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Access: Who Are Disabled New Zealanders?

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  • Richard_Elwin,

    So of the 9, how many are simply suffering from having grown old?

    Since Jan 2014 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Richard_Elwin,

    StatsNZ report ageing as the cause of impairment for about a quarter of all over-15s (and about half of over-65s).

    However their survey design deliberately excludes that cause from initial prompts, so it may be higher.

    Say 2 to 3 of the 9. Hard to say how many of those are 'suffering'.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Kay,

    Those of us with "hidden disabilities". I'm a university graduate (educated), look and sound completely "normal " but severe epilepsy means no hope of employment and the rest of my life on a benefit, so poor. I consider myself disabled because I can't participate in society as someone my age should be. But that's my personal view- epilepsy is such an individual condition. 70%of people are able to get full seizure control, the rest of us, well impairment is a matter of degree, and it's also a matter of the amount of stigmas still going around, especially with employers. We have an incredibly high unemployment rate.
    personally I found the disability quiestions in the census a bit difficult, there wasn't really a suitable box to tick so I ticked impaierd thinking and memory!!

    Wellington • Since Apr 2014 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Richard_Elwin,

    Richard, the phrasing of your question bothers me, but I'm not sure I know why. Maybe it's the combination of "simply" and "suffering" (I don't think suffering is simple). Maybe it's the implication that disability is an inevitable part of ageing. Maybe it's my own possibly wrong inference that you think disability as a result of age doesn't matter or doesn't count. Or maybe I'm just overthinking it. But it would help if you were able to explain why you ask that question.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Aging, can also reduce disability. I have minor impairments where the advancement of technology, cultural evolution and my own maturity mean that I am far more able than I was earlier in life.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to steven crawford,

    Good point.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Maybe it's the implication that disability is an inevitable part of ageing.

    There's a high association, to be fair. I've always found that most people have an easier relationship with the idea of ageing as a source of impairment. Guess most of us have watched older family members change and adapt.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    There is certainly a high association. And I agree that people appear to accept impairment in others better if they think it's the result of age. But not everyone who gets old becomes disabled (except of course all of us, in the end). To me "how many are simply suffering from having grown old" suggests that it doesn't really count as a disability if you're old. It's important that it does count as disability, both because I think it can help people see disability as the result of settings and circumstances rather than a result of physical attributes; and because those whose disabilities are the result of ageing still experience their physical impairments as disabilities.

    I think of my grandmother and her sister at my wedding. They were both in their 80s. My grandmother had terrible tinnitus, and found it hard to participate in group conversations, particularly if there was a lot of background noise. My great-aunt had no hearing difficulties at all. My grandmother's hearing difficulties were certainly the result of age (in combination with individual susceptibility), but in the company of someone of a similar age with no hearing trouble, I'm not sure that she felt it as "being old" so much as "being deaf".

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart,

    how do you suggest we start fixing it?

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Angela Hart,

    Talking about personal experience, right here on public address.

    I did not even think about wheel chair access to my house, for instance, till someone talked about there experience in a wheelchair. I used to think of myself as socially accessible.

    I feel a bit more accessible now.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to steven crawford,

    Indeed. It makes me cross when people building new houses don’t just automatically make at least the main "public" spaces (i.e. entry, access to living space) wheelchair accessible (unless the constraints of the site make that completely impractical). To me those houses say “I don’t care whether people with mobility challenges can visit me in my home”, which is close to implying that the occupants don’t want people with mobility challenges as their friends.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    It makes me cross when people building new houses don’t just automatically make at least the main "public" spaces (i.e. entry, access to living space) wheelchair accessible

    And you have to wonder why that isn't a basic requirement of building regulations like it is in the UK, despite decades of lobbying. Not that expensive either, so it has to be something else.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    To me those houses say “I don’t care whether people with mobility challenges can visit me in my home”

    .. and no future owners of this home will need good physical access for them, their family and friends, or workers. So stupid.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Angela Hart,

    Wheel world solutions

    how do you suggest we start fixing it?

    Start ramping things up where you can...

    Seriously.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Angela Hart,

    connect, organise, demand

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Sacha,

    Connecting is a bit easier than it used to be, that's not so much of a problem.
    Organising though, the DPA used to be high profile and politically active but I haven't heard much from or about them for a few years. We need to organise and be prepared to be politically active if we want to see useful change in our lifetimes. Grey Power is a good example, it has political clout, although some of that is down to Winston Peters.
    It's a waste of time demanding from this Government. Look what they did in response to the Carers court case with Funded Family Care. It's a travesty. And they changed the law so that what they've done can't be challenged. New Zealand a democracy? Not with the Nats in charge. In that vein, we are 5 months or so away from an election and the only major party with a clear set of disability policies on their website is the Greens. Why?

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Angela Hart,

    the DPA used to be high profile and politically active

    in the 1980s and 1990s, yes.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Angela Hart,

    we are 5 months or so away from an election and the only major party with a clear set of disability policies on their website is the Greens. Why?

    Because we have been woefully ineffective at organising and demanding better from all of them. And those whose jobs it has been to help with that have similarly not done so well, yet we tolerate that.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Angela Hart,

    Connecting is a bit easier than it used to be, that's not so much of a problem

    We'll have some posts on remaining challenges in connectivity.

    I was also thinking about connecting as making people aware of our connectedness, the interests we have in common. Disability has traditionally been medicalised into a very fragmented experience. That really needs to change, and hopefully knowing some of the population numbers helps with context.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Sacha,

    so do you think we need a new organisation to represent the interests of people with disabilities and those who care about a decent society?

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Angela Hart,

    Unsure, but others can testify I've put a fair bit of effort into the current setup and it just didn't work as it should. Comparing with other marginalised groups like ethnic and GLBT communities is instructive.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Sacha,

    umm, yes, I've been wondering for a while whether it's worth putting effort into some of the existing structures. It seems to me that some of them operate more as a dampener for outrage/anger/complaint than as a means to effect change. What I mean is that while groups partner or develop relationships with Government bodies for the best of reasons, the effect of that over time seems to be to absorb the passion without producing much in the way of short to medium term change. A cynic ( I think I've become one) would say that partnering with these groups is an effective strategy for a Government which fully intends to do its own thing in its own time. It takes the heat out of the situation without much cost or effort and there is a superficial appearance of action.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    DPA has revamped its website and some branches seem to have become more active lately. Most DPOs are very UN CRPWD focused and how to made those rights real. It is very hard for NGOs to be active advocates for anything in the current climate where those with the loudest voices risk losing funding (see what happened to the Problem Gambling Foundation).

    However, I think there is some political activism going on here and there, but possibly more through various groups on Facebook than actual meetings. For example, the Kirk Branch of the Labour Party (the disability sector) seems to be having a revival. Could be because Aspie lawyer Simon Buckingham is keen to get on the list and raise disability awareness. The Greens are the obvious leaders with at least one actual disabled person advising on their policy development.

    I am really concerned about the disenfranchisement of disabled people, whoever they are and wherever they live. It is really important that they are all on the roll and assisted to vote if they need it. Anybody can help do that in their local community.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3214 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Yes, the Problem Gambling Foundation is a prime example of what can happen when you're dependent on Government funding and you displease the Government. The current climate is not that of a functional democracy.
    Similarly, I believe, the various media have been obliged to become very careful and selective with their stories.

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    The Greens are the obvious leaders with at least one actual disabled person advising on their policy development.

    That there is a good reason to give my vote to the Greens. Not so much because They because they have an actual disabled person in in there ranks, but because they are developing policy in partnership with the actual people they represent.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

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