Disability Issues

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Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner is welcoming the decision to include questions on disability in the 2018 Census.

“The Census collects important data about who we are as New Zealanders. Including a question set to identify people who are disabled will provide us with valuable information about their lives,” Ms Wagner says.

The questions are based on the Washington Group Short Set of Questions on Disability — considered best practice internationally for identifying disabled people in population censuses.

Nicky Wagner Disability Issues
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Disability Issues and Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner says a hard-working and talented group has produced a high-level design for the transformed disability support system.

“The co-design group, which includes disabled people, worked intensively over several months to create and shape the framework for this new system,” Ms Wagner says.

Nicky Wagner Health Disability Issues
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A new set of questions is being included in national surveys to improve information about disabled people and their lives, Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner and Statistics Minister Scott Simpson say.

The questions, known as the Washington Group Short Set of Questions on Disability, will be included in the New Zealand General Social Survey, carried out every two years, and annually in the June quarter of the Household Labour Force Survey.

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The Government will join an international treaty to improve access to written materials for blind and visually impaired New Zealanders, Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Jacqui Dean say.

The Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled is an international framework that will enable the reproduction and distribution of books and other literary works in accessible formats.

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Budget 2017 will invest an extra $205.4 million over four years to maintain and improve disability support services, Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner say.

“The Government is committed to providing disabled people with more support so they can have greater independence and live better lives in their communities,” Dr Coleman says.

“The sector will receive an extra $52.3 million in 2017/18, taking its total funding to $1.2 billion for the year.

Nicky Wagner Jonathan Coleman Health Disability Issues Budget 2017
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Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner is welcoming a review of the disabled people-led monitoring initiative.

The initiative involved training over 50 disabled people to interview other disabled people about their experiences. It is governed by the Convention Coalition Monitoring Group, which monitors how New Zealand is implementing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

Nicky Wagner Disability Issues
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Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner is marking the end of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) week by announcing funding for 17 NZSL projects.

The NZSL Board, established to promote and maintain NZSL, allocates $1.25 million annually to a range of initiatives and activities throughout New Zealand.

“As another successful NZSL Week comes to an end, I’m delighted to announce funding for 17 projects supporting a wide range of NZSL needs,” Ms Wagner says.

Nicky Wagner Disability Issues
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Evaluations of the Christchurch and Waikato Enabling Good Lives (EGL) demonstrations will help guide the transformation of the disability support system, Disability Issues and Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner says.

“The Phase Two evaluation reports show disabled people and their families really value having more choice, more control and more flexibility when it comes to the support they receive,” Ms Wagner says.

Nicky Wagner Health Disability Issues
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Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner is welcoming a free online initiative to help New Zealanders learn New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL).

Learn NZSL is an e-learning resource developed by the Deaf Studies Research Unit at Victoria University of Wellington. It covers everyday vocabulary, phrases and conversations, supported by interactive tasks and 660 videos.

The Government contributed $230,000 through the NZSL Fund, administered by the NZSL Board.

Nicky Wagner Disability Issues
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Disability Issues and Associate Health Minister Nicky Wagner today announced the group responsible for designing the new disability support system.

“The co-design process is an exciting opportunity for leaders in the disability sector to work in partnership with government to transform the disability support system,” Ms Wagner says.

Nicky Wagner Health Disability Issues
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Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman and Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner say the New Zealand Special Olympics team should be extremely proud of its outstanding results at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games held in Graz, Austria.

“The 13 athletes who competed in last week’s games have returned to New Zealand today with 18 medals,” says Dr Coleman.

“What’s even more impressive is that all members of the team have achieved personal best results.”

Nicky Wagner Jonathan Coleman Disability Issues Sport and Recreation
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Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner today congratulates Robert Martin on becoming the first person with a learning disability to sit on the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

“Robert will soon be heading to Geneva, Switzerland to serve a four year term on the Committee. He will be working as an independent expert to monitor countries and their implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,” Ms Wagner says.

Nicky Wagner Disability Issues
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Associate Health and Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner today announced a three month co-design process with the disability sector to begin a nationwide transformation of the disability support system.

“The current system does not work well for all disabled people. What we are working toward is a new system, based on the Enabling Good Lives (EGL) vision and principles, including individualised funding,” Ms Wagner says.

Nicky Wagner Disability Issues
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International Day of Persons with Disabilities is a chance to celebrate the progress we have made to improve the lives of disabled New Zealanders, says Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner.

“This year’s theme, Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want, draws attention to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals and how these goals can create a more inclusive and equitable society for disabled people,” Ms Wagner says.

“Our government has been working hard to help us move towards a non-disabling society.

Nicky Wagner Disability Issues
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Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner have congratulated the winners of the Attitude Awards, which recognise the exceptional contributions made by disabled New Zealanders.

“This year the Ministry of Health sponsored the Making a Difference Award, which is given to an individual who has made a significant contribution to improving the lives of disabled people,” says Dr Coleman.

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A new Disability Strategy will help disabled New Zealanders to participate and contribute to our communities on an equal basis as others, say Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner.

“The vision of the Strategy is to help make New Zealand ‘a non-disabling society, a place where disabled people have an equal opportunity to achieve their goals and aspiration, and all of New Zealand works together to achieve this’,” Ms Wagner says.

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The Disability Confident campaign, which supports employers to hire and retain disabled employees, was launched today by Prime Minister John Key.

Disabilities Issues Minister Nicky Wagner says the campaign is about showcasing the wide range of easily accessible and practical information available to support employers of disabled employees.

Nicky Wagner Disability Issues
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Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner welcomes the New Zealand Deaf Games 2016, held in Hamilton from Friday 21 to 23 October.

“The Deaf Games is the premier national sports competition for the Deaf in New Zealand. First held in 1969, the Games run every two years and are a fantastic chance for Deaf athletes from all over New Zealand to show their prowess in their individual sport,” Ms Wagner says.

“Around 140 athletes will compete across 11 sports, including basketball, football and touch rugby.

Nicky Wagner Disability Issues
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Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner welcomes New Zealand’s accession to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The Optional Protocol enables individuals or groups, who claim to have had their rights breached under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, to make a complaint to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

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Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner welcomes the start of national Blind Week.

“Next week is a chance for us to support to people who are blind or who have low vision,” Ms Wagner says.

“A recent study shows that around 47,000 New Zealanders aged 15 years and over are blind or have low vision. That’s almost enough people to fill Eden Park.

"We all want to make sure that people who are blind or who have low vision are included in our communities and have the same opportunities and outcomes as everyone else.

Nicky Wagner Disability Issues
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Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman and Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner say the country is extremely proud of what our Paralympians achieved in Rio. 

“Our 31 Kiwi Paralympians achieved 21 medals in total - nine gold, five silver, and seven bronze – that’s three medals over their target,” says Dr Coleman.

“On a medals per capita basis, New Zealand topped the table, maintaining the top position it achieved in London 2012.

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Sport and Recreation Minister Jonathan Coleman and Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner wish New Zealand’s Paralympians the best of luck as the Paralympics get underway this week.

“Our 31 Kiwi Paralympians will carry the support of all New Zealanders over the next 12 days as they strive for gold in Rio,” says Dr Coleman. 

“Our athletes will compete in events across six sports - para-sports, para-athletics, para-cycling, para-sailing, para-canoeing, para-shooting and para-swimming.

Nicky Wagner Jonathan Coleman Sport and Recreation Disability Issues
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Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner has thanked everyone who joined the conversation to create a better future for the one in four New Zealanders who have a physical, sensory, learning, mental health or other impairment.

“Over the past month more than 630 people attended workshops from Invercargill to Whangarei to provide feedback on the draft version of a new Disability Strategy for New Zealand,” Ms Wagner says.

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Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner welcomes the passing of the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind Act Repeal Bill.

“The Blind Foundation wanted the Act repealed because it caused confusion by incorrectly suggesting that the Foundation is a statutory body. This Bill emphasises the Foundation’s status as completely independent from Parliament,” Ms Wagner says.

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