People with disabilities

More info

NZSL Resources

For information on the Commission, the Enquiries and Complaints process, and our work presented in NZSL please visit this section here.

People, Groups, and Organisations that can help

The Minister for Disability Issues

The Minister for Disability Issues is Hon Carmel Sepuloni. The role of the Minister is to advocate disability issues and to establish and report on the New Zealand Disability Strategy.

The Office for Disability Issues

The Office for Disability Issues is the focal point within government on disability issues. They promote and monitor implementation of the New Zealand Disability Strategy and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The Health and Disability Commissioner 

The main role of the Health and Disability Commissioner is to ensure that the rights of consumers are upheld. This includes making sure that complaints about health or disability services providers are taken care of fairly and efficiently.

YouthLaw Tino Rangatiratanga Taitamariki 

Is a community law centre for children and young people throughout New Zealand. Contact the free Legal Advice Line (Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm) on 0800 884 529 or email [email protected]

CCS Disability Action

Provide support and strengthen communities so people with disabilities are included in the life of the family and in their community.

Mental illness and human rights

Mental Health Foundation

The Mental Health Foundation works towards creating a society free from discrimination, where all people enjoy positive mental health and wellbeing. The Foundation’s work seeks to influence individuals, whanau, organisations and communities to improve and sustain their mental health and reach their full potential.

Like Minds, Like Mine

Like Minds, Like Mine is a national, publicly funded programme aimed at reducing the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness.The website provides information and resources on the programme, looks at who is involved and shows how you can contribute to creating a nation that truly values and includes people with mental illness.

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities resources

About the convention – International

The United Nations (UN)

  • You can download or subscribe on-line to Enable, the UN’s monthly disability newsletter here.
  • Inclusion International is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) promoting the human rights of people with intellectual disabilities and their families. The Convention is a priority area of their work and this site has a range of information about the Convention.

About the Convention – New Zealand

  • The Office for Disability Issues (ODI) has a fact sheet about the Convention and the implications for New Zealand. The Office is leading the work towards ratification of the Convention.

Education about the Convention

  • The Training Manual on Human Rights for Persons with Disabilities.                                        This manual is for those who wish to train themselves or others in the human rights of people with disabilities, with a particular focus on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Available in English and Mongolian, the manual aims to promote and support the participation of people with disabilities and their families in ratifying and implementing the CRPD. This manual will be useful to people already knowledgeable about disability and disability rights, including how to locate additional information relevant to the training they wish to provide.
  • Teaching kit on CRPD. Organisations can use this to train people on the Convention. The kit includes visual Power Point presentations, Word document files, and PDF files covering various aspects of the Convention. This toolkit has been produced by Handicap International.
  • Disability Rights Advocacy Workbook
    This workbook includes three sections:
    • Advocacy for people with disabilities
    • How does human rights advocacy work
    • How do you use international human rights treaties for advocacy? – including, but not limited to the CRPD. It offers advice on how people can advocate for their country to ratify and then implement the Convention.
  • We Have Human Rights: A human rights handbook for people with developmental disabilities. An action and advocacy handbook designed by and for self-advocates with intellectual disabilities and for use by those advancing the human rights of people with disabilities. This is designed for anyone wanting a clear explanation of the Convention, including people with intellectual disabilities, their organisations, and their advocates. It includes group work exercises and a section dedicated to exploring what the rights mean and how to be assertive and advocate for the realisation of those.
  • Human Rights. YES!                                                                                                                    Based on the Convention, Human Rights. YES! offers people with disabilities the opportunity to learn about their own human rights. Human Rights. YES! is designed for people who are not necessarily experts in human rights, and can be used with small groups. The manual includes three parts:
    • Understanding disability as a human right
    • The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
    • Advocacy! Taking action for the human rights of people with disabilities.
  • Calling all Children and Youth: The CRPD for Young People
    UNICEF has developed a child-friendly version of the Convention to help children understand disability rights. They have also produced a facilitator’s guide for conducting focus groups with children on the child-friendly version of the Convention.

Mental Health

The Office of the Director of Mental Health has produced an Annual Report which summarises the activities of the Office as well as the mental health situation in New Zealand. Read it here

Support for disabled youth

The Cube connects young disabled people to services. Learn more here.

Cam Calkoen, a motivational speaker, provides mentoring for young disabled people. Learn more here.

The Employment Problem

Some employers hold a lot of fear and misconceptions about hiring someone with a disability. This video by Attitude Live features employers who have seen the opportunities instead of the barriers. 

Unemployment among people with disabilities sits at nearly 60%. Attitude Live investigates why and talks to people with disabilities who have found their dream job. Watch here

75% of people who live with a disability need no special supports to get into the workplace, so why is there nearly 60% unemployment among people with disabilities?

There are plenty of great reasons to employing someone with a disability:

  • There’s a whole pool of untapped potential to choose from 
  • Access to a huge sector of society by having them represented in your work force 
  • Statistics show people with disabilities take less days off 
  • People with disabilities have a lower employee turnover rate 
  • You’ll improve your employee loyalty 
  • Your reputation as an employer will improve 

Attitude Live looks at ways that we can solve the 'employment problem' for people with disabilities. Learn more here

Podcast 'Christchurch: An Accessible City?' – Speak Up – Kōrerotia

For the Commission's January 2016 Podcast, host Sally chatted with the HRC's Erin Gough, as well as Lorraine Guthrie, Ruth Jones and John Bourke. You can listen here.

This section is currently under development. If you think we have missed an organisation that we should include here please email Shawn Moodie at [email protected]. Thank you for your understanding.