New Zealand gives go-ahead for data-driven disability plan

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Friday, 19 August 2016 16:07pm

The New Zealand government is committed to developing a Disability Plan in order to ensure that government agencies have the necessary digitally-delivered data to make informed, evidence-based policy decisions on New Zealanders with a disability.

A sign with the word 'Planning' on it

Improving the availability of quality information about those with a disability or impairment in NZ will lead to better decision-making by government agencies, say both the Statistics Minister Craig Foss, and the Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner.

“The plan will help develop a shared understanding of the strengths and potential gaps in statistics about persons with disabilities in New Zealand,” says Mr Foss.

The Ministers opened consultation on the development of a Disability Plan to ensure government agencies have the data necessary to make informed, evidence-based policy decisions to assist those who are blind, vision impaired, Deaf, hearing impaired, have a cognitive condition, or with a physical disability.

Ms Wagner says the need to improve data collection and statistics on persons with disabilities is a key recommendation of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Independent Monitoring Mechanism. “Monitoring the key aspects of the lives of persons with disabilities compared with others helps to ensure the rights of all people are being upheld,” she says.

The Disability Data and Evidence Working Group, jointly facilitated by Statistics New Zealand and the Office for Disability Issues, has been established to improve data collection and information on disabled people in New Zealand.

The government is now seeking feedback on the plan from a wide range of people. The consultation process is open to all New Zealand citizens and is running until 9 September 2016. More information on this consultation process is available online.

This recent development follows the news of the NZ government’s commencement of closed captioning for parliamentary broadcasts in August this year.

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