The government has been focused on changing the sector to provide disabled people with more choice and control.
In the past 12 months, we’ve completed the updated New Zealand Disability Strategy 2016 and begun the design process for expanding Enabling Good Live, which will transform Disability Support Services.
Both of these achievements have shown how valuable the co-design process is.
The real advantage is producing results that work for both the community and the government.
As disabled people often say to me, “decisions about us, should include us.”
And I think we’ve made real gains towards incorporating disabled people into the government’s decision making process and I look forward to continuing this approach.
I’ve also been working hard on increasing employment opportunities for disabled people.
Part of this is about promoting a culture shift and changing attitudes one person at a time.
The Disability Confident Campaign, Employability and Project 300 have all contributed to providing employers with the tools they need to employ disabled people and giving disabled people additional opportunities to enter employment.
We are moving as fast as we can and one of the challenges we face is balance the need to get things done quickly with the need to consult with the sector to ensure that we get things right.
Establishing specific, measurable disability targets and making a significant transformation of disability support services are by no means simple task. But both are important to ensuring that we continue to improve the lives of disabled people.
As we move forward, my focus is on ensuring that we continue the government’s work of promoting opportunities for disabled people.