New Zealand Disability Strategy Discussion Document
Action 4: Provide opportunities for employment and economic development
Enable people experiencing disability to work in the open labour market (in accordance with human rights principles) and maintain an adequate income.
- Ensure that people experiencing disability can develop their individual capacity to go into jobs (through education, improved literacy and training), and create real job opportunities.
- The Government and people experiencing disability will work together to define what work means to people experiencing disability.
- Ensure that employment options are available, and that people experiencing disability have a smooth transition into employment where they have the same employment conditions, rights and entitlements that everyone else has and are covered by the same employment legislation.
- People experiencing disability will lead the development of their own training and employment goals where appropriate and ideally make decisions about services and support options to achieve those goals.
- Ensure that communication services, resources, and flexible workplace options are available to enable people who experience disability to be employed.
- Government agencies and publicly funded services will operate with Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policies and will proactively employ and develop people experiencing disability at all levels of operation. People experiencing disability should be employed for their skills and knowledge, and should be overrepresented in areas which develop or operate disability policy or provide disability services. Annual EEO reports will be publicly released and distributed widely.
People who experience disability should have access to economic development initiatives, including business opportunities.
"I was just a teenager when I started having mood swings and hearing voices that other people didn’t understand. I lived in a small town, and the gossip spread like wildfire. After a while I didn’t even want to go to the corner dairy because of the way people looked at me and I lost what little confidence I had left. I also ended up losing a lot of years out of my life.
What made a difference for me was being able to work. I moved out of the town where I grew up and got a part-time job. It wasn’t really challenging but I couldn’t seem to get the sort of job I wanted. I ended up going and getting some training and then I got the idea for the business I still run today. My parents helped me out with a loan to get started because the banks didn’t want to know me.
I don’t think its easy for anyone to get a business going. The failure rates are high. But if you’ve got a sound idea, what you really need is the opportunity."
10. What are other ways to increase employment and business opportunities, and to improve the economic situation of people experiencing disability?
11. How could the Government ensure adequate incomes for those people experiencing disability who cannot get a well-paid job?