HRC invites Ministry of Education to work to better engage disabled New Zealanders in policy design

HRC invites Ministry of Education to work to better engage disabled New Zealanders in policy design

August 25, 2016

The Human Rights Commission has invited the Ministry of Education to work with them to better engage disabled New Zealanders and their families in the design of policies that impact their learning and quality of life.

“Instead of merely consulting disabled New Zealanders when a piece of policy comes up for consideration – we need to be part of the entire policy design process from the very beginning,” said Disability Rights Commissioner Paul Gibson.

“Collective impact means decision makers work with affected people. This approach provides better outcomes and Government has already shown this with disability action plan initiatives consistent with the Convention on the Rights of persons with Disabilities , and the successful sector-wide approach to bullying with the Ministry of Education led BPAG group.”

This week Government announced it would be encouraging the replacement of the term Special Education to reflect inclusive education for disabled learners.

“This is a great start but we also need to reflect that name change in the relevant laws and by weaving and including disabled New Zealanders voices into the decision making process: we want to be there from the outset not just as feedback providers,” said Mr Gibson.

“Recognising that there needs to be more invested in the early years of disabled children is a good thing: but we also need better and more informed social investment across agencies and across a disabled person’s entire life – we can only get this if we include their voices in the investment decisions.”

Human Rights Commission

The Commission works for a free, fair, safe and just New Zealand, where diversity is valued and human dignity and rights are respected.