The following letter which J have typed featured in the Northern Advocate’s Letter to the Editor (Thur 3/11/2021). It is in response to the Govts recent announcement for transformation of the NZ Disability Sector – inclusion. The funny thing is, many of us have spent a life time campaigning for better changes : some for more than 40 years. That shows the lack of respect all political parties have had towards disabled people.
Minister of Disability Issues Hon Carmel Selling says
“We’re committed to continuing to partner with the disabled community. That will be the only way we can achieve our shared vision of transforming Aotearoa NZ into a non-disabling society.
One where we can proudly champion the inclusivity and accessibility of the place we all call home.”
It’s a great idea in theory but it will turn out not meaning anything.
Mental Health support should be at the top of the list.
Hosted by the Ministry of Social Development the proposed Ministry for Disabled People is designed to consolidate an otherwise fragmented sector riddled with discrimination on all fronts.
The Minister has no idea of the challenges we as disabled people face daily especially when it comes to calling MSD or any Govt dept for that matter.
I hope her MSD staff receive targeted professional development and learn compassion and empathy to better support and understand those with disabilities.
Alternatively opportunities could be provided for disabled people to fill customer service MSD roles under this new regime.
One thing I believe won’t change is disabled people still being made to jump through hoops for able bodied beaureaucrats.
I hope the disabled are not going to be used as a way of garnering votes in 2023 because the Labour Party suddenly decided that Disabled people count.
Fiona Green (Disability Advocate)
38 McInnes Ave