Progress Report - 2006/2007
Accessible services are another key part of making government accessible.
Key measurements for this area include that:
- collected data can be split by types of impairment
- services are responsive to disabled people’s needs
- agencies have a written policy on use of New Zealand Sign Language and / or the New Zealand Relay Service
- staff are trained in how to be responsive to disabled people’s needs.
Government agencies were asked what they do to make services more accessible. Their responses are summarised in graph three (below) and are compared with the results from last year.
Achievement story - improving access to information about health services
The Ministry of Health has improved its communications and accessible information by:
- revamping the web pages to ensure disabled people can find out about services funded by the Ministry of Health
- developing a series of fact sheets about funded services, available in plain English and different formats, like Braille
- holding consumer forums, hui and fono with disabled people to discuss issues and ideas for future planning – these meetings always have New Zealand Sign Language interpreters, hearing loops or other hearing assistance, and materials available in accessible formats.
Data on accessible services (see graph three)
- In 2006, data collected by 20% of responding agencies could be analysed by disability, but in 2007, only 8% of responding agencies could analyse their data this way.
- In 2006, 30% of responding agencies considered their services were responsive to the needs of disabled people. In 2007, this had increased to 42%.
- A new question for 2007 relates to whether agencies have a written policy on use of New Zealand Sign Language Interpreters. Sixteen percent of responding agencies have achieved this.
- There has been a significant increase in agencies who provide their staff with training to understand and be responsive to disabled people’s needs. In 2006, 15% of agencies had achieved this, but in 2007 this had increased to 45%.
- The final question in this section relates to the New Zealand Relay Service and whether staff know about, and can use, this service. This is a new question and 50% of responding agencies advise they have achieved this.
Achievement story - improving access to voting places
The Ministry of Justice (Chief Electoral Office), the Electoral Commission and the Electoral Enrolment Centre have consulted widely across the disability sector, government and the community as part of planning to improve accessibility for the 2008 General Election.
As a result of this, they have an Implementation Plan which includes initiatives to:
- improve accessibility of information about elections by use of plain English, pictorial resources, etc
- improve the way information is distributed to disabled people
- improve physical access and assistance, for example, by using temporary aids like ramps to improve access to polling places.