Outcomes Framework will be developed to measure progress. Consultation on the Outcomes Framework is expected in early 2017.

Read the consultation summary on the Join the Conversation website

Update on work to improve knowledge about disabled people

The work being done to improve the data and evidence about disabled people in New Zealand is making good progress.

Consultation was recently held on ‘Enduring Questions’ which identify areas of long-term data needs. Around 80 people attended a public workshop in Wellington in August and 18 submissions were received.

This was the first step to develop a Disability Data and Evidence Plan. The next stage is to identify the gaps in the information available about disabled people. Further consultation on the Plan is expected in early 2017.

The project is being carried out by the Disability Data and Evidence Working Group which is jointly chaired by Statistics NZ and the Office for Disability Issues.

Find out more about the disability data and evidence project

Statistics NZ explains approach to disability surveys

Statistics New Zealand has outlined its current programme for gathering statistics about disability in New Zealand.

This information has been provided in response to questions from participants at the workshop in Wellington on the Enduring Questions hosted by the Office for Disability Issues and Statistics NZ.

It includes background on the process that was followed in 2012 to alternate the Disability Survey with the Māori Social Survey, what is happening now to collect new statistics on disability and how they plan to work with the disability sector in future.

Read about Statistics NZ’s work programme

UN Special Rapporteur’s informal visit to NZ

The United Nation’s Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Catalina Devandas Aguilar, recently made an informal visit to New Zealand.

Special Rapporteurs are appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council to examine a particular human rights issue and report back on a thematic or country-specific perspective in all parts of the world.

During her visit in September, Ms Aguilar met with government and non-government agencies and she was a guest speaker at the IHC Workability International Conference 'Make it Work'.

Read more about the UN Special Rapporteur.

New government programme to support communities

A new Community-Led Development Programme has been set up by the Government to support communities, organisations, hapū and iwi to set goals for themselves and achieve them.

The programme will allow those communities/groups to identify their aspirations, and then partner with the Department of Internal Affairs, other government agencies, local government, private funders, businesses and local iwi to achieve their goals.

This new partnering approach will provide support for up to five years through the investment of government funding and intensive advisory support.

Find out more about this programme

Research identifies gaps in NZ’s mental capacity law

New research suggests that people with impaired decision-making capacity need better legal protection to ensure their confinement in care arrangements is warranted.

Researcher Alison Douglass says an urgent review is needed of New Zealand’s law to protect and promote the rights of people with impaired ability to make their own life decisions.

The research, Mental Capacity – Updating New Zealand’s Law and Practice, has been published along with a practical clinical and legal ‘toolkit’ for health practitioners on assessing capacity co-authored by a psychiatrist and an ethicist.

Her study was made possible by winning the 2014 New Zealand Law Foundation International Research Fellowship, the country’s leading legal research award.

Find out more about Alison Douglass’ research

First report on Waikato Enabling Good Lives Demonstration

A report on the first stage of the Enabling Good Lives Waikato Demonstration indicates that a number of participants are beginning to create and realise their potential for leading good lives in positive ways.

Enabling Good Lives (EGL) Waikato is a three-year project that aims to bring together Government and the disability sector to change the way people with disabilities, their families and whānau get support in the Waikato.

The summary evaluation report focuses on the six months of the implementation of EGL Waikato (July–December 2015) when disabled people, their families and whānau first began to participate.

Read the report on Enabling Good Lives Waikato

Scholarships available for Māori Deaf

Scholarships are available for Māori Deaf people who want to become qualified tutors in New Zealand Sign Language.

The New Zealand Sign Language Board is offering four scholarships through its New Zealand Sign Language Fund. Each scholarship is worth $7400 per student over two years.

Students need to be enrolled for the Certificate in Deaf Studies at Victoria University to be eligible for the award. Applications close on 30 October 2016.

Read how to apply for a Māori Deaf Scholarship

Guidance for meeting the needs of diverse learners

The Ministry of Education’s Inclusive Education website provides more than 20 guides with practical strategies, suggestions and resources to help schools support students with diverse needs.

The site was set up in response to a call from educators to take some of the mystery out of meeting the needs of students with special education needs.

While the site was developed for teachers and school leaders, parents and students are finding the guides useful for encouraging conversations and understanding between themselves and teachers. It is also helping conversations with employers.

The Ministry has received feedback that the site is “enriching, dynamic, pure gold” and has helped build the confidence of students.

Visit the Ministry’s Inclusive Education website

Consultant/s required for review of disabled people-led monitoring

The Office for Disability Issues is looking for a consultant/s to undertake a review of disabled people-led monitoring.

The review will help inform future arrangements for this work. Information on the purpose of the review and the skills and experience required are available on the Office for Disability Issues website. Proposals are due by noon on 28 October 2016.

Find out more about the review and the work required

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