Progress Report - 2006/2007
Objective 7: Create long-term support systems centred on the individual.
Access to disability supports is a critical part of being able to participate in society. The New Zealand Disability Strategy envisions supports being available to enable individual disabled people to make their own choices about where they live and who with, and what education, job, leisure, recreational, and public pursuits they will take part in – in other words to live ordinary lives on an equal basis with non-disabled others.
Work being done on individualised supports that are provided or funded by government include:
ACC is working on the following projects:
- Strategic Review of Weekly Compensation – this is designed to reduce the financial burden of injury so people can focus on rehabilitation and recovery. It will make weekly compensation abatement rules easier to understand, ensure eligibility rules are fair for people injured while temporarily between jobs or on unpaid leave, provide reasonable weekly compensation, and ensure a reasonable level of compensation for loss of potential earnings for people who are seriously injured before they enter the workforce.
- Rehabilitation framework – this will improve rehabilitation outcomes for all claimants and improve claimant satisfaction. It involves developing a better claimant profile at an early point, simplifying processes (while still achieving outcomes), developing more sophisticated sets of pathways (or packages of care), and introducing services that focus on claimant outcomes. It has been implemented and there will be ongoing work to develop it further.
- Improving service delivery for people with serious injuries – this work aims to support the participation of disabled people in the community through every day activities such as leisure and employment. Features include supported living services, supported employment services, early intervention intensive rehabilitation programmes, services for children with traumatic brain injury, focus on returning to work, raising employer awareness of, and their confidence in, the benefits of employing workers with an injury or disability.
- Establishing serious injury client reference groups – working in partnership with seriously injured claimants and their families to improve ACC services and processes.
- Communications resources for people with serious injuries – developing information and communication materials for people who have a serious injury (and for their family / whānau). Involves quarterly newsletters (from June 2008) and specific material on the ACC website (by June 2008).
The Ministry of Health is working on:
- the allocation of funding responsibility for people with chronic health conditions who need long-term support services.
- the environmental support services development programme – work that is underway includes to:
- improve the availability of information and the consistency of service provision
- plan for addressing access and eligibility issues for hearing equipment and hearing aids, and for improving assessments and develop an enhanced assessor framework
- undertake initial policy and financial analysis – particularly examining options for extending access and eligibility criteria.
- care and support in the community – focusing on the role of health and disability support services in enabling older people to continue living in the community.
- completing a Guideline for Autism Spectrum Disorder and development of an Autism Spectrum Disorder work programme – to provide information primarily for health, disability, and education professionals, social service providers, and policy makers, using an evidence-based approach. A secondary audience includes parents, people with autism, families / whānau, and caregivers.
- The Ministry of Social Development – Office for Disability Issues is working on a cross-government project to review provision of long-term disability supports. This project will present advice to government on ways to improve the way these supports are provided.