DPA made a submission to the Ministry of Education, the Ministry for Social Development, the Ministry for Women and the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment on the Long-Term Insights Briefing (LTIB): Preparing All Young People for Satisfying and Rewarding Working Lives.

Our submission looks at the employment landscape for disabled people in New Zealand, including the systemic barriers disabled people face in gaining and maintaining employment. It comments on the three key life stages of preparing young people for satisfying and rewarding working lives identified in the briefing.  

DPA recommends:

  1. Government and Disabled Peoples Organisations (DPOs) co-design initiatives to overcome the multiple barriers to employment faced by disabled people.
  2. As a matter of urgency, Government disband the Minimum Wage Exemption Permit Scheme and replace it with a scheme that pays disabled people the market rate for the job.
  3. Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People be a party to all LTIBs for all Ministries.
  4. The four Ministries involved in this LTIB engage more fully with Māori bodies to ensure that a Te Tiriti o Waitangi informed approach is taken.
  5. Government introduces an enforceable right to inclusive education in accordance with its obligations under Article 24 of the UNCRPD, and that reasonable accommodation is introduced as a key element of the legislative and policy framework.
  6. The Education and Training Act, 2020 is amended to include a substantive right to inclusive education and reasonable accommodation and a clear definition of inclusive education and reasonable accommodation.
  7. Government review and replace the current policy and resourcing framework so that it responds to the accommodations, specialist support services and accessible learning environments required by disabled students.
  8. All recommendations from the Education Review Office’s September 2022 reports Thriving at school? Education for disabled learners in schools and A Great Start? Education for Disabled Children in Early Childhood are adopted.
  9. Ministry of Education recognises, values, and promotes the role of a disability inclusive education system in promoting social cohesion.
  10. An independent education tribunal or arbitration mechanism is established to review decisions by Boards of Trustees, Schools, and the Ministry of Education in respect of disabled student’s rights to inclusive education, reasonable accommodation, and accessible learning environments.
  11. Ministry of Education, in partnership with Disabled People’s Organisations, and the National Disabled Students’ Association, commission a programme to support all learners and staff in the education sector to promote celebrate, nurture, respect and preserve the identities of disabled children and young people.
  12. Ministry of Education work with disability organisations, education trade unions and wider education sector organisations to create disability leadership within the education sector.
  13. Ministry of Education reviews and replaces deficit language in all communications and documents of the New Zealand education system.
  14. An overhaul of the careers guidance system in schools and tertiary education: in conjunction with disabled people’s organisations careers guidance staff need to be trained and supported in disability and employment issues.
  15. Government prioritise disabled-developed and disabled-led employment programmes.
  16. A complete overhaul of the Job and Training Support Funds system, to be replaced with a more equitable, transparent, and fairer system of job support funding.
  17. Trade unions and the Congress of Trade Unions (CTU) establish Deaf and disabled members structures.

Read the full DPA submission on the Long-Term Insights Briefing: Preparing All Young People for Satisfying and Rewarding Working Lives [Word Doc]