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Join the conversation on shaping our future

April 13, 2016

Megan McCoy, Director of the Office for Disability Issues, quotes a statistic that may surprise you.

“Twenty four percent of us, or 1.1 million New Zealanders, are identified as disabled—which includes those with vision, hearing, physical, learning or mental health impairments.”

Ms McCoy says that when she talks to people about disability, they often don’t know how common it actually is. “Even if you don’t have a disability yourself, chances are that you have a friend or a family member who has some difficulty doing everyday things.

“An example of this is trying to find a café that is accessible to people using a wheelchair, or that isn’t so noisy that people with a hearing impairment can’t participate in conversation.

“Something else we often hear is how people can find it difficult to get a job, as potential employers treat them differently because of a learning disability or mental health issue.”

The Office for Disability Issues has launched a campaign asking people to join the conversation on how they can live a good life, and help build a new disability strategy for New Zealand.

www.jointheconversation.nz asks people to think about what the most important things are for disabled New Zealanders and their whānau to live a good life. People can respond via an online survey, record a video, attend an event or hold their own workshop.

“A new disability strategy for New Zealand will help the government to make informed decisions on issues that impact disabled people over the next ten years,” says Ms McCoy. “It’s a really exciting prospect, to make a difference for those who often don’t have the same opportunities as others.”

Disabled people, their families and those who support them are invited to join the conversation, and share their ideas on how they can feel valued, supported, and able to participate in their communities. Visitwww.jointheconversation.nz

Link to NZSL version https://player.vimeo.com/video/162471521