Step 4

Step 4: Incorporating disability into the policy options

In this step, you will consider how a disability perspective can be incorporated into your policy options.

How does each option address the issues for relevant groups of disabled people identified in Step 2?

Take your thinking from Step 2 about inequities between disabled people and non-disabled people in terms of their access to and outcomes across various aspects of life such as work, money, political power, security, education, accessibility, time, health and wellbeing.

Consider your thinking against the policy options you’re identifying. Work your thinking into any criteria you’re developing to assess policy options if possible. Disability analysis assists in ensuring all relevant issues have been identified, and all impacts considered. Long-term versus short-term objectives as well as social and economic impacts also need to be considered for each of your policy options.

Keep in mind that the goals and outcomes of your policy process can either perpetuate or overcome existing inequities between disabled people and non-disabled people. Will the proposed policy reinforce existing inequities? Will compliance likely fall more heavily on disabled people – for example seizing a car for an unpaid court debt may remove a disabled person’s only option for mobility.

In addition to considering impacts of policy options on disabled people, analysis based on a family unit or whānau is also important. Families and whānau with disabled members may have extra needs or requirements that can be unmet, and opportunities intended by policy changes may not be accessible to these families or whānau. Assumptions about equity within the family/whānau could result in negative effects for the disabled person, their carer(s), or their family/whānau as a whole. For example, an assumption of distribution of income within a family/whānau may not actually occur. Note that there are even more gaps in data at the family and whānau level compared to data collected on individuals and households.

Are there groups of disabled people that may be indirectly affected by your proposed changes?

Consider whether there are groups of disabled people who will be indirectly affected by the different policy options you are proposing. The impact of any law, policy or programme may be direct or indirect.

  • Direct impact: When the policy is expected to have a direct effect on disabled people’s access to services or opportunities. For example, changing benefit criteria so that more people are eligible to access the benefit.
  • Indirect impact: When the policy is not directly targeted at groups of people, yet they will be affected by it. For example, regulating or planning measures that affect the provision of resources or services (e.g. regulation of water quality), will ultimately affect people (farmers, recreational users, etc.).

Use the Policy Quality Framework to guide your work

When considering policy options and finalising your policy recommendations to your Minister, you can use the Policy Project's Policy Quality Framework  and checklist to review your disability analysis. This will ensure your analysis appropriately sets out the diverse views, experiences and insights, as well as your engagement approach with disabled people and groups. 

The Policy Project's Policy Quality Framework also sets out how to ensure any advice gives the full picture to engage the decision maker in the issues that matter, including how to reflect diverse perspectives in your advice.

What changes can be made to your options to improve outcomes for disabled people and reduce or eliminate any negative impacts?

Consider the inequities you’ve identified:

Which statistics showing the disadvantages experienced by disabled people compared to non-disabled people are relevant to your policy options? How will your policy options reduce the negative impact on disabled people? The Disability Data Indicators Dashboard may have some relevant disability data.

Where do opportunities for change exist? And how can they be best implemented? Government action is not the only option and may not be the best option. Consider the role of the private sector and the Non-Government Organisation (NGO) sector.