Section three: Looking forward to 2016 and beyond

The Government response to the Concluding Observations from the CRPD Committee and the recommendations from the IMM in June 2015, as well as the update of the Disability Action Plan, has laid a solid foundation for action in 2016.

A significant focus of this will be a revision of the New Zealand Disability Strategy, including development of an associated monitoring framework. Implementation of the Disability Data and Evidence Working Group work programme will also identify gaps in information held on disabled people. This includes supporting better understanding and action on issues identified in the 2014 annual report on gender, violence and abuse and Māori who are disabled as well as those from other ethnic groups. It will also support the development of a monitoring framework.

Ramping up work on employment of disabled people and improving choice and control over the services and supports they receive will also be a significant area of work in 2016.

Revision of the New Zealand Disability Strategy

In August 2015, Cabinet agreed to a revision of the New Zealand Disability Strategy. As the Strategy was agreed in 2001, prior to the advent of the CRPD and the Disability Action Plan way of working, a revision of the Strategy will ensure it provides a coherent framework that connects them both. In particular, a new Strategy will articulate the vision for implementation of the CRPD in the New Zealand context. This work will commence in early 2016, once the update of the Disability Action Plan is completed. This timeframe avoids asking stakeholders to provide input into two processes at the same time. This process will be facilitated by the Office for Disability Issues and there will be comprehensive consultation across the country.

Development of a monitoring framework

It is important for us to know whether we are achieving what we set out to do, and whether we are doing the right thing as the context can change. A monitoring framework will be developed alongside the revised New Zealand Disability Strategy in 2016. Reporting against the new monitoring framework will help with improved progress reporting on the CRPD and the Disability Action Plan.

The Disability Data and Evidence Working Group will support the development of the monitoring framework, given its key role in improving information held on disabled people. There will also be consultation on the monitoring framework to make sure that what is monitored represents the most important issues to disabled people, their families and the wider community.

Improving employment opportunities for disabled people

Initial work in 2015 on increasing the employment of disabled people in the public sector will ramp up in 2016 using survey information, from the Ministry of Social Development, of disabled employees. This will help to provide a better picture of potential barriers as well as help inform what information other agencies collect. Roll-out of a toolkit and other resources will be an important area of work.

Findings from the Project 300 employment trial and other work through the Ministry of Social Development’s Health and Disability Long-Term Work Programme will provide much needed evidence about what works for enabling disabled people to find work and stay in employment. It is expected that increasing options for career progression and transition of disabled people will receive increasing attention. This is due to providing better options for the individuals that move on and up the career ladder, and it also opens up opportunities for other disabled people to come in to fill the jobs they leave behind.

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