The New Zealand Disability Strategy will guide the work of Government agencies on disability issues from 2016 to 2026.
It can also be used by individuals or organisations who want to make the best decisions on things that are important to people with disabilities.
The vision behind the strategy is New Zealand as a non-disabling society where disabled people have an equal opportunity to achieve their goals and aspirations, and all of New Zealand works together to make this happen.
Three sets of principles and two approaches will help in the implementation of the Strategy. They will make sure the disabled community is visible, acknowledged and respected on an equal basis with others, and that disabled people can live a life with dignity and feel valued.
The three sets of principles include the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi; the principles of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and ensuring disabled people are involved in decision-making that impacts them.
The two approaches involve investing in our whole lives (a long-term approach); and specific and mainstream services (a twin-track approach).
Most importantly, the disability strategy was developed in consultation with a large number of disabled people and is written from that perspective.
The strategy highlights a number of outcomes in eight areas that encapsulate the vision behind the strategy and provide an aspirational description of what things should look like for disabled people in the future.
Education: We get an excellent education and achieve our potential throughout our lives.
Employment and economic security: We have security in our economic situation and can achieve our full potential.
Health and wellbeing: We have the highest attainable standards of health and wellbeing.
Rights, protection and justice: Our rights are protected, we feel safe, understood and are treated fairly and equitably by the justice system.
Accessibility: We access all places, services and information with ease and dignity.
Attitudes: We are treated with dignity and respect.
Choice and control: We have choice and control over our lives.
Leadership: We have great opportunities to demonstrate our leadership.
The challenge in 2017 is to develop an Outcomes Framework to measure the progress of the Disability Strategy. This will be developed in consultation with the public.
You can read the entire strategy at the Office for Disability Issues website and keep up to date on the upcoming consultation schedule for the Outcomes Framework.