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Removing Disabling Experiences

A vision for the future of our people

People are the heart of our communities and our society in Aotearoa, New Zealand. We recognise as a society that many people with impairments have disabling experiences; these can result in exclusion, and we want to change that. We share a vision that in the future we will have an integrated person-directed system for supporting people with impairments that will reduce our disabling experiences. This future system will provide four enforceable rights to social and income support, habilitation, and healthcare. It will coordinate with two complementary systems for improving accessibility and for removing discrimination through an organisation that is tasked with removing peoples' negative disabling experiences.

Four enforceable rights of the proposed future system

This is a proposed new system proposed to create enforceable rights for persons with impairments to personalised social support, income support, habilitation, and healthcare. Creating this new system will meet the principles of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, empower people to live their best life, and increase choice and control. These would be provided by the state through a centralised administrative system for people with impairment, similar to the way entitlements are currently available under the ACC system. This includes modifications, adjustments and supports for a person with impairment, to ensure their enjoyment or exercise of all human rights and fundamental freedoms on an equal basis with others.

These are all existing rights that should already be provided through a “rights based” framework. But disabled people know that these are not enforceable, not effective and are not provided in a person-centric manner, let alone person-directed. This work focuses primarily on developing a system to create enforceable rights, and then a roadmap to implement this system over the next decade. Whilst the system of enforceable rights has an important role to play in removing disabling experiences, the future system will not be able to remove many of the wider systemic barriers and it will not stop discrimination. The future system will work alongside the accessibility system and anti-discrimiation system.

Six Guiding Principles

As we create the future system we will be informed by six guiding principles. The future system must:

  • meet the requirements of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the Human Rights frameworks that we have committed to

  • deliver integrated, person-directed legally enforceable rights with a person-centred dispute resolution pathway

  • innovate the funding model to ensure sustainability and equity for current and future generations

  • progressively realise the vision of the future system through a planned approach over time

  • improve the health and safety of communities through creating an evidence-based system and investment in communities

Read the full report here:

Removing Disabling Experiences: a vision for the future of our people
9.30 MB PDF File - removing-disabling-experiences-10-august-2022.pdf
Removing Disabling Experiences: a vision for the future of our people
2.20 MB DOCX File - removing-disabling-experiences-10-august-2022.docx

An Independent Research Report produced with generous support from The New Zealand Law Foundation