A brief overview of the DPO Coalition's activities over the last few months:
As part of the health reforms, a Charter for the New Zealand Health Workforce is being developed. It will be a document that will be enduring across many years and will guide behaviours across the health sector. It will address issues such as how people work together collaboratively, the style of leadership, and obligations to patients and consumers. Input from patients and consumers will be important to ensure that the reforms and the Charter meet the needs of people using services. There will be formal engagement about the Charter early next year.
Disability Action Plan Review
The DPO Coalition has participated in the six-monthly review (January – June 2021) of reports from government agencies, about the progress made implementing the Disability Action Plan. Once finalised, the reports will be made available on the Office for Disability Issues’ website. A summary of highlights will be available in alternate formats.
Barriers to COVID vaccination
The DPO Coalition heard that a number of District Health Board’s have recognised that transportation is a barrier to people getting vaccinated. Some DHBs have put accommodations in place such as home visits or free transport. The DPO Coalition noted that it is important to hear what disabled people’s experiences are, and to understand whether this information is being consistently communicated. Other barriers to vaccination were also discussed. There is concern that disabled people will be over-represented in the population that has not been vaccinated. Disabled people must not be left behind.
Enabling Good Lives (EGL) National Leadership Group
Representatives from the Enabling Good Lives National Leadership Group gave a summary of the work they are involved in, with a particular focus on community development and leadership development. Regional leadership groups may be implemented across the country. The need to enable disabled people to develop the skills that they might need to take on leadership positions was identified, particularly communication skills and understanding rights. The DPO Coalition and Enabling Good Lives agreed to continue communicating closely.
2023 Disability Survey
The Disability Survey is the main source of information about disabled people in New Zealand. It helps government and other agencies to understand the needs of disabled people and plan services for them. The Disability Survey will take place after the 2023 Census. Statistics New Zealand are currently consulting on the content of the Disability Survey. Consultation is open until 29 October 2021.
The Accelerating Accessibility draft cabinet paper was discussed. The DPO Coalition had input into the draft paper. The DPO Coalition feedback included the need for clear communication and the voice of disabled people to be heard and prioritised. Greater clarity is needed about how the proposals will make a difference for disabled people.
Thanking Penelope Banfield
The DPO Coalition expressed thanks to Penelope Banfield for her contribution to the Coalition over the past few years.
The DPO Coalition is: DPA, Blind Citizens NZ, People First NZ, Deaf Aotearoa, Kāpo Māori O Aotearoa, Balance Aotearoa and the Muscular Dystrophy Association of New Zealand.