The non-deal that New Zealand’s handicapped/special needs community are getting


I call it a non-deal because practically every Member of Parliament has systematically ignored this very important, yet much marginalized section of the New Zealand community. I call it a non-deal because only one or two parties across the entire political spectrum have policies to help these people. I call it a non-deal because few people in influential places in the private sector seem keen to help either.

If a person in a wheel chair is crossing the road, they often find themselves navigating around rubbish bins, toys and other obstacles. They often find that the lip of the curb is too high for them to get their wheels over. If there is sharp debris on the footpath, it can puncture the tyres and render them immobile. Many places do not have wheel chair access, such as commercial premises. If they do have access, a relatively small thing such as a slight lip or step in the door way can be sufficient to bar entry.

It is almost as if society want to remove handicapped people instead of trying to adjust to the fact that they have particular needs that are essential for them to contribute.

It is not just those that are physically handicapped that are getting a raw deal from New Zealand, a country that prides itself on a fair go for all. Autistic people present a range of symptoms that might inhibit their development. Milder forms of it such as Aspergers Syndrome often involve repetitive behaviours, narrow interests and difficulties communicating feelings. Very often they struggle to read social environments. Because of this, many employers are reluctant to give them a chance to work and as a result about how of people world wide with Aspergers do not have jobs.

Only the National Party, Green Party and Labour Party have released or plan to release policy regarding disability.

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