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ODI Newsletter - March 2018

Bringing you news from the Office for Disability Issues and around the disability sector

Welcome from the Director

Brian Coffey, Director of ODI
Brian Coffey, Director of ODI

 It's been a busy start to 2018. Minister Sepuloni has been out meeting with people and organisations to hear about their roles in improving the lives of those living with disability. ODI has been busy in the background supporting her as she gets out meeting as many of you as possible.

In early December, the Minister, with other Ministerial colleagues, had a constructive and helpful meeting with representatives from the Human Rights Commission, the Ombudsman's office, and the disabled people's coalition (known as the Independent Monitoring Mechanism or IMM). The purpose of the meeting was to learn first-hand about the key issues that were being presented to United Nations Committee on Disability Issues regarding New Zealand's implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

This is the beginning phase of the UN's second examination of New Zealand's implementation of the Convention with the government appearing at the UN in late 2019. ODI has the important role of co-ordinating the response from across government agencies to the issues identified by the UN Committee based on the issues raised with the Committee by civil society. Robert Martin, the New Zealand representative on the UN Committee, is not permitted to participate in the Committee's examination of New Zealand. 

Looking to the year ahead, we will be focusing on how we measure the impact of the New Zealand Disability Strategy on people's lives, and the development of the Disability Action Plan for 2019-2020. These activities of course are directly related to the UN Convention as the Strategy and the Action Plan are the cross-government mechanism and commitment to ensure the progression of disabled people's rights and opportunities within New Zealand.

The Ministry of Health led transformation of the Disability Support System, which follows on from the Enabling Good Lives demonstration projects in Christchurch and the Waikato, is a critical and significant project that will be a priority for the government in 2018 and beyond.

Finally, please make sure you are counted in the 2018 Census on Tuesday 6 March, 2018. There is a saying that's gaining momentum "If I'm not counted, I don't count". Links to Census materials in NZSL and EasyRead are included in this newsletter and on the ODI website.

Nga mihi

Brian Coffey

2018 Census Day is Tuesday 6 March – be counted!

Census image
Take part in the Census

 The Census is carried out every five years and provides a wealth of information for the country to understand more about the people who live in New Zealand and to help make good decisions about where services are needed. That's why it's so important that you take part.

A question that has been added to this year's Census will ask about how much difficulty you have with some common activities. By combining the answers together Stats NZ and other data users will be able to compare the situation of disabled people with that of non-disabled people on important topics like employment, education and housing conditions.

These comparisons will be possible for New Zealand as a whole, for regions, and for smaller areas as well. They have never before been available from Census data and will improve everyone's understanding of the ways in which disabled people's lives differ from those of non-disabled people.

Another difference with this year's Census is that people are being asked to complete their form online, at . You can do this any time from now up until Census day on Tuesday 6 February. Before you get started you will need your access code that will have been mailed to your home during February.

For more Census information, including links to the accessibility resources available, read full article on the ODI website.

Updating the disabled persons led monitoring approach during 2018

Watch NZSL video for this article

The Disabled Persons Organisation (DPO) Coalition, in partnership with the Office for Disability Issues (ODI), is undertaking further work during 2018 to ensure that an effective disabled persons led monitoring approach is being used.

Disabled people led monitoring is an important and relatively unique mechanism for understanding, from a disabled persons perspective, how the United Nations' CRPD is being realised in New Zealand.

During 2016, DPO Coalition initiated a review of the disabled persons led monitoring approach being used by the DPO Coalition known as the Disability Rights Promotion International (DRPI) method . A review of the DRPI approach (including other aspects of disabled persons led monitoring) being used in New Zealand was undertaken by an organisation known as Malatest. The review identified that changes needed to be made to how the DRPI approach was implemented to ensure that disabled persons' views are fully and accurately captured on how the UNCRPD is being realised in New Zealand.

Read full article is available on the ODI website and includes a link to further information about New Zealand's monitoring processes of UNCRPD.

Update on the transformation of the disability support system

System transformation for the disability support system in action
The team in action

The team working on transforming the disability support system is getting ready to seek decisions from Cabinet on the MidCentral prototype.

Ministers are getting together early this month to talk about the prototype and three disabled people will discuss with them the work that has occurred to date, what is in the design, and what it will look like in practice.

You can find out more in the monthly video update here: System Transformation February update

NZSL-related news:

Consultation to commence on a NZSL Interpreter Registry. Key stakeholders will soon be invited to give feedback on the next steps towards developing a national NZSL Interpreter Registration System: More information, including NZSL video:

New Zealand young disability leaders in Japan

Young leaders delegation in Japan
Delegation in Japan

The New Zealand young disability leaders recently returned from Japan, where they attended an information exchange workshop with delegates from the seniors and youth development sectors, from New Zealand, Japan, Austria and Germany, as well as visiting service providers in the community.

A senior official at the Japanese Cabinet Office, the programme organisers, said, “It was wonderful to see the New Zealand delegation’s dedication, contribution and enthusiasm. It is our humble wish that it was a fruitful experience to all of them which provided new vision, insight and networks for their future social contribution as leaders in respective fields. We are grateful to everyone’s hard work toward the programme.”

We look forward to sharing the young leaders’ insights and ideas from their trip with you on our website and Facebook page in the near future.

Disability delegates included the following chosen from 69 applicants:

  • Dane Dougan, Chief Executive, Autism New Zealand, delegation leader
  • Jade Farrar, Te Pou Limited
  • Kristyn Gain, Idea Services, IHC New Zealand
  • Anna Parsons, Community Connections
  • Sharleen Tongalea, CCS Disability Action.

Teens with disability more likely to be subjected to sexting

Netsafe image on sexting
Young disabled adults were more likely to be subjected to "sexting"

 A recent study published by Netsafe found that young disabled adults were more likely to be subjected to "sexting" than those without impairments. These findings are perhaps not surprising, but this is the first time in New Zealand that we have had quantitative evidence of the issue.

The New Zealand study was carried out by online survey of 1,001 teens aged 14 to 17, and included comparisons between those groups who self-identified as having a long-term disability versus those who didn't.

Key findings about young disabled adults

When asked whether they had:

  • received nude or nearly nude images or videos they did not ask for; 25% of those with disability said yes, versus 17% of those without disability;
  • been asked for nude or nearly nude images or videos of themselves in the last 12 months; 23% of those with disability said yes, versus 18% of those without disability;
  • been asked for that same type of content of someone else, again, this was higher for teens with disability, 9% compared with 4%.

In conclusion, sexting is a topic of public and media interest, and should be a consideration for policy makers and practitioners working in the youth and disability sectors.

Read full article on the ODI website

Read full report for this study, including detailed methodology and results, at ,

Read Netsafe's new factsheet on the broader topic of "New Zealand teens' digital profile" at .

Public workshops on human rights for the Universal Periodic Review

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) is running public events in eight locations during February and March 2018, as part of New Zealand's Universal Periodic Review - a mechanism that involves a five-yearly review of the human rights situation in UN member states.

MFAT is engaging with government agencies to seek advice on the issues to be included in the 20-page report.

They also want to hear from you - including the disability community - about your experience of human rights in New Zealand.

More information is available on the MFAT website

To register your attendance for each session, go to .

 Meet ODI member...Amy Evanson

Amy Evanson, Advisor in ODI
Amy Evanson, Advisor in ODI

 This issue we introduce the hardworking and energetic Amy, who has been advisor in the team since May 2016.

  • What did you do before joining the ODI Team?
    Before joining ODI I worked as a legal assistant at Crown Law. I was responsible for making sure that counsel was well prepared for court. It was really awesome to see law in action after studying law at university back in the UK and in Sweden.
  • What are your biggest challenges in your role at ODI? What has surprised you most about what you've learnt?
    My biggest challenges are balancing multiple workstreams and making sure that things keep trucking along. There's always lots to do and learn, so it's important for me to make sure I prioritise.

And what about outside work, how do you like to spend your time?
Outside of work you'll find me doing some sort of sport or exercise, either playing "social" football, taking on sporting challenges (18km assault course through mud? Why not!) and going tramping whenever I get the chance. I also try to go home to the UK when I can to visit my family, particularly my younger brother who is on the autistic spectrum. This connection I have with disability is what makes me so passionate about working for ODI.

Tell us what you think

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