December 17, 2018
Disability reforms overlook Māori needs
A Māori disability advocate says a new accessibility work programme won’t benefit Māori unless there is proper funding and dedicated advocacy.
Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni says officials will work with the Access Alliance and other stakeholders on ways to achieve full accessibility for disabled people.
Huhana Hickey says the reality is disability funding has lagged for decades, meaning money for things like wheelchairs and ramps runs out early in the financial year.
A lot of things disabled people need aren’t funded or are hard to get.
"For a lot of Māori it's like: 'Oh no, not again.' Occupational therapists, physios, doctors, there's no process. Unlike with ACC where if you have an accident there is a team of people waiting to assess and assist you, you don't get that with medical disabilities which Māori are predominantly high in numbers of," she says.
Ms Hickey says 84 percent of disabled Māori get no support services at all.
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